An electrical fire is a type of fire that is caused by faulty or damaged electrical equipment, wiring, or outlets. Electrical fires can be very dangerous and difficult to extinguish, as they can spread quickly and create shock hazards. Therefore, it is important to know which fire extinguisher is suitable for electrical fire and how to use it safely and effectively.
Fire extinguishers are classified according to the types of fires they can put out. There are five main classes of fire extinguishers: A, B, C, D, and K. Each class corresponds to a different kind of fuel that feeds the fire. For example, class A fire extinguishers are designed for ordinary combustible materials such as wood, paper, or cloth; class B fire extinguishers are for flammable liquids such as gasoline, oil, or paint; class D fire extinguishers are for combustible metals such as magnesium, titanium, or sodium; and class K fire extinguishers are for cooking oils and fats.
Class C fire extinguishers are the ones that are used for electrical fires. These fire extinguishers contain non-conductive agents that do not conduct electricity and can safely extinguish fires involving energized electrical equipment. The most common types of class C fire extinguishers are carbon dioxide (CO2) and dry chemical. CO2 fire extinguishers work by displacing oxygen and smothering the fire. Dry chemical fire extinguishers work by interrupting the chemical reaction of the fire and creating a barrier between the fuel and the oxygen.
Extinguisher Usage Tips
To use a class C fire extinguisher for an electrical fire, follow these steps:
- Before attempting to fight the fire, make sure that the power source is turned off or disconnected if possible. This will reduce the risk of electrocution and reignition.
- Check the label and the pressure gauge of the fire extinguisher to make sure that it is suitable for class C fires and that it is fully charged.
- Stand at a safe distance from the fire, usually about 6 to 10 feet away.
- Pull the pin at the top of the fire extinguisher to break the seal.
- Aim the nozzle or hose at the base of the fire, where the fuel source is.
- Squeeze the lever or trigger to release the extinguishing agent.
- Sweep the nozzle or hose from side to side until the fire is out.
- Watch for any signs of re-ignition and repeat if necessary.
Some fire extinguishers are multipurpose and can be used for more than one class of fire. For example, some dry chemical fire extinguishers are labeled as ABC, meaning that they can be used for class A, B, and C fires. However, not all fire extinguishers are compatible with all types of fires. For example, water or foam fire extinguishers should never be used for electrical fires, as they can conduct electricity and cause shock or electrocution. Therefore, it is important to read the label carefully and choose the right fire extinguisher for the situation.
Our free fire extinguisher calculator will help determine the recommended minimum number of portable fire extinguishers for your premises.
Fire extinguishers are essential tools for preventing and controlling small fires in emergencies. However, they are not intended for large or out-of-control fires that require professional intervention. If you encounter an electrical fire that is beyond your ability or capacity to handle, do not hesitate to call 911 or your local emergency number and evacuate the area immediately. Remember that your safety is always the priority.
Additional fire extinguisher facts:
- A carbon dioxide fire extinguisher is the right option for dealing with electrical fires. These fire extinguishers are typically associated with the colour black, whether this is a panel on the side of the extinguisher or the colour of the entire bottle. Source: https://www.britanniaalarms.co.uk/news/which-fire-extinguisher-is-used-for-electrical-fires
- To use a class C fire extinguisher for an electrical fire, follow these steps: 1) Before attempting to fight the fire, make sure that the power source is turned off or disconnected if possible. 2) Check the label and the pressure gauge of the fire extinguisher to make sure that it is suitable for class C fires and that it is fully charged. 3) Stand at a safe distance from the fire, usually about 6 to 10 feet away. 4) Pull the pin and aim the nozzle at the base of the fire. 5) Squeeze the lever and sweep the nozzle from side to side until the fire is out or the extinguisher is empty. 6) If the fire is not out, back away and call for help. Source: https://www.ifsecglobal.com/fire-extinguishers/choose-right-type-fire-extinguisher/
- There are five different fire extinguisher types in the UK, each suitable for different fire classes. They are: water, water mist or water spray, foam, dry powder, carbon dioxide, and wet chemical. The body of the extinguisher is coloured red, and a small coloured band indicates the type of fire extinguisher. Source: https://www.ifsecglobal.com/fire-extinguishers/choose-right-type-fire-extinguisher/
- Fire extinguishers should be inspected regularly to ensure that they are in good working order and ready to use in case of an emergency. The inspection should include checking the pressure gauge, the nozzle, the hose, the pin, the tamper seal, the label, and the body of the extinguisher. Any signs of damage, corrosion, leakage, or missing parts should be reported and the extinguisher should be replaced or serviced. Source: https://www.yahoo.com/lifestyle/fire-extinguisher-233356405.html
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