Fire Extinguishers for Electrical Fires: Which One to Use?

August 15, 2023

In the event of a fire, it is essential to use a suitable fire extinguisher. Many different types of extinguishers are available on the market, each designed for a specific fire.

Using the wrong type of extinguishing agent on an electrical fire could worsen the situation.

This blog post will discuss the different fire extinguishers available and which ones should be used for fires involving electrical equipment.

What are Electrical Fires?

An electrical fire is a type of class c fire that occurs when there is an uncontrolled release of energy in an electrical circuit. This fire is hazardous because it can spread quickly and be difficult to extinguish.

Several factors can contribute to class c fires, including overloaded circuits, faulty wiring, and damaged or defective equipment. It can also be caused by natural disasters, such as lightning strikes.

electrical fire in extension board

It can spread quickly and cause extensive damage, so it is essential to have knowledge or call a professional to extinguish the fire.

If you have experienced electrical fire risks, it is crucial to have your home or business inspected by a qualified electrician to ensure that there is no further damage.

Other Types of Fire

type of fire

There are other types of fires, but they’re not as expected.

Class A fires are the most common type of fire, and they’re caused by combustible materials like wood, paper, and fabric. Flammable liquids like gasoline and oil cause class B fires. 

Live electrical wires and equipment cause Class C fires. Combustible metals like aluminum and magnesium cause class D fires. Class K fires are caused by cooking oils and fats.

Most fires can be put out with water, but you should never use water on a class c fire. The best way to extinguish it is to turn off the power source and use a fire extinguisher. You can use a fire blanket to smother the flames or a fire extinguisher to put out the fire for other types of fires.

Electrical Equipment

There are many types of electrical equipment that can cause electrical fires. Some of the most common include:

  • extension cords
  • power strips
  • electrical outlets adapters
  • surge protectors
  • light fixtures
  • lamps
  • electrical wiring
  • electrical panels

These items can pose a serious fire hazard if they are not used correctly. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions when using any electrical equipment. If you are ever in doubt, consult a professional.

If you believe your home or business is at risk of a class c fire, please contact your local fire department immediately.

Which fire extinguisher ratings to use for electrical fire?

rating for fire danger

Class C fires are one of the most common types of fires, and they can be challenging.

Class C fires are caused by electrical equipment or wiring, often occurring in office buildings or homes. If you have a Class C fire, you’ll need to use a fire extinguisher rated for electrical fires.

There are two main types of fire extinguishers: Class A and Class B. Class A is designed for use on ordinary combustibles, such as paper, wood, and cloth. Class B extinguishers are used on flammable liquids, such as gasoline, oil, and grease.

Class C fire extinguisher is a combination of the two and is designed for use on electrical fires. These extinguishers usually have a higher rating than Class A or B so that they can be used on more severe fires.

When choosing a fire extinguisher, you must consider the type of fire you’re likely to encounter.

If you’re not sure which type of fire extinguisher to use, contact your local fire department or the manufacturer of the extinguisher. They can help you choose a suitable extinguisher for your needs.

Remember, always read the label on the fire extinguisher before using it. And be sure to check the expiration date. Class C fire extinguishers are only effective if it’s properly maintained and up-to-date.

Purchasing class c fire extinguishers is essential in keeping your home or office safe, but it’s only the first step. You also need to know how to use it properly.

In an emergency, every second counts, so it’s essential to be prepared.

Contact your local fire department or the manufacturer for more information on using the class c fire extinguishers for fires involving electrical equipment. You can keep your home or office safe from fire with some knowledge.

Which fire extinguisher is used for electrical fire?

There are different types of fire extinguishers, and each one is used for a specific kind of fire. For example, water extinguishers are used for Class A fires fueled by wood or paper. But what about electrical fires?

Class C fires are caused by live electrical appliances and require a different type of extinguisher. The best extinguisher for Class C fires is a CO₂ fire extinguisher. CO₂ fire extinguishers work by displacing the oxygen in the air, smothering the fire.

CO₂ Fire Extinguishers Best Locations At Home and Business Premises

Different types are better suited for different locations. For example, carbon dioxide fire extinguishers are typically used in computer rooms or other areas where electrical equipment is present. This is because carbon dioxide effectively puts out fires involving live electrical wiring. Here are some tips on where to place CO2 fire extinguishers:

  • In the kitchen: The kitchen is one of the most common places for fires. Be sure to place a CO₂ fire extinguisher near the stove and oven area.
  • Near flammable liquids: If you have any flammable liquids or gases in your home or office building, such as gasoline or cleaning supplies, be sure to place a CO₂ fire extinguisher nearby.
  • In the garage: The garage is another common area for fires to start. Be sure to place a CO₂ fire extinguisher near any potential fire hazards, such as the water heater or power tools.
  • In the living room: The living room is another common area for fires to start. Be sure to place a CO₂ fire extinguisher near any potential fire hazards, such as the fireplace or candles.
  • In bedrooms: Bedrooms are another common area for fires to start. Be sure to place a CO₂ fire extinguisher near any potential fire hazards, such as the bed or dresser.
  • In the basement: The basement is another common area for fires to start. Be sure to place a CO₂ fire extinguisher near any potential fire hazards, such as the furnace or water heater.
  • Near the front and back doors: Be sure to place a CO₂ fire extinguisher near your home’s front and rear doors. This way, you can grab it quickly if a fire does start.

Following these tips can help ensure that your home and commercial space is safe from fire hazards. If a fire does start, having a CO₂ fire extinguisher nearby can help you put it out quickly and safely.

Tips to Prevent Electrical Fires

Here are some tips to help prevent electrical fires:

  • Have your home’s wiring inspected by a certified electrician every three to five years and annual inspection for your fire extinguisher.
  • Use light bulbs that match the wattage recommended for each lamp or fixture.
  • Do not overload outlets. Use a power strip only when necessary, and never exceed its maximum load rating.
  • Do not use extension cords for permanent wiring.
  • Inspect cords and plugs regularly for fraying or lost connections, and replace them as needed.
  • Do not nail or staple electrical cords to walls or baseboards.
  • Keep flammable materials away from heaters and other heat-related appliances.
  • Unplug appliances when not in use, and do not leave them running unattended.
  • Do not store gasoline or other flammable liquids in the home.
  • Have a licensed electrician inspect your home’s electrical system if you plan any significant renovations.

If you follow these tips, you can help prevent electrical fires in your home. If you have any concerns about your home’s electrical system, contact a licensed electrician.

Alex Bradley

Written by

Alex Bradley

Multitasking guru who’s not just wrangling words as a witty blogger, but also juggling the roles of a husband, dad, and dutiful son to an age-defying parent. With a keyboard in one hand and a toolbox of tech gadgets in the other, Alex weaves playful blog posts that crack open the world of senior-friendly gizmos. Drawing inspiration from his family adventures and late-night “Eureka!” moments, his posts are your compass to navigate the realm of safety-enhancing and smile-inducing devices for the golden-aged generation.