Can Water Damage Cause An Electrical Fire?

Tuesday 15th August 2023

Ellen Warren

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A plug sparking at the outlet as it is plugged in


The consequences of water damage can be overwhelming when it results in a fire damaging your home or business. Fire restoration is a critical step towards restoring normalcy and requires professional expertise.

If you are dealing with the aftermath of an electrical fire, our experts at ICE Cleaning can help. We offer comprehensive fire restoration services that are designed to return your property to its pre-fire condition as quickly as possible. Our neutralisation technology helps to remove all traces of soot and smoke particles lingering in your home.

Read on to learn about electrical fires and how water damage can cause them.

Causes of electrical fires

An electrical fire can be triggered by various factors. Faulty wiring is one with the potential to create dangerous situations if not addressed. The risk escalates when circuits are overloaded from multiple appliances on a single source, leading to overheating.

Component damage and faulty wires also play a significant role in this destructive process. Frayed cords or malfunctioning devices can contribute significantly to sparking a house fire if left unchecked.

Water damage and electrical fires

Understanding the connection between water damage and electrical fires is crucial as water intrusion in your home's electrical system can have serious consequences.

NFPA studies highlight that corrosion caused by water exposure on wires or other components could lead to overheating and ignite an electrical fire.

If you notice signs of water damage near any electrical outlets or wiring systems in your house, you must seek professional services from a registered electrician for inspection and repair.

Preventing electrical fires after a leak or flood

Electrical fire risk increases after leaks or floods, being particularly hazardous. The initial step towards prevention involves diligent inspection. 

If signs of water are near your electronics, you must act quickly and turn off the home's power at the fuse box. Do not try to clean any water damage without switching off all electricals at the source.

It is imperative to call upon professional services to help clean up the water damage where these issues emerge. This not only helps to prevent a fire and further damage to your home, but it can also stop potential mildew and mould from growing.

What to do when an electrical fire occurs

In the unfortunate event of a house fire, immediate action is crucial. Do not try to tackle an electrical fire yourself, as your priority should be to evacuate everyone from the property. Electrical fires are dangerous, and dousing them with water exacerbates them, putting you at risk of electrocution.

You should contact the local authorities by calling 999 to request firefighting services. Once the fire has subsided with emergency services, the next step is to call your insurance company and inform them of the incident. You can make this process easier by taking photos of the damage as proof of the incident.

Finally, you should contact a company specialising in fire clean-up services. If accessible and safe, turning off your property's main power supply at its fuse box could help minimise additional damage before help arrives.

Smoke damage after a fire

The aftermath of a house fire can be devastating, with visible and invisible damage left behind. One often overlooked aspect is smoke damage. The average soot particle from the fire can infiltrate your home, causing extensive harm in the future. 

Soot residue after a house fire may seem harmless, but it is far from safe. This fine black or brown powder contains various acids due to incomplete combustion during a fire. 

Smoke damage poses risks to both your property and health. Soot particles are made up of materials that corrode metal surfaces, degrade wood furniture, and ruin upholstery. 

Preventing long-term damage becomes challenging over time. These microscopic particles pose significant health hazards as they contain harmful chemicals that could lead to respiratory issues like:

  • Asthma
  • Lung or throat cancer
  • Bronchitis

Extinguishing an electrical fire

The process of extinguishing an electrical fire is not straightforward. Using water or other liquid substances can lead to severe risks, such as electrocution. A Class C fire extinguisher, specifically designed for electrical fires, should be your first choice. 

This type of extinguisher may be present in workplaces that use electricity or are considered high-risk for electrical fires. If a Class C fire extinguisher is unavailable or you are unqualified to tackle a fire, you must evacuate.

Frequently asked questions

What is the meaning of fire damage restoration?

Fire restoration refers to the cleaning, repairing, and restoring of a property after a fire. It involves removing soot, smoke odour, and any structural damage caused by the flames.

How do you restore a property after a fire?

To restore after a fire, start with assessing the extent of damage, then hire professionals for clean-up. The process includes clearing debris, deep-cleaning surfaces from soot and smoke stains, repairing structures, and sanitising affected areas.

What is fire damage and smoke damage?

Fire damage refers to the destruction caused by heat, flame, or smoke during a fire. Smoke damage is less destructive in that it does not harm structures or objects right away, but coats them in a layer of black or brown dust known as soot. These can eventually corrode materials or cause respiratory illnesses.

Get in touch

If you have experienced an electrical fire caused by water damage, ICE Cleaning's professional services can step in. Our fire damage cleaning services ensure that the property is scrubbed of dangerous contaminants, smoke damage, and structural instability, making it safe to occupy again.

Get in touch today on 0208 066 0360 or to discover our full range of cleaning services. Our supportive customer service team can assist you 24/7 and will send a technician to your location within a few hours of your emergency call.

Reilly Peters

Reilly Peters

Business Development Manager

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