How to Put Out an Electrical Fire

An electrical fire can be a scary and dangerous situation. It is important to know what you should do in the event of one so that you are prepared for any emergency. This blog post will give you some tips on how to put out an electrical fire, as well as prevention methods that will keep it from happening in the first place. 

Turn off the power from the breaker box or fuse:

The first thing you should do in the event of an electrical fire is to turn off the power at your breaker box or fuse. This will prevent the fire from spreading and keep it localized. An electrical fire that is left running can spread to other parts of the house or building and cause extensive damage.

Smothering it with baking soda:

If you are unable to reach your breaker box, you can smother the fire by using baking soda. Baking soda will not put out an electrical fire immediately, but it is one method that can be used to help get rid of the fire. Sprinkle baking soda on top of the flames and leave it there until they have stopped or burned out.

Using a Class C extinguisher:

If you cannot reach the breaker box and your baking soda or dry chemical extinguisher is ineffective, then you should use a class C extinguisher on the electrical fire. You should aim at the base of the fire and not spray it anywhere else.


Cautions about using water:

Do not use water to put out an electrical fire. Water conducts electricity and can make the situation even more dangerous than before you tried to intervene. If you happen to have a class C extinguisher with a water additive, it is okay to use it. The additive will not cause any extra harm compared to using the extinguisher as intended.

Remove any combustible materials:

One should also remove any combustible materials from the vicinity of the fire. If you can, remove everything that can burn and shut any doors to contain the fire.

Shutting off what is feeding oxygen:

In order for an electrical fire to continue, it requires a steady supply of oxygen in order to keep burning. In addition to removing any materials from the fire, you should shut off anything that is feeding oxygen. This can include things like vents and open windows.

Extinguishing Failed- Then What:

If the electrical fire is not put out using the methods above, it might be necessary to call 911. An electrical fire can be dangerous and you should always let the professionals handle it. Someone who is not qualified to deal with an electrical fire could make the situation worse if they do not know what they are doing.

How to prevent an Electrical Fire:

The best way to stop the risk of an electrical fire from happening in your home is prevention. The following guide will walk you through how to prevent any unnecessary fires by being aware of the dangers and knowing some simple steps on how to protect your home so that it stays safe.

  • Identify hazards in your home Electrical fires can happen anywhere, but they’re much more likely to occur when there are many available sources of fuel near each other. If you have electric heaters or appliances near flammable objects such as hair products, curtains, furniture—or anything else for that matter—you could be at a higher risk for an electrical fire. To prevent this from occurring inside of your house, make sure to keep everything at least three feet away from any heat sources, and find a way to secure your curtains so that they don’t hang near anything flammable.
  • Install Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters One of the most effective ways to combat electrical fires is by having circuit breakers installed in your home. These devices are able to cut off the flow of electricity if they detect an imbalance in the power—such as a short circuit or ground fault. Installing this device not only protects you against fires within your appliances, but it also protects your entire home when wires start going haywire.
Two receptacle outlet with red and black test and reset buttons
Ground Fault Circuit

The common misconception about these devices is that having one means that everything is safe even if you neglect them/do not install them properly. However, these devices only work if they are installed and maintained properly in the first place. For this reason, you should always take advantage of GFCI testing days at your local electric company. They will send someone over to test all of your outlets for free!

  • Check for fraying cords Nothing’s worse than coming home one day and finding that your favorite lamp has stopped working or even worse—that it sparked a fire because its electrical cord was frayed. Wherever there is an appliance with a cord, make sure to regularly check them for any signs of fraying. Not only does this improve the safety of your appliances, but these types of fires can also be prevented by simply using extension cords when possible instead of plugging multiple appliances into a single outlet.
  • Call an Electrician to Clean Up Your Wiring When it comes to preventing electrical fires, one of the most important things you can do is make sure that your wiring is up to code and clean. Electrical problems in older homes are much more likely to cause fires because these houses were not built with today’s safety codes in mind. When a house has poor wiring for too long, there becomes a higher risk for sparks or shorts that could ultimately cause an electrical fire. If you think this might be the case with your home, don’t hesitate from calling an electrician to come and inspect everything before tragedy strikes.


Electrical fires can be dangerous, but if you know what to do and how to deal with them then it is much safer. Use the methods outlined in this post to keep yourself safe from electrical fires and always remember that prevention is better than cure.

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