How to Put Out an Electrical Fire: 3 Main Steps to Follow

If you experience an electrical fire, cut off the power supply, use baking soda if the electrical fire is small, and never use water to put out the fire. Reach out to our electrician for such problems.

Faulty wiring, appliance failure, electrical overload, and extension cords; anything can cause an electrical fire. In winters, electrical fires are more common as people spend more time indoors utilizing more electricity to get the perfect warm temperature. Knowing how to put out an electrical fire is essential to deal with emergencies. During the holiday season, electric overload caused due to excess power demand is a potential threat. Most people underestimate the potential dangers and damages of an electrical fire. As a professional electrical contractor, McCarrick Electric provides prompt service to deal with any electrical emergency. Electricity is a hidden danger, so keep your loved ones safe by following the tips for combatting electrical fire. 

A picture of a sparking socket about to catch to fire; how to put out an electrical fire

The Most Common Electrical Fire Causes

There are several electrical fire causes. Knowing these causes helps to quick diagnoze and find the solution of the underlying electrical problem:

Old Appliances and Faulty Electrical Outlets

An electrical fire can erupt due to faults in appliance cords and switches. Worn or frayed cords of old appliances can trigger fire in mere seconds. Faulty cords generate a high level of heat resulting in igniting the curtains and rugs. It becomes difficult to put out an electrical fire when it spreads to the surroundings. 

Ungrounded Plugs

The appliances can only be used in outlets that are designed for higher wattage appliances due to a third prong. Never forget to ground the power cord or appliance, as it is a huge potential risk for an electrical fire.

Overloading Lights

Among all electrical fire causes, a leading cause is installing a high wattage bulb in light fixtures or lamps that are not designed for it. You should always install the right bulb according to the recommended wattage to avoid an electrical fire.

Flammable Material Near Light Fixtures

If you place any flammable material over a lampshade such as a cloth or paper, it can heat up and ignite, quickly causing an electrical fire.

Misusing Extension Cord

You should never plug large appliances into the extension cord. This can cause an electrical fire. If you don’t have an outlet for your appliance, you should install one to avoid electrical problems.


Avoid placing the heater too close to surfaces that are combustible such as bedding, furniture, and curtains. This is a leading cause of electrical fire in homes. Coil space heaters are more dangerous.

Old Wiring

You should know how to put out an electrical fire especially if you are living in an old house. If your home is more than 20 years old, then there is a high potential risk with the wiring. Old homes cannot handle today’s energy demands. Outdated breaker boxes cause overload resulting in an electrical fire.

A fire rages on a wire and socket; one must know the best way to put out a fire here

How Can You Put Out Electrical Fire?

Knowing how to respond quickly to put out an electrical fire could make all the difference between a devastating disaster and a small fire. If you cannot extinguish the fire, you should immediately get out of the house. You and your family need to leave as soon as possible to prevent injuries. In case of a sudden electrical fire, after leaving the house, close the door to contain it and immediately call 911. Do not enter your house until the fire is contained. It is equally important to take preventive measures. An experienced electrician can solve all your electrical problems to avoid potential electrical fire hazards. You should then take the following steps:

Cut Off Electricity

If you can easily find the appliance or device causing an electrical fire, you should unplug it. However, it is very important to see if you can reach out to the cord safely. Cutting off the electrical supply immediately helps to put out an electrical fire. Unplugging helps in reducing the flames to spread. If you can’t reach the cord safely, then turn off the entire electric power to your home. If you can safely go to the electric panel, just turn off the power. You will be able to eliminate the risk of electrocution after turning off the power supply. 

Use Baking Soda

If the fire is small, you may be able to put out the electrical fire by smothering some baking soda. If the fire resulted due to an overloaded cord or an appliance, after unplugging the power source, throw baking soda over the flames. Baking soda contains sodium bicarbonate that is also used in fire extinguishers. In the case of an electrical fire, a box of baking soda could be a lifesaver. You should keep an open box of baking soda that is easily accessible. 

Do Not Use Water

If you throw water into an electrical fire, you can get electrocuted. Water is a natural conductor of electricity. Water can further amplify the fire. By conducting electricity, water may enable the fire to spread throughout the room. It can potentially ignite all the flammable material. You should never use water to put out an electrical fire.

Several electrical fire causes led to a fire on a socket and attached wires

Hire a Professional Electrician

With more than 25 years of experience, McCarrick Electric provides expert electrical services. In case of electrical fire emergencies, we react promptly to diagnose the problem and provide the best solution. Our services are customized according to your preferences and needs. Electrical inspections can help you in identifying future potential risks. We provide our clients with electrical services in the following areas:

  • Commerce City
  • Aurora
  • Denver
  • Henderson
  • Brighton
  • Thornton
  • Westminster
  • Highlands Ranch
  • Littleton
  • Parker

Trust our experienced electrician for all your electrical needs and prevent an electrical fire.

720-601-1991 Contact Us