How to Put Out an Electrical Fire

May 04, 2023

While you may know the basic skills needed to put out a fire in your home, it is important to be aware of the different types of fires that you could come in contact with. Unfortunately, a standard fire extinguisher is not an acceptable way to treat all types of fires. Electrical fires, for example, must be handled in a special manner to ensure that the fire is extinguished safely and quickly.

What do you do if you are confronted with an electrical fire?

  • Call 911 – As with any fire, your first reaction should be to call the fire department. Even a seemingly small fire can get out of hand, and it’s just better that they are already on their way. Make sure to note that it is an electrical fire so that they can be ready.

  • Shut Off The Main Breaker – Do not do this if the fire is near the breaker box or if your hands are wet.

  • Extinguish – If you have a multi-purpose ABC or class-C fire extinguisher, you can use it to put out the fire. Do not use any other type of fire extinguisher to put out the flames of an electrical fire. If you are unsure of what kind of fire extinguisher you have, don’t use it. If you don’t have the appropriate type of fire extinguisher, you can throw sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) on top of it. If the fire is small enough, this could be enough to extinguish it.

  • Leave – If you are unable to fully extinguish the fire, or if it is growing faster than you can contain it, you should leave the premises and wait for professional help to arrive.

Although knowing how to extinguish an electrical fire is important knowledge to have, there are also many steps that your electrician can help you take to prevent one from happening in the first place. First, be careful not to overload electrical outlets or extension cords. Keep a list of any hot outlets, flickering lights or breakers that trip frequently. If you are experiencing any persistent electrical issues, don’t hesitate to call us. We would love to help.

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Last Updated: May 18, 2023