Annapolis,J.M. Mullen Electric
Written by John Mullen

Putting out an Electric Fire

Most people have experienced some type of minor fire outbreak inside or outside the home. Fires can be ignited from a variety of problems such as dry brush that catches fire from a simple machine spark or an overheating frying pan that flames up on a gas range. Research confirms that 7% of the fires in a home begin from an electrical source which is usually harder to identify and as a result are often more dangerous and destructive.


Unfortunately, people are not aware of the proactive measures you need to take if smoke becomes evident in the home from an electrical source. In other words – what do you do if you have an electric fire ignite in your home? Here are directions provided by fire departments.


  • First get your family out of the house and away from danger. Next, DO NOT use water to try to put out an electric fire. Electricity and water never mix! If you throw water on an electric fire you could easily be electrocuted or the fire itself will spread by igniting other flammable materials.
  • Second, if you can identify the source of the smoke and you can safely reach the cord on the outlet, then unplug it. Do not put yourself in harm’s way, however, and don’t pull the cord because stretching it will not help the situation.
  • One resource that can be used for putting out small fires can be found in most kitchens. It is baking soda! In fact, you should keep a generous supply of it on hand for just such a situation. Smother the fire with baking soda and it should put out most small fires.
  • Another way to put out a small electric fire is to smother it. When you remove the oxygen source the fire will naturally extinguish. You might use a heavy blanket or clothing as long as the fire is small.
  • Have multiple Class C Fire extinguishers throughout the house. This is the appropriate extinguisher for an electric fire. Check them regularly to ensure they are in working order.


To learn more about what to do in the case of an electric fire in your home, contact the professionals at J.M. Mullen Electrical Services.