How to use a Fire Extinguisher
It may seem like a simple thing, but, when you are under the pressure of a situation which requires the use of a fire extinguisher it may be harder then you think. Read these simple instructions so that you know how to use a fire extinguisher and can respond quickly in case of a fire.
Always remember PASS
Pull the pin in the handle
Aim at the base of the fire
Squeeze the lever slowly
Sweep side to side
Know the different types of fire extinguishers
Fire extinguishers come in different types, and each of these types are used for putting out different types of fires.
Class A - Ordinary solid combustibles like wood, cloth and paper products.
Class B – Flammable liquids and gasses
Class C – Electrical fires (Do not use water to put out these fires as there is a risk of electrocution)
Class D – Flammable metals
Class K – Oils and grease fires
If the time comes to use a fire extinguisher, follow these guidelines:
- Only use a fire extinguisher if you are taller then the fire. Extinguishers are meant for the early stages of a fire, if the fire is taller then you the extinguisher won’t be enough, get out of the house and call 911.
- Make sure the extinguisher you have is for the right type of fire. And ABC extinguisher will work on kitchen grease fires, but an A extinguisher could make the problem worse as it is essentially only pressurized water.
- Make sure the fire extinguisher is still pressurized. Check the gauge, if the needle is in the green you are good, but if not, you won’t have enough pressure to put out the fire, so get out and call 911.
- Position yourself with your back to an unobstructed exit so that you can get out quickly if you need to. Make sure you know your fire extinguishers range before hand, and position yourself accordingly, you want to be far enough that you aren’t in danger of being burned, but close enough that the discharge will be effective.
- Use PASS (see above)
- Never turn your back on the fire even after it’s been extinguished. There may be hot spots of hidden flames that could ignite again at any moment.