Fire Extinguisher Tips

Before using a fire extinguisher, there are many things you should know first. Fire extinguishers are designed for small fires, not larger ones. You should have some knowledge of how to properly use it, on what type of fire to use each type of fire extinguisher and whether you should actually fight the fire or flee from it. Learning what to do before the fire occurs is essential. If you have a doubt as to whether or not you can fight the fire, don't take a chance. Get out of the building, alerting people as you go and call the fire department.

If you choose to fight the fire, make sure of the following:

Be sure your back is to an unobstructed exit so that you can get out quickly if necessary.

Be sure that you are using the right extinguisher for the type of fire you have and that it is large enough to handle the fire.

Be sure the fire is not spreading beyond the immediate spot where it started.

In Order To Fight The Fire, Remember The Word PASS

P is for PULL - Pull the pin. Some extinguishers require releasing a lock latch, pressing a puncture lever, or taking another first step.

A is for AIM - Aim the extinguisher nozzle or its horn or hose at the base of the fire.

S is for SQUEEZE - Squeeze the handle to release the extinguishing agent.

S is for SWEEP - Sweep from side to side, keeping the extinguisher aimed at the base of the fire until the fire appears to be out. Watch the fire area and, if fire breaks out again, repeat the process.

Fit the Extinguisher to the Fire

Be sure to match the proper extinguisher to the type of fire you are fighting. Know what type of extinguishers you have available and which type of fires they can be used on. For example, it is dangerous to use a Type A extinguisher or water on a grease or electrical fire. Knowing your extinguisher can make the difference in putting the fire out or possibly making it bigger. Some extinguishers can be recharged after they are used and some must be discarded and replaced. Check your extinguisher to determine which kind it is.

Class A - Ordinary combustibles, such as paper, cloth, wood, rubber and plastic.

Class B - Flammable liquids, such as oil, grease, gasoline, oil-based paint, lacquer and flammable gases.

Class C - Energized electrical equipment, including fuse boxes, wiring, circuit breakers, machinery and appliances.

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