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How to Use a Fire Extinguisher

Fires are scary, especially when it comes to putting them out.  Only you can prevent these fires; but things don’t always go according to plan.  With many different fires come many different types of fire extinguishers. 

Types of Fires:

  • Class A fires
  • Class B fires
  • Class C fires
  • Class D fires
  • Class K fires

Click here to read about these types of fires.

Types of extinguishers:

  • Air pressurized water extinguishers
  • Carbon dioxide/dry chemical extinguishers
  • Multipurpose or “ABC” extinguisher
  • Dry and wet chemical extinguishers

Click here to read about these types of extinguishers.

How to Use a Fire Extinguisher:

There are four steps that you can easily remember by the acronym PASS.

  • P: Pull the pin.

The pin releases the locking mechanism and allows you to use the extinguisher.  Quickly test it by aiming away before approaching the fire.

  • A: Aim at the base of the fire.

The base of the fire is also the source of the fire. Aim for the base and the flames will be extinguished much quicker.

  • S: Squeeze the level slowly.

This will release the extinguishing agent.  Keep in mind; most fire extinguishers only contain 10 seconds of extinguishing power.

  • S: Sweep from side to side.

            Before leaving, make sure all the flames are put out; hot spots could reignite.

Additional Information:

Before you use the extinguisher, ask yourself three very important questions:

  1. Has someone called the fire department?
  2. Do I have two ways to exit quickly and safely if I do try to put out this fire?
  3. Is the fire small and contained?

If you answered “no” to these questions, get out immediately.  Close all doors behind you so the fire cannot spread and call 9-1-1.

The majority of the time, you will not be dealing with fires; however, you will need to keep in mind some of the maintenance that goes along with owning a fire extinguisher:

  • Keep extinguishers in plain view and out of the reach of children.
  • Follow the manufacturers’ instructions on maintenance.
  • Purchase a replacement for disposable models immediately after use.

If you do find yourself in this situation, your belongings may need professional fire restoration. Call Rainbow International to help you get back to normal.

 

Additional Reading:

Understanding the Classes & Choosing the Right Fire Extinguisher

Smoke, Soot, and Mold: Fire Damage’s Toxic Trio

Where Your Smoke Alarms and Fire Extinguishers Should Go

Fire Escape Plans for Work and Home