Instruction on Use

In this section, we will discuss the proper way to use a fire extinguisher. In case your fire extinguisher has been sitting around collecting dust, here’s everything you need to know before brushing it off and fighting a fire in your home the right way. All fire extinguishers are labeled to indicate which classes of fire they are designed to combat. Most household fire extinguishers are considered multipurpose and labeled for use in A, B, and C classes. Class K extinguishers are heavier duty and will need to be bought separately.

1. Identify a clear exit/escape route

Before operating the fire extinguisher, make sure you have a clear evacuation path. If you cannot put out the fire, you’ll need to make a safe exit. Consider this when determining where to store your fire extinguisher, and make sure you’ll have multiple exit options nearby after you retrieve it.  Always have your back to the exit.  Make sure you are train to fight the fire and know how to use your tools.

2. Stand back

Face the fire and keep your back to the clear exit you earlier identified. You should stay between six and eight feet away from the flames as you prepare to operate the fire extinguisher.

3. Discharge extinguisher

It can be difficult to think clearly during an emergency, so fire safety has a long-standing acronym to help you recall the steps involved in operating your fire extinguisher. When extinguishing a fire, you should PASS:

P: Pull the pin on the fire extinguisher, this will also break the tamper seal. Be careful not to squeeze the operating lever as you pull the pin.

 A: Aim the extinguisher nozzle on the hose low, aim low, pointing the extinguisher nozzle (or its horn or hose) at the base of the fire.

S: Squeeze the handle or lever to discharge the extinguisher.

S: Sweep the nozzle back and forth. Keep the fire extinguisher aimed at the base of the fire and move it from side to side until the flames are extinguished.

If there is wind or a predominant direction of airflow where you are, make sure you have the wind at your back. You don’t want the contents of the fire extinguisher blowing back at you during discharge. Position yourself about 8 to 10 feet from the fire and use the PASS technique to extinguish the fire.

two men training'