Safe Use of Fire Extinguishers
If used properly, portable fire extinguishers can save lives and property by putting out or containing small fires until the fire department arrives. However, it is important to remember that there are limitations to fire extinguisher use.
The National Fire Protection Association offers some key tips and information regarding the safe use of fire extinguishers. The first priority is to ALWAYS get out safely. Every home should be equipped with working smoke alarms and have a home escape plan in place.
Fire Extinguisher Safety Tips
- Only use fire extinguisher when the fire is confined to a small area, is not spreading, everyone has exited the building, the fire department has been called, and the room is not already filled with smoke.
- For proper operation, remember the word PASS:
- Pull the pin – hold the extinguisher pointing away from you.
- Aim low – point the extinguisher at the base of the fire.
- Squeeze the lever slowly and evenly.
- Sweep the nozzle from side to side.
- For the home, choose a multi-purpose fire extinguisher that is large enough to put out a small fire but not too heavy to handle.
- Read the instructions before a fire ever breaks out.
- Install the extinguisher near an exit and know when to exit the building. If the room fills with smoke, leave immediately.
With proper use, a fire extinguisher can be an invaluable tool to help fight smaller fires in the home and prevent a larger disaster. But make sure to take the time to learn how to safely use an extinguisher and always remember that the first priority is to get out of the building safely!