How To Properly Use A Fire Extinguisher

It’s likely you have a fire extinguisher in your home in case of an emergency, but do you know how to properly use it? You may think you are prepared to fight the flames inside your home and protect your family, but simply buying a fire extinguisher isn’t enough. It’s important to also know how to properly use a fire extinguisher. You should only attempt to put out a fire using a fire extinguisher if it is confined to a small area and not rapidly growing. If the fire has already developed and is spreading, evacuate your home immediately and call 911.

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1. When Your Smoke Alarm Sounds

If you smell smoke or see flames starting to erupt while in a public place, sound the fire alarm. If you are at home, your smoke alarm will sound to alert you of the fire. It’s crucial to identify an escape route before deciding to use a fire extinguisher. If the heat, smoke or flames begin to cut off your escape route even in the slightest, it’s best you exit immediately. If your escape route is still completely clear, you can use the nearest fire extinguisher to try and contain the fire.

2. Use the P.A.S.S. Technique

To operate a fire extinguisher, utilize the P.A.S.S. technique. This simple technique makes it easy to use your fire extinguisher in the event of a fire.

  • P - stands for “pull.” Pull the pin to break the seal.
  • A - stands for “aim.” Aim the fire extinguisher nozzle low to the base of the fire.
  • S - stands for “squeeze.” Squeeze the handle of the fire extinguisher.
  • S - stands for “sweep.” Sweep the nozzle from side to side.

Repeat steps aim, squeeze, and sweep until the fire is completely out.

3. When in Doubt, Evacuate!

Fires spread quickly and we understand how it may be intimidating to use a fire extinguisher. If you have the slightest hesitation or doubt about putting the fire out on your own, evacuate your family immediately then call 9-1-1.