Remember that extinguishers have limits, they are not for large fires because most last for less than 30 seconds. That being said, when used properly a portable extinguisher can save lives and property by knocking down a small fire or containing one until the fire department arrives.
Installation & Proper Maintenance
Portable extinguishers should be installed in plain view. Near an escape route, away from any heating appliances, and above the reach of children. It is very important to maintain your extinguisher because you want to know that it will work if the time comes that you may need to use it. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for maintenance.
Remember to always use the manufacturer’s instructions when using a fire extinguisher.
- Always remember PASS. PASS stands for: Pull, Aim, Squeeze & Sweep
- Keep a safe distance from you and the fire
- Hold the extinguisher by it’s handle in an upright position
- Pull the safety pin or lever to unlock the extinguisher
- Aim the extinguisher at the base of the fire
- Squeeze the handle fully
- Sweep from side to side
- Start at the front of the fire; work your way to the back
- Always back away, never turn your back on the fire!
Types of Fire Extinguishers
There are four basic types of fire extinguishers:
- Class A – Ordinary Combustibles (Wood, cloth or paper)
- Class B – Flammable Liquids (Gasoline or oil)
- Class C – Energized Electrical Equipment (Wiring, fuse boxes, breakers, or appliances)
- Class D – Flammable Metals (Magnesium or potassium)
Each class also has it’s own picture displayed right on the extinguisher, that way you know which types of fires that extinguisher is best used for.
Fore more information on Fire Extinguishers please visit NFPA.org’s Fire Extinguishers Section.