This post will help you understand how to use a fire extinguisher correctly. Be sure to look at these simple steps properly in order for you to know how to effectively put out a fire during fire fighting.
Safety Tips on How To Use a Fire Extinguisher Properly
Tip 1: Use the right extinguisher for the right job.
Depending on the size of your home, it’s a good idea to have a few fire extinguishers around-in the kitchen, in the garage, and near all foods you may be deep frying. It also doesn’t hurt to have one in your car, boat, or RV.
When you buy a fire extinguisher, look for the following fire classes, the descriptions, the colour, symbol and picture on the fire extinguisher to determine which fire classes the extinguisher will put out.
Fire Class A:
Extinguishers with fire class A are for Wood, paper, cloth, trash, and other ordinary materials. The symbol of recognition for fire class A extinguishers is a Green Triangle and the picture to look out for on the extinguisher is a Garbage can and wood pile burning.
Fire Class B:
Extinguishers with fire class B are meant for Gasoline, oil, paint, and other flammable liquids. The symbol of identification of fire class B extinguishers is a Red Square and the picture to look out for on the extinguisher is a Fuel container and burning puddle.
Fire Class C:
Fire class C extinguishers deal with Fires involving electrical equipment without danger to the operator. The image of recognition for fire class C extinguishers is a Blue Circle and the picture on it is an Electric plug and burning outlet.
Fire Class D:
Class D extinguishers are for Combustible metals and combustible metal alloys. Its image of recognition is a Yellow Star (Decagon).
Fire Class K:
Class K fire extinguishers are used to deal with Cooking oils and fats and the image on it is a Black Hexagon Frying Pan.
A combination ABC fire extinguisher will put out just about every fire except hot metal fires. For that you need a Class D fire extinguisher, mostly found in chemical labs.
Tip 2: Know where to find the fire extinguisher.
This might seem pretty straightforward, but it is important that everyone in your home (including house sitters, pet sitters, and baby sitters) knows where to find the fire extinguisher. It’s also important to have a clear, unobstructed path to the extinguisher.
Tip 3: Make sure your fire extinguisher is up to date.
Perform a physical check of your fire extinguisher every year, maybe around the same time you replace the batteries in your smoke detectors. Make sure that the external condition is good-no damage or cracks on the base, hose, or nozzle. Lift it up to make sure it is heavy. This means it still contains extinguishing agent. Look at the pressure gauge to make sure it is still pressurized in an operable range (operable = green). Finally, the safety pin should be tied or otherwise attached to the extinguisher so that it can’t come loose when it’s not supposed to.
Tip 4: Know how to use it.
Turns out, all extinguishers have instructions printed on them. But all you have to remember is this easy acronym: P.A.S.S.
P: PULL the safety PIN from the handle
A: AIM at the base of the fire
S: SQUEEZE the trigger
S: SWEEP from side to side
Tip 5: Know when to say when.
If the fire continues to grow, your escape route could be threatened, the extinguisher runs out, the extinguisher is not effectively stopping the fire, or you are no longer able to fight the fire safely, LEAVE IMMEDIATELY and CALL FOR HELP!