Do You Know How To Use A Fire Extinguisher?

Posted on Aug 19, 2021

We all should learn to use the fire extinguisher because a fire can occur anywhere, anytime. You need to be calm and courageous to fight a fire. But before you use a fire extinguisher, be certain that you know how to operate one. Don’t just leave it standing in the corner until you need it. 

Before you are faced with the need to use one, be sure you have the right type of fire extinguisher on hand. It is recommended that only those trained in the proper use of fire extinguishers consider using them when appropriate.

Classification Fuel Type
Class A Solids such as paper, wood, soft furnishings and plastic
Class B Flammable liquids such as paraffin, petrol and oil
Class C Flammable gases such as propane, butane and methane
Class D Metals such as aluminum, magnesium and titanium
Class K Cooking oils and fats
Electrical Fires involving electrical apparatus

How to Use a Fire Extinguisher: An Easy 4-Step Process

For an easy-to-remember 4-step process to operating a fire extinguisher, learn the PASS system:

  • Pull the pin while holding the extinguisher away from you to unlock the mechanism.
  • Aim low toward the base of the fire.
  • Squeeze the lever slowly.
  • Sweep the nozzle from side to side at the base of the fire.

Knowing how to operate the extinguisher is not the end of training. Employee responders to fire also should be trained to adhere to the following protocol:

  • If appropriate, sound the fire alarm or call the fire department immediately.
  • Before approaching the fire, determine an evacuation route safe from flames, excessive heat, and smoke. Do not allow this evacuation route to becoming blocked.
  • Use the PASS technique for discharging an extinguisher and back away from the area if the fire flares up.
  • If the extinguisher is empty and the fire is not out, evacuate immediately.
  • If the fire grows beyond what can be safely handled, evacuate immediately.

Common fire extinguisher mistakes

As we don’t use extinguishers on a daily basis, we are easily susceptible to making a mistake when the fire tragedy strikes. We can avoid making mistakes by learning where most people go wrong at the crucial time. 

  1. Don’t ignore the instructions: Thoroughly read the operating instructions that came with your fire extinguisher and understand them properly.
  2. Don’t use the wrong type of fire extinguisher: Never use a fire extinguisher on a fire that is not indicated on the label.
  3. Don’t use the wrong type of fire extinguisher: It always has an expiration date. Make sure that you are not using an expired fire extinguisher
  4. Don't neglect fire extinguisher maintenance: The extinguisher's pressure needle should always point to the green zone. When it drops to the red zone, it doesn't have enough pressure to release the extinguishing agent. Make sure that extinguisher is getting services regularly by a certified fire company i.e Impact Fire and Safety Appliances Pvt. Ltd.
  5. Don’t forget about exits: Make sure it is in an easily accessible location near exterior doors
  6. Don’t keep it in a secret place: The place where the extinguisher is places should be properly marked and accessible in the hour of need