How to use a fire extinguisher
Whether you have fire extinguishers at home or in the workplace, it is of vital importance to know how to operate one correctly in the event of a fire. It would be best if you remembered, that even small fires can be a considerable risk and source of danger to life and property. The main thing to remember is that if you encounter fire and have any doubts in regards to stopping it, get out and call the fire brigade immediately.
The Fire Extinguisher PASS Method
There is a very simple acronym you can remember when using a fire extinguisher. PASS. What’s it stand for, I hear you ask? Well here we go:
P – Pull out the safety pin out at the top of the fire extinguisher in order to free the lever.
A – Aim the fire extinguisher hose or nozzle towards the base of the fire (not the flames) and remember to stand around six to eight feet away.
S – Squeeze the handle gently to release the fire fighting material.
S – Sweep the extinguisher hose or nozzle from side to side over the base of the fire until the fire is fully extinguished.
Different Classes Of Fire
If the fire you are fighting involves electrical equipment such as computers, then it is vital that you use an extinguisher that is designed for that very purpose. CO2 and powder are all manufactured to tackle electrical fires safely.
Also, it is important to remember one thing when using a CO2 extinguisher. Never hold the horn, even if you believe its a frost-free horn. The reason for this is that the agent comes out extremely cold and you could suffer a severe freezer burn. Just aim the horn and either hold the handle if it’s of 5kg size or above or hold the body of the extinguisher.
In the event of a Class D fire such as one involving metals, the specialist extinguishers come with a lance. This emits the extinguishing agent at a low velocity to not spread the fire source. For the use of this type of extinguisher, it is vital that you receive specialised training in its use. Fires involving metals are amongst the most dangerous.
If you work in a kitchen and have deep fat fryers, then a Class F extinguisher should be used which is commonly referred to as a Wet Chemical extinguisher. A Wet Chemical fire extinguisher is the only type that should be used on fires involving cooking fats and oils. Again specialised training should be offered.
For any fire that involves materials such as wood, paper or fabrics then the use of either foam, water or powder based extinguisher is fine. Follow the PASS acronym above, and you should be fine. Remember that a CO2 model should not be used on any Class A fire involving such materials as the CO2 comes out under high pressure and could blow the source of the fire around, thus spreading it further.
So there you have it, the simple way to safely operate a fire extinguisher.
If you are still not feeling confident, we offer training courses to get some hands-on extinguisher experience.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]