How To Use A Portable Fire Extinguisher

How to Operate A Fire Extinguisher

When it comes time to use a portable fire extinguisher, most people panic as they have never used one before. In addition, you might encounter difficulty using it once you have worked out the process. Experiencing challenges when using portable fire extinguishers is not news to us. Unfortunately, inferior maintenance and lack of usage knowledge are the top two challenges experienced with this type of extinguisher.

The two specific challenges are big negatives and contribute toward small home or office fires becoming serious, property damaging events. Small fires at home or work should be able to be contained after a few minutes. This relies heavily on the extinguisher being appropriately serviced and used by someone who knows how to do so effectively.

Let’s spread some light on the subject!

Choosing A Fire Extinguisher 

Not all portable fire extinguishers are the same. Therefore, they are individually labelled and colour coded. Before letting loose with a fire extinguisher, make sure that the one you picked up is relevant to the fire you will treat. It would be even better to know this information upfront so precious minutes are not wasted.

For example, a water-based extinguisher (red label) should never be used on electrical equipment that is burning. A Class C extinguisher (carbon dioxide based) has a black label.

How To Use A Fire Extinguisher

Starting the correctly-chosen fire extinguisher is reasonably simple. Follow these four ‘PASS’ steps:

Pull The Pin Like A Hand Grenade In A Movie

You’ve seen it done in war movies when a pin is pulled from a hand grenade. The extinguisher pin works in a similar way ‒ just don’t use your teeth. This action breaks the seal. The pin, when still in place, stops the handle from being pressed down.

Aiming The Fire Extinguisher

Don’t rush towards the fire. Approach it slowly and point the nozzle at the base of the fire. Don’t shoot it at the fire wildly. Instead, move the nozzle side to side as you approach.

Squeeze Steadily

Place your hand around both handles and squeeze them together. Don’t get a fright and jump back as the contents expel loudly from the nozzle as you could get injured. If you do not have reliable hand strength, then, if possible, get someone else to operate the extinguisher.

Fire Event Tips

Make sure every member of the family or work team knows where to find the portable or fixed fire extinguishers as well as the codes of them.

If you feel under threat, leave the building rather than try to fight the fire.

Work with a fire buddy, not alone. This applies to all emergency situations.

Call today to schedule a mobile fire extinguisher inspection and service!