How to Use a Fire Extinguisher
In instances of a fire, there is multiple ways you can control it. Fire blankets, hydrants, sprinklers, and emergency services are all ways you avoid harm. But today, we are going to be discussing how fire extinguishers are used in emergency situations. Knowing how to use a fire extinguisher could save your life, and many others, in a serious emergency!
Excavate everyone from the building. You should try and tackle a fire on your own unless everyone is out safely. Once everyone is out of the building and found your own safety exits, you can now tackle the fire.
Before knowing how to use a fire extinguisher, you need to determine if the fire is suitable. If you do not think that you can fight the fire yourself, or have any doubts, evacuate the building immediately and call emergency services.
Whether or not you can extinguish the fire yourself, emergency services must be called. It is best that the fire team just check over everything! Let the professionals do their job. Just because something looks safe does not necessarily mean it is.
Locate the nearest exit. Before you put out the fire, position yourself so your back is toward the exit. This makes things easier if you need to leave quickly in an emergency.
By using the acronym PASS, you will be able to easily remember how to use a fire extinguisher.
P – Pull the pin. This will break the tamper seal. Every fire extinguisher has a pin inserted into the handle that prevents the fire extinguisher from being discharged by accident. You need to grab the ring and pull the pin out the side of the handle. Hold the extinguisher so the nozzle is pointed away from you!
A – Aim low, pointing the nozzle or hose at the base of the fire. Hold the nozzle with one hand and the grab the lever with the other. By aiming the hose at the base of the fire you are destroying the fuel source! By pointing the extinguisher at the flames will be useless.
S – Squeeze the handle to release the extinguishing agent. Squeeze the two levers together with one hand while you aim the hose at the base of the fire with the other. You can also stop discharging the extinguisher by doing the opposite.
S – Sweep from side to side at the base of the fire, the fuel source, until the fire is out. To extinguish thoroughly, sweep slowly from side-to-side over the base of the fire. You can also move closer to the fire as the flames die down and become less threatening. Continue using the fire extinguisher until all the fire goes out. This will include any embers which could possibly reignite.
If the flames begin to flare up, back away. Make sure you are watching the fire closely to keep an eye on the growth. If they do continue to grow, aim the hose again, squeeze the lever and sweep the hose across the base of the fire and continue to back out the room. Never turn your back on a fire!
If a room is filled with smoke, regardless of fire size, you must get out as soon as possible. Smoke inhalation is extremely dangerous, as it can lead to unconsciousness. In a situation where there is lots of smoke, cover your mouth and get low. Staying lowing will allow you to avoid breathing in the smoke. Try and crawl out of the room to safety!
Using the correct fire extinguisher. Using the correct fire extinguisher is extremely important. This is because some types of extinguishers are loaded with alternative dousing agents to tackle specific classes of fires. In some instances, using different fire extinguisher can make the fires worse. Therefore, you must only tackle a fire when you have ensured that you are using the correct extinguisher.
Class A: Suitable for cloth, wood, rubber, paper, various plastics, and regular combustible fires. The extinguishing agent is water or foam.
Class B: Suitable for gasoline, grease, and oil fires. The extinguishing agent is a dry chemical or carbon dioxide. Extinguishers smaller than 6 pounds (2.72 kg) are not recommended.
Class C: Suitable for energized electrical fires. The extinguishing agent is a dry chemical or carbon dioxide.
Class D: Suitable for combustible metals. The extinguishing agent is a dry powdered chemical.
Class K: Suitable for kitchen fires, including oil, grease, and fat. The extinguishing agent is a wet or dry chemical.
Class ABC: This is an all-purpose fire extinguisher that works on class A, B, and C fires. The extinguishing agent is a dry chemical.