Many people overlook the importance of knowing how to operate a fire extinguisher until they need to use one. Hollywood movies make it look easy, but without proper training, you run the risk of operating the extinguisher incorrectly and failing to put out the fire. The best way for anyone to learn is with hands-on fire extinguisher training, but this guide is a good place to get started.
Before You Actually Use One
If you find yourself in a situation where you need to use a fire extinguisher, there are a couple of things to remember.
First, identify a safe exit(s) and make sure you have a clear path. When you attempt to extinguish the fire, it’s important to keep your exit behind you so that you have a way out after you discharge the extinguisher. Second, as you prepare to discharge the extinguisher, make sure there are approximately 6-8 feet between yourself and the fire. If you’re too far back, you’ll struggle to hit your mark. If you’re too far forward, you’re at risk of suffering from smoke inhalation or burns.
The PASS Method
The method used to recall how to operate a fire extinguisher is known as the PASS method.
- Pull the pin. Hold the extinguisher with the nozzle pointing away from you and release the locking mechanism.
- Aim low. Point the extinguisher at the base of the fire.
- Squeeze the lever slowly and evenly.
- Sweep the nozzle from side to side.
There are two things you need to do after you have discharged the fire extinguisher.
- Get to safety – Remember how you took note of your exit route earlier? Now is the time to leave the area through that exit and get to a safe spot.
- Call the fire department – Once you’ve made it out safely, it’s time to call your local fire department and inform them of the fire. They need to come in and do an inspection to ensure that the fire is fully extinguished and the area is safe to reenter.
Fire Protection Services from Fireline
Whether you need smoke detectors, fire extinguishers, or an automatic sprinkler system installed at your commercial property, Fireline has you covered. We have been protecting people and property from fire damage since 1947—and our experience shows in our excellent work! We are known for our superb customer service, our expertise, and our reliability. For more information on how we can help your residential or commercial property, visit us online or give us a call at (800) 553-3405. We are in Baltimore, MD, with a second office in Leesburg, VA. For more fire safety tips, be sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.