Fire Prevention Week: Using a Fire Extinguisher

Using a fire extinguisher can be intimidating, especially if you do not know the proper way to use it. Fortunately, there is a very useful anagram to help you remember the four easy steps. Just remember the phrase P.A.S.S.

Pull: Pull the pin. There is a small pin that prevents the fire extinguisher from accidentally being used, all you have to do is pull it out and continue on to the next step. Pull the pin. This will also break any tamper seal.

Aim: Aim the nozzle (or the hose) of the fire extinguisher low towards the base of the fire.

Squeeze: Squeeze the lever you just pulled the pin out of. Remember to squeeze it slowly and evenly, so it is as effective as possible.

Swipe: Swipe from side to side to cover all areas the fire may have spread to. Sweep from side to side at the base of the fire until it appears to be out. Watch the area. If the fire re-ignites, repeat the P.A.S.S. process.

To properly execute the steps to use the fire extinguisher, you must take some safety precautions. Assess the fire, if it is too big or uncontrollable don’t risk your safety by trying to put it out, evacuate the house and call 9-1-1 immediately. If the fire is small enough and can easily be put out and contained, continue to use the P.A.S.S. technique to put it out. Make sure to hold the fire extinguisher with the nozzle pointing AWAY from you, and keep your back towards a clear exit so you can easily exit if the fire becomes too dangerous.

Fire extinguishers should be stored on every level of the home and in areas like the kitchen and garage. Store them in accessible places or mount them on the wall for easy access in the event of any emergency.

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