Fire extinguishers are designed to tackle smaller fires only. When faced with this kind of emergency, usually your best bet is to evacuate the area. However, if you have received fire extinguisher training and have the confidence to do so, proceed to extinguish the fire. Note that this article doesn’t count as training in itself – Ace Fire can provide fire extinguisher training.
Upon discovering and tackling a fire, the PASS method acronym can be useful in the safe operation of a fire extinguisher.
Pull out the pin on the extinguisher.
Aim the hose nozzle low, at the base of the fire.
Squeeze the handle to release the extinguishing agent
Sweep the nozzle slowly from side to side towards the base of the flames until the fire is out.
It’s important to note however, that if you’re required to use a CO2 Fire Extinguisher, do not hold the horn, as it becomes extremely cold and you may burn yourself.
Stay as far back as you can from the fire. To avoid being overwhelmed by the smoke. Keep a safe distance away from the fire and ensure at all times you have a safe escape route away from the fire.
Different kinds of fire require different kinds of extinguishers and different tactics. Make sure you know what sort of fire you’re fighting, as in many cases using the wrong kind of extinguisher can make things much worse.
It’s always a better idea to evacuate rather than fighting a fire if it’s already spreading, although fire extinguishers can be used to put out small or self-contained fires. For more information on fire extinguisher types see our page, or contact Ace Fire today for a consultation on fire safety and training.