How to Operate a Fire Extinguisher?
When it comes to fire emergencies, preparation is essential. Fire extinguishers help put out small and large fires depending on the type of fire. Knowing how to operate a fire extinguisher can save your life in an emergency. If you are looking for fire extinguishers for your home or business in Edmonton, choose Amptec Fire & Security.
We offer a wide variety of fire extinguishers, including dry chemical and carbon dioxide extinguishers.
Check out our other articles about fire extinguishers: Why You Need a Fire Extinguisher in Your Edmonton Office
The type of extinguisher you choose depends on the fire type. Without understanding what type of fire you are extinguishing, you won’t have the right equipment. Safety organizations categorize fires into five classes. They are:
- A fire involving paper, cardboard, plastics and wood
- Water or dry chemical extinguishers are used for Class A fires
- Denoted by a green triangle symbol
- Fire involves flammable or combustible liquids such as gasoline, kerosene, grease and oil
- Denoted by a red square symbol
- Fire involves electrical equipment such as wires, switches and panel boxes
- Carbon dioxide or dry chemical extinguishers are used for Class B and C fires
- Denoted by a blue circle symbol
- Fire involves combustible metals such as magnesium, titanium, potassium or sodium
- Dry powder extinguishers are used for Class D fires only
- Denoted by yellow decagon symbol
- Fire involves cooking oils or trans-fats used in commercial kitchens such as restaurants and cafeteria
- Wet chemical extinguishers are used for Class K fires in commercial kitchens
- Denoted by black hexagon symbol
Steps to Operate a Fire Extinguisher
Here is a simple method is known as PASS (an acronym for pull, aim, squeeze and sweep) to operate a fire extinguisher.
- Pull: Pull the pin from the handle of the fire extinguisher. Aim the nozzle of the fire extinguisher away from you.
- Aim: Aim the extinguisher nozzle at the base of the fire and not at flames. When you aim the nozzle on flames, you can’t extinguish a fire quickly. Ensure the distance between you and the fire source is around six to eight feet. You can cautiously move closer once flames die down.
- Squeeze: Apply even pressure when you squeeze levers to release the extinguishing agent. It will spray pressurized fire suppressive agents onto the fire.
- Sweep: Sweep the nozzle back and forth at the base of the flames to extinguish the fire.
Extinguish the fire by repeating the process until you do not see any more flames. Generously douse the flames until the canister is empty. Find out if you need to recharge or replace the fire extinguisher once used.
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