A fire extinguisher can be very effective in quickly putting out a small fire before it spreads. Knowing how and when to use an extinguisher will make all the difference. Improper use or lack of knowledge can be harmful. The most common types of fire extinguishers are classified as “ABC.”
> Class A extinguishers are for ordinary things that burn such as paper, wood, and most plastics.
> Class B extinguishers are for fires that involve flammable or combustible liquids such as gasoline, kerosene, grease, and oil.
> Class C extinguishers are for fires that involve electrical equipment, such as appliances, wiring, and outlets.
Every fire extinguisher should have a label indicating the classification by a pictograph and instructions on how to use. If you are unsure of your extinguisher, please have it checked by a licensed extinguisher company.
Before deciding to a fight a fire, be careful that:
• You have alarmed all occupants to safely evacuate the home.
• The fire is small and not spreading. Fires can quickly double its size within minutes.
• The fire won’t block your exit; keep the exit at your back.
• Your fire extinguisher works. Inspect extinguishers at least monthly to assure readiness.
• You know how to use your extinguisher. There’s not enough time to read instruction when a fire occurs.
How to Fight a Fire Safely:
• Remember the acronym P.A.S.S. Pull-the pin, Aim-the nozzle at the base of the fire, Squeeze-the handle, Sweep-side to side.
• Stand at least ten feet away from the fire, moving closer as the fire diminishes.
• If possible have someone call 9-1-1 for help.
• Be sure to watch the fire area to ensure it doesn't re-ignite.
Never Fight A Fire If:
• The fire is spreading rapidly. Only use an extinguisher if the fire is in its early stages.
• You don’t know what is burning. Unless you know what is burning you won’t know what type of extinguisher to use.
• You don’t have the proper fire extinguisher. Different types of fire require the right fire extinguisher. Generally there are five types of extinguisher classes.
• There is too much smoke or if you are at risk of inhaling smoke. Fire produces poisonous gases that can be harmful and deadly if breathed in.
• If you have to search for an extinguisher. Don’t expect the fire to remain small and isolated until you return