Things You Should Know About Fire Extinguishers

Everyone should have a working fire extinguisher both in their home as well as their place of work. It’s important to know exactly where these fire extinguishers are as well as how they work. Proper fire extinguisher use can help prevent major property damage and even save lives.

Read on if you’re looking for tips on using a fire extinguisher.

What to do before using a fire extinguisher

While using a fire extinguisher should be one of the first things you do after noticing a fire, it’s important to devise an escape plan beforehand. A fire extinguisher can’t always completely suppress a fire, meaning you’ll need a way out if things get worse. Check nearby doors, and make sure the fire hasn’t already spread to them.

If you’re at work or in a public building for some other reason, pull the fire alarm before using a fire extinguisher. This way, everyone else in the area can get out safely before the fire spreads.

Know what type of fire extinguisher you’ve got before using it. Using the wrong type of fire extinguisher can make the fire worse. For example, you should never use a Type A fire extinguisher on anything besides Class A fires, which are caused by ordinary combustibles like wood and fabric.

Most homes and businesses feature a Type A-B-C fire extinguisher, which you can use on Class A, B and C fires.

How to use a fire extinguisher

Using a fire extinguisher is relatively simple; however, it’s important to know what you’re doing before a fire actually occurs. First, carefully read all the instructions on the fire extinguisher’s label. Face towards the fire, but stand far back and near one of the exits. A distance of around 6 to 8 feet from the fire should suffice.

When preparing to use a fire extinguisher, remember the acronym PASS: pull, aim, squeeze and sweep. First, pull the pin from the fire extinguisher’s handle; aim towards the fire; squeeze the handle to release the extinguishing agent; then sweep back and forth over the fire.

Taking care of your fire extinguisher

Fire extinguishers require proper maintenance to work effectively. That means having your fire extinguishers checked monthly by a professional. During these inspections, a fire safety professional will check for cracks, dents and other damages to your fire extinguisher.

A professional should also perform a yearly inspection on your fire extinguisher to ensure its pressure and weight. If your fire extinguisher doesn’t meet the right requirements, you’ll need to have it replaced.

If your fire extinguisher stores a pressurized agent, you’ll need to have it emptied and then refilled once every six years. Extinguishers featuring Halon or dry chemicals require hydrostatic testing every 12 years.

Need fire extinguisher training?

Ensure your employees are prepared for any situation by investing in fire extinguisher training through Raider Fire Protection. Through our training, you and your employees will gain an expert understanding of fire extinguisher use and fire safety. Contact us today to schedule your training.