Fire extinguishers are a great way to quickly put out small fires before they become larger. Here are some tips regarding when to use fire extinguishers and how to use them safely and effectively.
When to Use a Fire Extinguisher:
Always remember fire extinguishers are a secondary element of a fire safety plan. The first priority is always to get everyone out of the building safely.
Only use a fire extinguisher after everyone else has evacuated the home and 911 has been called;
Only use a fire extinguisher when a fire is confined to a small area, such as a pot or wastebasket; and
Never use a fire extinguisher in a room that is already filled with smoke.
Choosing a Fire Extinguisher:
For the home, select a multi-purpose extinguisher that is large enough to put out a small fire, but not so heavy as to be difficult to handle.
Have your fire extinguisher inspected and serviced annually;
Thoroughly read the instructions for the use of your fire extinguisher and ensure all adults in the home know how to use it and operate it; and
Mount your fire extinguisher on a wall near an escape route. Never install a fire extinguisher adjacent to a potential fire hazard.
Learn How to ‘PASS’:
PULL the pin to activate the fire extinguisher;
AIM the nozzle at the base of the fire;
SQUEEZE the handle; and
SWEEP from side-to-side at the base of the fire while discharging the contents of the fire extinguisher.
The Department of Municipal Affairs and Environment wishes all residents a safe and happy holiday season.