You probably see them in just about every building you enter, but do you know how to properly use a fire extinguisher? In the event that a fire starts and you’re the only one near an extinguisher, there are a few things you should do, and it is important to do them in the following order.
Before ever picking up a fire extinguisher, the first thing you should do is call an emergency service like 911 in order to get some help. Even if you think you can put the fire out, there is no way to know how fast it will spread. You will also want to identify any viable exit points and make sure everyone else it out of the building before getting started.
One of the key things you need to do is assess the fire. If it appears to be contained, a fire extinguisher may be able to put it out. If the fire has already spread, an extinguisher most likely won’t be able to put it out, so waiting for help to arrive is your best bet. Also, you will want to avoid using an extinguisher on any flames that are emitting toxic smoke.
Once you are ready and sure that using an extinguisher is your best option, you will need to remove the safety pin on the device. Remove the extinguisher from the wall and aim it at the base of the fire. Now you will want to squeeze the handle and spray it from one side of the fire to the other, again and again until the fire is extinguished. Make sure you are standing several feet away from the fire while doing this.
Taking some time to memorize the locations of fire extinguishers in your building is also smart and can save crucial time in the event of a fire. For more fire safety tips, keep checking back with the team at Rich Fire!