How to Use a Fire Extinguisher

Knowing how to use a fire extinguisher can be an asset, if you catch the fire early. A good rule of thumb to remember: If the fire is bigger than you are, it's too big to put out with an extinguisher.

Things You'll Need

  • Smoke Detectors
  • Fire Extinguishers
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Instructions

    • 1

      Memorize the acronym for using an extinguisher: "PASS." It stands for "pull, aim, squeeze, sweep."

    • 2

      Make sure the fire extinguisher is upright.

    • 3

      Remove the plastic tie from the handle.

    • 4

      Pull the pin from the handle.

    • 5

      Aim the nozzle low, while keeping the extinguisher upright.

    • 6

      Squeeze the handle. The substance will be released.

    • 7

      Move in toward the fire, keeping the extinguisher focused on the base of the fire, when you can see that it's being put out.

    • 8

      Sweep the extinguisher from side to side until the fire is out.

Tips & Warnings

  • Place the fire extinguisher by an exit so that you can leave if you notice the fire becoming too large for you to extinguish yourself.

  • Keep extinguishers in the kitchen and the garage - but never near the stove. If a fire breaks out at the stove, you want to be able to grab your extinguisher from elsewhere.

  • Replace or refill your extinguisher once it has been used, even if only a little material was released.

  • Teach everyone in your family how to use a fire extinguisher.

  • The suggested type and size of fire extinguisher for home use is Dry Chemical ABC, size 2-A:10-B:C.

  • If a smoke detector goes off in your home, you literally have seconds to respond. There is absolutely no time to gather possessions, pets and possibly even each other. Your best response is to leave your home immediately, gather at your prearranged meeting place and call 911 from a neighbor's home.

  • Never go back into the house once you've escaped from a fire.

  • Never turn your back on a fire, even if you've extinguished it - it may flare up again.

  • Try not to use up all the extinguishing material in one blow.

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