How to Use a Fire Extinguisher

March 1, 2014

If you are facing down a fire, it is already too late to learn how to use a fire extinguisher. You should know how to use one well ahead of the time when you might actually need to use it. Your preparation could save your property or even your life. Carefully read any instructions on your fire extinguisher to be sure you understand how it works.

The first thing you need to do is pull the pin that is located at the top of the fire extinguisher. The pin engages a locking mechanism that acts like a safety.

Next, you need to aim the fire extinguisher at the base of the fire. The fire gets its fuel from the base so if you do not extinguish it, the fire will continue to blaze. Do not get too close to the fire when you aim at the base. Stay several feet away so you don’t get burned. The extinguisher is designed to be used at a safe distance.

Once the fire extinguisher is aimed, stand firmly and squeeze the handle slowly and move the extinguisher from left to right. As you do this, the fire will start to get smaller. You may have to carefully move closer to reach the base of the fire.

Continue moving the fire extinguisher back and forth until the fire is completely out. Watch the area for at least several minutes to make sure it does not start back up. If it does, extinguish the new fire and wait several minutes again. If nobody else has called the fire department, be sure to do so, even if the fire seems to be completely extinguished.

Always recharge your fire extinguisher so it will be ready to use again if needed.

Make sure everyone in your home or business knows how to operate the fire extinguisher properly. It only takes a few minutes to learn how to use a fire extinguisher and that knowledge can save lives.

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