Don’t get caught not knowing how, learn to use that fire extinguisher now
What’s the PASS method for using a fire extinguisher?
Knowing the procedure to follow if a fire is detected can make the difference between a minor event and a major loss. Ensuring that you remain safe should always be your first response. Placing an emergency call should be your next action.
For incipient stage fires, a fire extinguisher may be used to put it out. However, only attempt to extinguish the fire if 1) you know the type of fire, 2) you have access to the correct extinguisher for the type of fire, 3) you have been trained to use the fire extinguisher, and 4) the fire is still in the incipient stage.
When using a fire extinguisher, use the P-A-S-S method:
P: Pull the locking pin while gripping the handle.
A: Aim the fire extinguisher at the base of the fire (from about 8 feet away) and not directly at the flames or smoke.
S: Squeeze the lever of the fire extinguisher to discharge its contents.
S: Sweep the fire extinguisher side to side at the base of the fire to extinguish it.
Most extinguishers will only allow about 10 seconds of extinguishing media.
The key to fire safety is prevention through good housekeeping, proper storage procedures and safe work practices. But if a fire does start, protect yourself first, and then take action to limit the impact of the fire if you can do so safely.