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fire

A portable fire extinguisher can save lives and property by putting out a small fire or containing it until the fire department arrives; but portable extinguishers have limitations. Because fire grows and spreads so rapidly, the #1 priority for residents is to get out safely.

Safety tips 
  • Use a portable fire extinguisher when the fire is confined to a small area, such as a wastebasket, and is not growing; everyone has exited the building; the fire department has been called or is being called; and the room is not filled with smoke.
  • To operate a fire extinguisher, remember the word PASS:
    • Pull the pin. Hold the extinguisher with the nozzle pointing away from you, and release the locking mechanism.
    • Aim low. Point the extinguisher at the base of the fire.
    • Squeeze the lever slowly and evenly.
    • Sweep the nozzle from side-to-side.
  • For the home, select a multi-purpose extinguisher (can be used on all types of home fires) that is large enough to put out a small fire, but not so heavy as to be difficult to handle.
  • Choose a fire extinguisher that carries the label of an independent testing laboratory.
  • Read the instructions that come with the fire extinguisher and become familiar with its parts and operation before a fire breaks out. Local fire departments or fire equipment distributors often offer hands-on fire extinguisher trainings.
  • Install fire extinguishers close to an exit and keep your back to a clear exit when you use the device so you can make an easy escape if the fire cannot be controlled. If the room fills with smoke, leave immediately.
  • Know when to go. Fire extinguishers are one element of a fire response plan, but the primary element is safe escape. Every household should have a home fire escape plan and working smoke alarms.

Types of Extinguishers

Remember PASS!

pass

Check fire extinguishers for:

  •       Easy access in an emergency
    Be sure nothing is blocking or limiting your ability to reach it.
  • The recommended pressure level
    Many extinguishers have gauges that show when pressure is too high or too low.
  • Working parts
    Make sure the can, hoses and nozzles aren’t damaged, dented, or rusted.
  • Cleanliness
    Remove any dust, oil, or grease that might be on the outside of the extinguisher.
  • Guidelines and instructions
    Some extinguishers need to be shaken monthly, others need to be pressure tested every few years.

Prevention tips:

  • As a general rule, firefighting should be left to the fire department.
  • Only adults who know how to use portable fire extinguishers should use them.
  • Before trying to fight a fire, make sure that everyone is leaving the house, someone is calling 9-1-1, the extinguisher is mounted on the wall close to your way out, the fire is not bigger than a small wastepaper can and you can get out.
  • Inspect portable extinguishers monthly and have them serviced annually.
  • Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for placement and mounting height.
  • As a general rule, portable fire extinguishers for the home should have a rating of at least 2-A:10-B:C.

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