Safety: How to use fire extinguisher to fight fire outbreak

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Fire extinguisher

If you have any doubt of fighting the fire, evacuate the building immediately and call for help.

What if I tell you that knowing how to use a fire extinguisher could save your life in an emergency, would you believe me?

Well, believe it or not, it is true.

When it comes to putting out a fire with an extinguisher, the PASS strategy is the key.

What is the PASS strategy?

Pull the pin, Aim the hose, Squeeze the lever, and Sweep the hose.

However, it is very important for you to think it twice whether or not it’s appropriate for you to be fighting the fire before you use a fire extinguisher.

And this is because not every fire can be fought with a fire extinguisher.

Be that as it may, if you have any doubt of fighting the fire, evacuate the building immediately and call for help.

Read on to see how you can use a fire extinguisher to fight fire effectively

1. Face the fire with your back towards an exit.

Locate the nearest exit, and position yourself so your back is toward the exit before you use a fire extinguisher to put out a fire.

This will make it easy for you to escape if you have to leave quickly in an emergency.

Always, always keep your back toward the exit at all times so you know where it is and don’t get to turn around or disoriented should things get worse.

2. Keep a proper distance of about 6 to 8 feet

Normally, an average fire extinguisher has a range of between 8 and 12 feet (2.4 to 3.7 m).

So, before discharging the extinguisher, move away from the fire so you're standing 6 to 8 feet (1.8 to 2.4 m) away.

It is safe to move closer once you start dousing the fire and the flames begin to die down.

How to use a fire extinguisher?

3. Pull out the pin

There is a pin inserted into the handle of every fire extinguisher. It is this pin that prevents the fire extinguisher from discharging. Grab the ring and pull the pin out from the side of the handle.]

With this, the extinguisher is ready to discharge.

 

Hold the device so the nozzle is pointed away from you.

4. With the hose away from you, aim at the base of the fire

Use one hand to hold the carrying handle and grab the hose or nozzle with the other hand. Point the hose directly at the base of the fire.

By pointing at the base of the fire, you aim to put out the fuel that’s burning. Do not aim the at the flames.

With carbon dioxide extinguishers, keep your hands away from the plastic discharge horn, which gets extremely cold.

5. Squeeze the lever to extinguishing agent

Squeeze the two levers together with one hand to release the extinguishing agent, while you aim the hose at the base of the fire with the other.

Remember to apply it slowly and also to even the pressure when you squeeze the levers.

 

Release the levers to stop discharging the extinguisher.

6. Sweep the hose from side to side

Sweep the hose, back and forth, slowly over the base of the fire as you discharge the extinguisher to extinguish all the fuel.

Move closer to the fire as the flames die down. Continue discharging until the fire goes out.

7. Back away if the flames flare up

Be doubly watchful as you sweep. Back away slightly if the fire flares up again.

Note: Never turn your back on a fire. You always want to be vigilant about where the fire is and what it’s doing. And leave immediately if you’re unable to extinguish the fire.

Note

It is important to state here that fire extinguishers are loaded with different dousing agents to fight specific classes of fires.

Some types of extinguishers will be ineffective against certain classes of fires, as others could worsen the state of the fire.

 

Here are examples of fire extinguisher and their suitable types of fire

  • Class A: Suitable for cloth, wood, rubber, paper, various plastics, and regular combustible fires. The extinguishing agent is water or foam.
  • Class B: Suitable for gasoline, grease, and oil fires. The extinguishing agent is a dry chemical or carbon dioxide. Extinguishers smaller than 6 pounds (2.72 kg) are not recommended.
  • Class C: Suitable for energized electrical fires. The extinguishing agent is a dry chemical or carbon dioxide.
  • Class D: Suitable for combustible metals. The extinguishing agent is a dry powdered chemical.
  • Class K: Suitable for kitchen fires, including oil, grease, and fat. The extinguishing agent is a wet or dry chemical.
  • Class ABC: This is an all-purpose fire extinguisher that works on class A, B, and C fires. The extinguishing agent is a dry chemical.

 

 

 



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