Tuesday, January 26, 2016

P.A.S.S. for fire extinguisher

In a prior post I highlighted some information on how to purchase a fire extinguisher for your home and the difference in fire extinguisher classes I thought I would cover how to use a fire extinguisher. There are many misconceptions on how a fire extinguisher works. We need to make sure we are using the fire extinguisher in safe manner. I want to emphasize the instructions here in this post is just a guide on how to use a fire extinguisher. This post in no way would supplement for any type of official training on the proper use of a fire extinguisher.

When a fire is detected the first thing you need to do is call 911 before you decide to put out the fire. You want to have help on the way regardless if you are able to put out the fire or not. Anyone in the house must be alerted to leave the premises. You should have a fire plan put together and in this plan you should have a place where everyone would meet in case you have to leave your home in a hurry.  The decision to put out the fire is a judgment call on your part. You have to ask yourself some key questions to help make this decision such as can you put the fire out? Are you physically able to put out the fire? Can you properly operate the fire extinguisher? Is there toxic smoke? Is your home structurally sound to fight the fire? Do you have an escape route in case you are unable to put the fire out? Again you have to make this decision.

There is an acronym used to remember how to use a fire extinguisher which is P.A.S.S. the letter stand for Pull, Aim, Squeeze and Sweep.

Pull- you have to pull the pin from the handle. This is normally at the top of the extinguisher it may be secured with a plastic tie which can be easily be broken with a hard pull of the pin.

Aim-you will take the nozzle/ hose and point to the base of the fire.

Squeeze- you will squeeze the handle slowly to discharge the agent. Once you have squeezed the handle keep held down.

Sweep-side to side this will help spread the agent and put the fire out. You also do not want to be too close you should be several feet away from the fire.  A fire extinguisher will only last about 8 to 10 seconds

Once you have used a fire extinguisher replace it immediately

Lastly if you are successful in putting out the fire do not cancel the fire department. You still want the professionals to check the area out make sure the fire is out.  

I hope this post was helpful as always please leave a comment below

Mark Carvajal 

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