A fire extinguisher can be used as an effective means of either containing or extinguishing a fire. This helps avoid a small fire becoming much bigger and far more dangerous. However, there are times when an extinguisher should and shouldn’t be used. It is crucial that you asses the situation and your safety before attempting to tackle a fire with the fire extinguisher. That is what we look at in this blog post.
Firstly, you need to evaluate the fire. Is it a small fire that is contained? In which case you can use an extinguisher. If the fire doesn’t look to be spreading, you can use the fire extinguisher. However, if it is a significant fire in size, it isn’t contained and does look to be spreading, we wouldn’t recommend that the extinguisher is used. Instead, prioritise evacuation of those within the building and alert the emergency services urgently.
If you believe that it is safe to tackle the fire, make sure you understand and familiarise yourself with the fire extinguisher. Think about the type of fire you are tackling. You then need to select the right fire extinguisher for the type of fire. As we have touched on in other fire safety blog posts, there are specific extinguishing agents for different types of fire.
When using the fire extinguisher to tackle the fire, you need to ensure that you are positioned currently. Stand yourself at a safe distance from the fire. Ensure that you keep the escape route behind you too. This will enable you to turn and escape if required. Take the time to check that there is a clear path for you to get to the exit. You will need this in case the fire becomes uncontrollable, or you are unable to tackle it with the fire extinguisher.
To use the extinguisher, you need to firstly pull the pin. Once you have done that you need to aim it at the base of the fire and squeeze the handle. You will then need to sweep the nozzle from side to side to tackle the fire. This is also known as the PASS technique; Pull, Aim, Squeeze, Sweep. It is a technique that helps to maximise the effectiveness of the fire extinguisher and the extinguishing agent.
Do you have the right fire extinguishers in your home or business? Are they in good working order and do you have enough? If you would like a free fire safety review of your domestic or commercial property, contact our team now.