It is critical to understand what to do in the event of a fire. Knowing the foundations of fire safety and the necessary equipment can allow you to respond safely and effectively in the case of an emergency.
By being trained to use fire equipment, such as a fire extinguisher, you can use your discretion to put out a small fire, but only if it is safe to do so and if the fire extinguisher is located nearby.
If you choose to use a fire extinguisher to put out a small fire, please remember to do the following:
- Call 9-1-1 immediately. Never assume it has been done.
- Alert people, and ensure everyone has evacuated or is leaving the area/building.
- Ensure you have a safe exit path behind you and can escape unharmed.
- Ensure you have the correct fire extinguisher for the fire.
- With the extinguisher in hand, step six to eight feet away from the fire.
- Use the P.A.S.S. method to extinguish the fire.
- If at any point, you don't feel you can safely extinguish the fire, evacuate the building immediately.
Even with basic fire training, never fight a fire if…
- the fire is large or rapidly spreading.
- your escape route may be blocked by the spread of fire.
- you are not trained in the appropriate extinguisher or are unsure of the type of fire.
How to use a fire extinguisher
Learn what to do when you see smoke or fire by implementing a fire extinguisher technique known as the P.A.S.S. method.
1. Check to make sure the fire extinguisher you have on hand is the correct type of extinguisher to extinguish the fire.
2. With the fire extinguisher in hand, step six to eight feet away from the fire.
3. Use the P.A.S.S. method to put out the fire.
Pull the pin. Hold the extinguisher with the nozzle pointing away from you and release the locking mechanism.
Aim the nozzle at the base of the fire.
Squeeze the handle slowly and evenly to discharge the extinguishing agent.
Sweep the nozzle from side-to-side at the base of the fire until the fire is completely out. Once the fire is out, keep an eye on the area in case it re-ignites. If the fire restarts, repeat the P.A.S.S. method.
❗Remember, fires can be harmful and fatal. Do not put the fire out yourself unless it is safe to do so.