The Basics You Need to Know About Fire Extinguishers

Pulling Fire Extinguisher Pin

How do fire extinguishers work, and what you need to know 

Fire extinguishers are one of the most important tools that firefighters and homeowners have at their disposal for combating fires. However, not everyone knows how to use them properly or safely. In this blog post, we'll cover everything you need to know about fire extinguishers so that you can be prepared in the event of a fire. Remember, fire extinguishers are for small and easily controllable fires, not big ones. For an emergency or medium to big fire, call 911 right away.  

How Fire Extinguishers Work

Fire extinguishers work by interrupting one of the three elements that are necessary for a fire to exist and spread. These elements are heat, oxygen, and fuel. By spraying a fire with an extinguisher, you can remove one or more of these elements and prevent the fire from spreading.   

Types of Fire Extinguishers

There are four main types of fire extinguishers: water, foam, dry powder, and carbon dioxide (CO2). Water extinguishers are only effective on Class A fires, which are fires that involve organic materials like wood or paper. Foam extinguishers are effective on Class A and B fires, which are fires that involve flammable liquids like gasoline or oil. Dry powder extinguishers can be used on Class A, B, and C fires, which are electrical fires. CO2 extinguishers can be used on Class B and C fires.    Certain types of fire extinguishers are required by law for commercial properties and businesses. Please refer to your local building and safety code for the appropriate fire extinguisher. For home and personal use, you will want to get a fire extinguisher that is a 2-A:10-B:C rated extinguisher. Again, always refer to the image and recommendation on the fire extinguisher, contact our team at Fire End, or ask your local fire department for recommendations for your unique situation.    For fire fighters, you will want to make sure you have each option accessible in the case of any emergency whether on duty or not. As a firefighter, police officer, or first responder, you are really never “off duty” as you know. So, having a set of accessible fire extinguishers will keep you and those around you safe at all times in the event of the beginning stages of a fire.

How to Use a Fire Extinguisher

When using a fire extinguisher, it is important to remember the acronym PASS:    P - Pull the pin at the top of the extinguisher. This will break the tamper seal and allow you to discharge the contents of the extinguisher.  A - Aim low. Point the nozzle of the extinguisher at the base of the fire.  S - Squeeze the lever slowly and evenly.  S - Sweep from side to side until the fire is extinguished.    Once the fire appears to be out, release the handle and allow the agent to continue discharging for 15-20 seconds to ensure that the fire does not reignite. Finally, replace or recharge the fire extinguisher according to manufacturer instructions.   

When to Use a Fire Extinguisher

Ideally, you should only use a fire extinguisher when the fire is small and contained in a single area. You should also make sure that there is an exit nearby in case you need to quickly evacuate. If the fire is too large or if you are not confident in your ability to put it out, evacuating immediately is always your best option.    A fire extinguisher can be a lifesaver in a small fire emergency. It is important to know how they work and how to use them properly. Remember, only use a fire extinguisher when the fire is small and contained in one area with an exit nearby. If you have any doubts about your ability to put out the fire safely, evacuate immediately and call 911.  

Fire Extinguisher Safety Conclusion

Hopefully this blog post has given you a better understanding of how fire extinguishers work and how to use them properly. Remember, in the event of a fire, time is of the essence! If you ever find yourself in a situation where you need to use an extinguisher, make sure to follow the steps outlined above so that you can put out the fire as quickly and efficiently as possible. If you would like to order your own home or commercial business fire extinguishers, see what we have available here at Fire End - Fire Extinguishers. Our representatives are happy to answer any questions you have about which fire extinguisher is right for you. Call us today at 1-800-759-3473 or Contact us here. Stay safe!

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