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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Stop, Drop, and Use: A Guide to Properly Using a Fire Extinguisher

4/18/2023 (Permalink)

Three fire extinguishers. Knowing how to use a fire extinguisher can mean the difference between a small fire and a major disaster.

Fire extinguishers are an essential tool for any home or business owner to have on hand in case of emergency. But do you know how to use one properly? In this guide, we'll walk you through the steps to take if you need to use a fire extinguisher to put out a small fire.

Step 1: Assess the Situation

Before you attempt to use a fire extinguisher, it's important to assess the situation and make sure it's safe to do so. If the fire is too large, or if you don't have the proper training or equipment, you should evacuate the building and call the fire department. Only attempt to use a fire extinguisher if the fire is small and contained, and you feel confident in your ability to use the extinguisher.

Step 2: Pull the Pin

The first step in using a fire extinguisher is to pull the pin located at the top of the extinguisher. This will break the seal and allow you to discharge the extinguisher.

Step 3: Aim at the Base of the Fire

Next, aim the nozzle of the extinguisher at the base of the fire. This is where the fuel source is located, and targeting it directly will help to extinguish the flames more quickly.

Step 4: Squeeze the Handle

Once you have aimed the extinguisher at the base of the fire, squeeze the handle to discharge the extinguishing agent. Use a sweeping motion to cover the entire area of the fire, moving back and forth until the flames are extinguished.

Step 5: Evacuate the Area

Even if you have successfully put out the fire, it's important to evacuate the area and call the fire department. They will need to inspect the area to make sure the fire is completely out and that there are no hidden hot spots that could reignite.

Remember, time is of the essence when it comes to a fire. The longer you wait to try and extinguish a small fire, the greater the risk of it spreading and becoming uncontrollable. That's why it's important to not only have a fire extinguisher on hand but to also know how to use it properly. By following these steps and having the necessary equipment on hand, you can have peace of mind knowing that you are prepared to handle a small fire in the event of an emergency.

Knowing how to use a fire extinguisher can mean the difference between a small fire and a major disaster. Remember to always assess the situation before attempting to use an extinguisher, aim at the base of the fire, and evacuate the area after the fire is out. If you ever encounter a fire that is too large or dangerous to handle on your own, don't hesitate to evacuate and call for professional help. At SERVPRO of Montclair/West Orange, we are always here to help in case of fire or other disasters. Stay safe, and don't forget to check your smoke detectors regularly!

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