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Fighting small fires in your home or business

Workplace fires and explosions kill hundred and injure thousands of workers each year. One way to limit the amount of damage due to such fires is to make portable fire extinguishers an important part of your fire prevention program. When used properly, fire extinguishers can save lives and property by putting out a small fire or controlling a fire until help arrives.

If a fire should start in your building, you should first determine if you should fight or flee. Only decide to fight the fire if the fire is contained to where it started, flames are not taller than you, the area is not too hot or smoky, and there is a clear evacuation path should the fire spread.

When using a fire extinguisher, always be sure that you are using the correct type of extinguisher for the fire you are fighting.

  • Type A – Water – Fights fires in paper, cloth, wood, rubber, and plastics
  • Type B – CO2 – Fights fires in oils, gasoline, paints, grease, and other flammable liquids
  • Type C – Dry Chemical – Fights fires in wiring, fuse boxes, computers, and energized electrical equipment
  • Multi-Purpose – Dry Chemical – Suitable for use against A, B, or C fires

When using the fire extinguisher, use the P.A.S.S. technique to properly combat the fire.

  • Pull – Pull the pin to break the tamper seal
  • Aim – Aim the nozzle low at the base of the fire
  • Squeeze – Squeeze the handle to release the extinguishing agent
  • Sweep – Sweep from side to side at the base of the fire until the fire appears to be out

Always wait and watch once the fire has been extinguished to ensure the fire will not re-ignite.

Amherst Alarm inspects and maintains fire extinguishers and can even provide proper fire extinguisher training for your office! Watch Amherst Alarm CEO Tim Creenan demonstrate the proper use of a fire extinguisher in the video below.