Using a fire extinguisher during an emergency can be intimidating, especially if you do not know the proper way to use one. Luckily, there is a useful acronym to help you remember the four easy steps when using a fire extinguisher in the event of an emergency.
Pull the pin. There is a small pin that prevents the fire extinguisher from accidentally being discharged, all you have to do is pull it out and continue on to the next step.
Aim the nozzle of the fire extinguisher low at the base of the fire.
Squeeze the trigger you just pulled the pin out of. Remember to squeeze it slowly and evenly, so the extinguisher is as effective as possible.
Sweep the extinguisher from side to side to cover all areas the fire may have spread to.
Additional Safety Precautions
Before operating a fire extinguisher, you must take some safety precautions. First, assess the fire; if it is too big or uncontrollable don’t risk your safety by trying to put it out, evacuate the house and call 9-1-1 immediately. If the fire is small enough and can easily be put out and contained, continue to use the P.A.S.S. fire extinguisher technique. Make sure to hold the fire extinguisher with the nozzle pointing AWAY from you, and keep your back towards a clear exit so you can safely exit if the fire becomes too dangerous.
Fire extinguishers should be stored on every level of the home and in areas like the kitchen and garage. Store them in accessible places or mount the extinguishers on the wall for easy access in the event of an emergency.