Having a portable fire extinguisher is a good safety measure for any home. But it is just as important to properly use the extinguisher during an emergency.
• Use a portable fire extinguisher when the fire is confined to a small area such as a kitchen stove top or wastebasket. Make sure everyone has exited the building and the fire department has been contacted.
• The fire should not be growing, and the room should not be filled with smoke. Otherwise, get out and wait for the fire department to respond.
• When using a fire extinguisher, remember the key word PASS.
1) Pull the pin. Hold the extinguisher with the nozzle pointing away from you, and release the locking mechanism.
2) Aim low. Point the extinguisher at the base of the fire.
3) Squeeze the lever slowly and evenly.
4) Sweep the nozzle from side-to-side.
• For the home, select a multi-purpose extinguisher – typically labeled A-B-C – that can be used for most types of fires.
• Choose a fire extinguisher that carries the label of an independent testing laboratory.
• Read the instructions that come with the fire extinguisher.
• Install fire extinguishers close to exits or in kitchens. When using them, keep a clear exit to easily escape if the fire cannot be controlled.
• Fire extinguishers are one part of a fire response plan. The primary response is to escape safely. Every household should have a home fire escape plan and working smoke alarms.