Fire Extinguisher Use and Inspection

19 Jul , 2021

Fire extinguishers can be an important tool in preventing a small fire from growing larger. However, they should not be used to combat large or rapidly spreading fires. The most important thing to do during a fire is to get yourself to safety then call the proper authorities to combat the fire. A building and the property inside are not worth putting yourself or anyone at risk trying to put it out with a fire extinguisher. It is important to understand how to use a fire extinguisher and the limitations they have.

P.A.S.S. Method

The easiest way to remember how to use a fire extinguisher is to follow the P.A.S.S. method. The PASS acronym was developed to allow people to remember the basic four steps to properly using a fire extinguisher.

P- Pull. Pull the pin. Hold the extinguisher away and release the locking mechanism.

A- Aim. Aim the stream towards the base of the fire. Spraying the flames will not put the fire out.

S- Squeeze. Squeeze the lever slowly and evenly. Pulling the lever too fast may shoot the stream from your target wasting the valuable firefighting agent.

S- Sweep. Sweep the nozzle side to side to combat the fire.

Fire Extinguisher Limitations

  •          A dry chemical fire extinguisher such as the common red “ABC” extinguishers will reach a distance between 5 and 20 feet. It is important to be familiar with the models used in your work areas and the effective distance they can be used for.
  •          A 10lb to 20lb dry chemical fire extinguisher will last anywhere from 10 to 25 seconds. Again, this depends on the model and weight you are using.
  •         Fire extinguishers are only designed to fight small fires. A rule of thumb a lot of professional’s use is the size of the fire should not be any larger than the size of a small trash can.

Fire Extinguisher Inspection Tips

  •         Extinguishers should be periodically checked every 30 days. There should be a formal check of all fire extinguishers onsite annually. These inspections should be documented.
  •         Ensure the pressure is okay when inspecting a fire extinguisher. There is a gauge that has an arrow that should be in the green portion of the gauge. If the arrow is in the red the fire extinguisher needs to be tagged out of service until recharged.
  •       Check to make sure the pin is still in place. Often the pin is bumped out of place leaving the chance of accidental discharge occurring.
  •         Look for rust on the container and ensure that the label is in good readable condition.

It is important to know more than just where the fire extinguishers are in your work area. Make sure you know how to effectively use them in case the time comes where you need to extinguish a fire. Always make sure the fire extinguishers in your work areas are in good condition through thorough inspections.

If you need any help with training or safety documents about fire extinguishers please check out our website 

Leave a Reply

  • Posted On January 12, 2024 by Lone Star Fire & First Aid

    Very significant Information for us, I have think the representation of this Information is actually superb one. This is my first visit to your site. Get more information from Fire Extinguisher Inspections.

  • Posted On June 25, 2022 by Zachary Tomlinson

    I find it fascinating that inspecting your home’s fire extinguisher ensures that it can still protect your home from fire-related threats. I heard that my aunt is planning to build a retirement home once she’s able to pay for her debts. Maybe we should find someone who could do this for her in the future.

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