- Consider having one or more working fire extinguishers in your home. An extinguisher rated “A-B-C” is recommended for home use. Many fire extinguisher models are designed for one-time use and cannot be recharged.
- Get training from the fire department or a fire extinguisher manufacturer. Fire extinguishers from various manufacturers operate in different ways and there is no time to read directions during an emergency. Only adults should handle and use extinguishers.
- Install extinguishers high on the wall, near an exit, and away from heat sources. Extinguishers should be easily accessible to adults trained to use them, and kept away from children’s curious hands. Heat may make the contents less effective or cause the extinguisher to lose its charge more quickly.
- If you try to use a fire extinguisher on a fire and the fire does not immediately die down, drop the extinguisher and get out. Most portable extinguishers empty in 8 seconds.
- Look at your fire extinguisher to ensure that it is properly charged. Fire extinguishers will not work properly if they are not properly charged. Use the gauge or test button to check that there is proper pressure. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for replacing or recharging fire extinguishers. If the unit is low on pressure, damaged, or corroded, replace it or have it professionally serviced.
Before you begin to fight a fire with a fire extinguisher, be sure that:
- Everyone has left or is leaving the home.
- The fire department has been called.
- The fire is small and not spreading.
- Your back is to an exit you can use quickly.
- There is not much smoke in the room.
Remember the word PASS when using a fire extinguisher:
- Pull the pin and hold the extinguisher with the nozzle pointing away from you.
- Aim low. Point the extinguisher at the base of the fire.
- Squeeze the lever slowly and evenly.
- Sweep the nozzle from side to side.