Your Safety, and the safety of those around you,
is more important than putting out a small fire!
Having a Fire Extinguisher is only one part of your Disaster Plan.
A portable fire extinguisher can save lives and property by putting out
a small fire or containing it until the fire department arrives;
but portable extinguishers have limitations.
Because fire grows and spreads so rapidly, the number one priority
for residents is to get out safely.
How many fire extinguishers should you have?
That depends on your situation and your home or office.
In the Home - It is a good idea to keep one in or near the kitchen.
If you have a basement with your water heater or laundry facilities,
this is another place to have one handy.
If your home has more than one level, you may consider keeping one near
the top of the stairs or at the end of a hallway.
Does your home have a wood burning fireplace?
Do you have a room where you have a lot of electrical equipment
such as computers, gaming devices, stereo equipment, televisions
and DVD players (or whatever the latest technology is)?
Consider placing one by the door.
In the Vehicle - How many and what type of vehicles do you have?
Every car should have a Fire Extinguisher.
If you own a motor home or trailer, keep one accessible.
In the Workplace - You may have no control over this area.
Fire Extinguishers are often placed near Fire Alarms.
If your workplace does not have one, or enough for all areas,
you may want to share your concerns with your employer.
In Public Places - Make a mental note where the extinguishers
are located in case of an emergency situation.
Use a portable fire extinguisher when the fire is confined to a small area,
such as a wastebasket, and is not growing;
everyone has exited the building; the fire department has been called
or is being called; and the room is not filled with smoke.
To operate a fire extinguisher, remember the word PASS:
- Pull the pin. Hold the extinguisher with the nozzle
pointing away from you and release the locking mechanism.
- Aim low. Point the extinguisher at the base of the fire.
- Squeeze the lever slowly and evenly.
- Sweep the nozzle from side-to-side.
• For the home, select a multi-purpose extinguisher (can be used on all types
of home fires) that is large enough to put out a small fire, but not so heavy
as to be difficult to handle.
• Choose a fire extinguisher that carries the label of an independent testing laboratory.
• Read the instructions that come with the fire extinguisher and become familiar
with its parts and operation before a fire breaks out.
Local fire departments or fire equipment distributors often offer hands-on fire extinguisher trainings.
• Install fire extinguishers close to an exit and keep your back to a clear exit
when you use the device so you can make an easy escape if the fire cannot be controlled.
If the room fills with smoke, leave immediately.
• Know when to go.
Fire extinguishers are one element of a fire response plan, but the primary element is safe escape.
• Every household should have a home fire escape plan and working smoke alarms.
For more information, check out
the National Fire Prevention Association's website.