Safe-D: Fire Extinguishers – It’s Not Enough To Just Have One
Having a fire extinguisher, but not knowing how to use it doesn’t do any good, so we are sharing these tips to properly use and inspect your extinguisher.
To Use The Extinguisher
- Pull the pin. This will allow you to discharge the extinguisher.
- Aim at the base of the fire. If you aim at the flames (which is frequently the temptation), the extinguishing agent will fly right through the fire and will not extinguish it. You want to hit the source of fuel.
- Squeeze the top handle or lever. This depresses a button that releases the pressurized extinguishing agent in the canister.
- Sweep from side to side. Start using the extinguisher from a safe distance away, then move forward until the fire is completely out. Once the fire is out, keep an eye on the area in case it re-ignites.
How to Inspect
Fire extinguishers should be inspected at least once a month.
- Is each extinguisher in its designated place, clearly visible, and not blocked by equipment, coats or other objects that could interfere with access during an emergency?
- Is the nameplate with operating instructions legible and facing outward?
- Is the pressure gauge showing that the extinguisher is fully charged (the needle should be in the green zone)?
- Is the pin and tamper seal intact?
- Is the extinguisher in good condition and showing no signs of physical damage, corrosion, or leakage?
- Have all dry powder extinguishers been gently rocked top to bottom to make sure the powder is not packing?
There are several types of fire extinguishers and each is specific to types of materials: