How to Use Portable Fire Extinguishers
Portable fire extinguishers can be life and property saving when used correctly. Read the instructions on the fire extinguisher and become familiar with them before a fire breaks out. In order to operate an extinguisher, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) suggests remembering the word PASS:
- Pull the pin. Hold the nozzle pointing away from you and release the locking mechanism.
- Aim low. Point the extinguisher at the base of the fire. Hitting the tops of the flames will not be effective.
- Squeeze the lever slowly and evenly to release the agent.
- Sweep the nozzle from side-to-side. Most extinguishers will given you about 10-20 seconds of discharge time.
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 #1 priority for residents is to get out safely.