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Regardless of how many times we were taught how to properly use a fire extinguisher in grade school, us adults could always use a refresher. These tips can be used for the home or office, so be sure to pay attention. You never know when a fire is going to break out. Check out these tips from your Houston fire protection company on how and when to use a fire extinguisher.

A few things to keep in mind before we continue:

  • Pick a fire extinguisher that is light enough for you to handle. Some are heavy, thus making it not accessible for everyone’s use.
  • Read the fire extinguisher’s directions upon purchase. It doesn’t do you any good if you don’t know how to properly use that particular fire extinguisher model before a fire breaks out. If you need help, call a Houston fire protection company.
  • Fire extinguishers are ideal for small fires (i.e. trashcan fires, cooking fires, etc).
  • Pick an extinguisher that has been tested by a third party. A third party has no horse in the race, so to speak, so you can count on their test being unbiased.
  • Houston Fire Protection CompanyBefore using an extinguisher, make sure others in the home are aware of the fire, and that the fire is not blocking your pathway of escaping in case the fire gets out of hand.
  • Always call 911 before using an extinguisher. You may put the fire out yourself, but it doesn’t hurt for the fire department to pay you a visit. They may be able to suggest ways to prevent that type of fire from happening again.

If all of these points above have been exercised, it’s time to use the PASS method.

  • ‘P’ stands for pull. There is a pin that locks up the extinguisher. Hold the nozzle away from you while you perform this step. Pull the pin from the handle to unlock the nozzle. The pin is usually a silver loop. Once again, be sure to look over the directions to ensure you know where the pin is on your extinguisher.
  • ‘A’ stands for aim low. This is a big mistake that most people make when using a fire extinguisher. Most people aim for the top of the flame, which doesn’t accomplish anything when it comes to extinguishing. You have to get to the base of the flame in order to put the flame out.
  • ‘S’ is for squeeze. With the pin out of the handle, you should be able to squeeze down on the nozzle. Be sure to do this step slowly and evenly. Squeezing too fast might make you lose control of the extinguisher and waste valuable extinguishing fluids.
  • The last ‘S’ stands for sweeping. Concentrating your efforts onto one spot isn’t going to put out a fire. Sweep the nozzle back and forth to get an even blanket of extinguishing fluid onto the affected area. This reduces the fire’s ability to spread, thus putting the fire out faster.

If there are ever any questions on how to properly use the equipment, contact your local fire department or ask your Houston fire protection company, Advantage, for help if you’re a commercial business or facility. It’s also important to have your fire extinguisher checked every so often to make sure it’s in proper working order. For more up-to-date information on Houston fire protection, visit the Advantage website, or give us a call!