It's an advantage to know a few key things about a fire extinguisher such as when to use it or what type of fire it can put out. Read on and learn the basic know-how of fire extinguishers so you can use it more effectively!
Fire Extinguisher: Putting Out Fire Easily
When you encounter a fire, you will feel more comfortable using a fire extinguisher if you know the basic things about it. One fact everyone should know is they are commonly designed to put out a fire during its incipient stage or when the fire is just starting. It can be difficult to put out a fire when it's been going on for 5 minutes or more, and this is also the part where you have to evacuate and call the fire department. Therefore, knowing when to use a fire extinguisher or if it's the suitable type to use is a huge leverage for your survival.
Before Using a Fire Extinguisher
Fire extinguishers are for controlling small fires or the beginning stage of fires before they have a chance to spread. So before using one, make sure you know these things below:
- Have a clear escape route
- Be familiar with the operating instructions
- Use a fire extinguisher suited to the fire you're facing
Parts of a Fire Extinguisher
Fire extinguishers pretty much all look the same. Most of them come in red metal containers so they're easy to locate in a room. Here are the important parts of a fire extinguisher you need to know:
- Handle/Trigger – The top portion of the handle is the trigger and once pressed, it will emit the agent.
- Safety pin – You have to pull the safety pin before you can use the fire extinguisher. A zip tie is used to avoid accidentally setting it off.
- Discharge nozzle/Hose – The type of the nozzle or hose will depend on the size of the fire extinguisher.
- Pressure gauge – This part will indicate if the tank is full or empty.
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Common Types of Fire
There are different types of fire which require a suitable fire extinguisher. Not using the right type of extinguishing agent can put your life at a higher risk.
- A – Class A fire includes common combustibles like paper, wood, and tires.
- B – It involves flammable liquids like gasoline and petroleum oil.
- C – This type of fire include energized electrical equipment like appliances, motors, and transformers.
- K – Class F fire involve cooking oils and greases.
Use it the Right Way
Control and extinguish the fire using the acronym P.A.S.S. which stands for pull, aim, squeeze, and sweep. And stay calm when putting the fire out so you can think clearly during this situation.
- Pull – The fire extinguisher will never work until you pull out the pin. You have to be sure you're not pressing the top portion of the handle while pulling the pin out. After that, discard the pin.
- Aim – Aim the nozzle at the base of the flames, but don't get too close. You can't put out a fire if the base is not yet extinguished.
- Squeeze – After aiming the nozzle at the base of the fire, squeeze the lever firmly to discharge the fire extinguishing agent.
- Sweep – Sweep the hose side to side to cover the base of the fire. Don't just point it in one spot because it can easily spread the fire.
Check out this video from Fire and Safety Centre to know the different types of fire extinguishers and their uses!
Fire extinguishers are indispensable fire-fighting equipment that can help you put out small fires. You just have to remember not to turn your back on the fire when you're trying to extinguishing it and be as close to a safe exit as possible when the fire gets out of control. Your safety should be your number one priority and don't hesitate to call the fire department immediately. Familiarize yourself with the location of fire extinguishers in your workplace and have least one in your home. Knowing how to use a fire extinguisher properly when the situation deems fit can shift the odds in your favor.
Have you tried using a fire extinguisher? Tell us your experience in the comments below!
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