How To Use Fire Extinguisher?

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We would pass the fire extinguisher along the hallway or walkway or even at home all the time but pay very little attention to the fire extinguisher, at all.

No matter how many times we pass by them in our everyday life, we’ve probably never given any thought as to how to actually use the fire extinguisher when the time comes.

Maybe it’s our subconscious secretly telling us it will be just like in the comedy shows that we always watch or in the movies where just pull the pin and spray.

That’s it and we’re heroes of the day.

Well, pay very close attention as it is not as simple as it may seem.

Given the benefit of the doubt, a fire extinguisher is not exactly rocket science by any stretch when it comes to how to use the fire extinguisher but there are a few basic steps that we need to be aware of.

How To Use a Fire Extinguisher?


Now that we know where are the best places to put a fire extinguisher in your house or office as well as the different kinds of fire extinguishers and their uses, it is time to finally get down to how to actually use the fire extinguisher.

First and foremost, it is most important to ask yourself the ultimate question, are you taller than the fire.

This is vital to your own safety and the safety of others before attempting to put out a fire with the extinguisher.

If you are taller than the fire, by all means, try to put it out as much as you can.

However if the fire is taller than you, DO NOT, and we mean it, do not try out by doing it yourself.

Be sure to dial 999 ahead of time and allocate the nearest exit and get out of there in a fast, calm manner.

Now, if you are taller than the fire:

  • firstly you have to get in the correct position
  • position yourself near a fire exit so that you can get out of there as soon as you need to and without any obstruction
  • your back must face the exit at all times

The discharge range of a fire extinguisher is usually between 6 to 20 feet, which you have to be aware of.

You would want to be far enough away to not be in danger of being burned, and close enough that the discharge will be effective.

Once you have your position locked down, to discharge the fire extinguisher properly, it may be important to remember the acronym of “PASS”.

P – Pull the pin
A – Aim the nozzle at the base of the fire
S – Squeeze the trigger
S – Sweep the fire extinguisher from side to side

When aiming the nozzle, be very sure to hit it at the base of the fire first because aiming it at the higher top of the flame would not be effective in any way.

Another important thing to remember is to never turn your back on a fire.

Even if the fire seems to be extinguished, do not ever turn your back on it as there might be hidden hot spots or fires that can ignite into a larger flame at any given time.

Therefore, you always have to be on the lookout and on guard. If you can get some hands-on training with a fire extinguisher, it’s highly recommended that you do so. But now you know the basics.

Next time you see a fire extinguisher in the hallway, you can give it a nod of confidence as you PASS it by.



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