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Monday, 20 May 2013

How to Use a Fire Extinguisher.

In the event of a fire , what will you do?

Do not play with fire! Lives, businesses,cars, important documents, e.t.c. have been lost in fire.

How many of us, really know how to use a fire extinguisher? or how to react in the event of an emergency? not every one, but as a trained safety officer, I'll like to share this and make it not too long and boring, calm down, you'll learn something.
It may come in handy someday,  (you can thank me later).

I won't go into all the classes and types of fire and types of extinguishers (there are links below you can refer to for that), I will only tell you what a rookie is supposed to do in case of an emergency.

First thing: Do not panic...oh yes, hard as it may sound, go against all your natural instinct, do not run, do not scream, do not faint...try to be calm.

Alert: Once you notice a fire, call for help, and alert everyone, either by shouting fire, or by pulling the fire alarm. Do not scream unnecessarily, or run, it will cause a stampede.

If you can operate a fire extinguisher, use one , otherwise, do not put yourself at risk,  move to the nearest exit and proceed to the muster point if within your office premises or to a safe distance from your home. Do not run away, it will cause panic as it may be assumed you are still trapped within the building.

Now How to Operate a Fire Extinguisher:

Remember this simple acronym : P.A.S.S.

Pull, Aim, Squeeze, Sweep.

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 and do no good. You want to hit the fuel.

Squeeze the top handle or lever.
This depresses a button that releases the pressurized extinguishing agent in the extinguisher.


Sweep from side to side
until the fire is completely out. Start using the extinguisher from a safe distance away, then move forward. Once the fire is out, keep an eye on the area in case it re-ignites.

Theory is cool while talking about it, but practice makes perfect, make it an habit to conduct regular fire drills at home or at the office, to be prepared is to be fore-armed.

Meanwhile, do not try to be a super hero, if you are not equipped, knowledgeable or skilled to handle it, leave immediately. You should ONLY attempt to put out a fire in the early stages when it is small and contained and ONLY when there is a means of escape behind you that is clear of fire.  If the fire has spread beyond the early stages, it is time to evacuate the building

Always make sure you have an extinguisher, and it is still viable for use, look if the gauge is still within the green zone. 

Use the right extinguisher, while most of us may have Dry Chemical Powder (DCP) type, which is ideal for ordinary combustibles: Paper, Cloth, Wood,Rubber, Plastics. (Class A fire).

DCP and Carbon Dioxide fire extinguishers, (CO2) : can be used for Class B and C fires : Wiring, Fuse boxes, energized electrical equipment, computers, oils, gasoline, paint, solvents, flammable liquids.

To know more about how to combat fire, classes and types of extinguishers, click here : more info

email me , if you have more questions. 

1 comment:

  1. The article discusses how to effectively use fire extinguishers. Likewise, the article also discusses other necessary course of action during fire emergencies such as calling the fire department before deciding to extinguish the fire.

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