Using a Portable Fire Extinguisher

P
Pull the pin. Some extinguishers require releasing a lock latch, pressing a puncture lever or taking another first step
A
Aim low. Point the extinguisher nozzle (or its horn or hose) at the base of the flames
S
Squeeze the trigger or handle while holding the extinguisher upright. This releases the extinguishing agent.
S
Sweep the extinguisher from side to side. Keep the extinguisher aimed at the base of the fire and sweep back and forth covering the area of the fire with the extinguishing agent until it appears to be out.
Watch the fire area. If the fire breaks out again, repeat the process.

 

Hazards and Precautions for Fighting a Fire with a Portable Extinguisher

Before you begin to fight a small fire:

  1. Make sure everyone has left or is leaving the building.
  2. Make sure the fire department has been called.
  3. Be certain the fire is confined to a small area, such as a wastebasket, and that it is not spreading beyond the immediate area.
  4. Be sure that your back is to a safe and unobstructed exit to which the fire will not spread.
  5. Be sure that your extinguisher is the proper size and type for the fire at hand and that you know how to use it.

It is reckless to fight a fire with an extinguisher in any other circumstances. Instead, leave immediately, close off the area, and leave the fire for the fire department.

 

Class of Fire*
Fuel
Extinguishing Agent
A
Ordinary combustibles: wood, paper, cloth, rubber, some plastics

Water

Multipurpose dry chemical

Halon**

Aqueous film-forming foam (AFFF)

B1
Flammable and combustible liquids

Multipurpose dry chemical

Carbon dioxide
Halon

Aqueous film forming foam

B2
Pressurized gases and liquids

Multipurpose dry chemical

Halon

Aqueous film forming foam

B3
Deep fat or oil

Multipurpose dry chemical

Halon

Aqueous film forming foam

C

Energized electrical equipment***

(shock hazard may be present)

Carbon dioxide

Multipurpose dry chemical

Halon

D
Combustible metals Dry powder
K
Grease, used only in commercial kitchens Potassium-based liquid

 

* Letter designation is shown on shell of extinguisher.
** Smaller halon extinguishers have limited effect on deep seated fires.
*** If power is shut off, the fire class becomes that of fuel burning.

 

 
Page Updated 08.06.2012