Fire Extinguisher Instructions - Find Out How to Properly Use a Fire Extinguisher

All fire extinguishers are required to be supplied with some simple operating instructions on them. Before you even consider trying to set a fire out with a portable appliance, however, there are a couple things that need some consideration. If you're the individual in control of your workplace assumptions, then you are going to have a responsibility under the law to make certain that all staff are properly trained in what to do in case of a fire.

Based upon your circumstance, your employees may or might not be required to operate fire extinguisher, but this is something which ought to be given in your Emergency Plan and communicated clearly to all staff. In the UK, it's the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order that puts this duty on companies and especially on the so-called 'Responsible Person'. If your staff are expected to use portable fire extinguishers to handle fires then you have to ensure that they have all been properly trained and can do so.

If you are confronted by a fire, then there are some simple guidelines that ought to help you decide whether you should try to use a fire extinguisher onto it or not. All these are important factors to bear in mind for your own security.

If the flame is already large or well established, you shouldn't try to fight it.

Constantly check your escape path. Do not fight a fire if you do not have a clear way out and do not allow the fire spread and prevent you getting to the escape route.

If the place is already full of smoke from the fire, do not try and put the fire out. This is too hazardous because smoke is highly poisonous and it could conquer you.

Attempt to prevent being left on your own to fight a fire. Have someone else along with you if you can, as this could be vital if you get into difficulties.

If the fire continues to spread despite your efforts, just leave it and evacuate.

You shouldn't use an extinguisher in case you have any doubt about exactly what it is that's on fire. This is because most of extinguishers are created for specific classes of fire, and a few fire may only be put out safely with an expert extinguisher. A good example of how this might go wrong would be if you should use a water extinguisher on a fire involving electrical equipment. This could lead to an electrical shock and very serious consequences.

Fire Extinguisher Operating Instructions:

The general operating instructions for many fire extinguishers rely on the very same fundamentals, and there is a widely used method of remembering these basic steps. The acronym is 'PASS', which stands for pull, aim, sweep and squeeze. Different types of fire require various extinguishers and slightly different approaches, however, PASS is a good way of recalling a system which will work for the great majority of common workplace fires. In a typical office environment surroundings, these directions are perfectly legitimate for water, carbon dioxide, powder and foam fire extinguishers.

PASS The Fire Extinguisher Instructions

PULL the pin out of the fire extinguisher, to make it ready for use.
AIM the hose, nozzle, horn, etc at the base of the flame from approximately eight feet away.
SQUEEZE the nozzle to activate the extinguisher and eject the contents.
SWEEP the nozzle from side to side across the bottom of the fire.

These are just very basic directions. If employees are needed to work invisibly, they should be given appropriate training and allowed to actually use an extinguisher as part of their training. Here is the only means to ensure that they are going to have the knowledge and confidence to take the correct action in an emergency.