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How To Safely Use a Fire Extinguisher

Fire extinguishers are essential tools for fire safety, allowing individuals to respond swiftly in case of a small fire. Knowing how to properly use a fire extinguisher can make a significant difference in controlling fires and preventing them from spreading. 


In this article, EK Fire Protection, one of the leading fire extinguisher companies in Kent, presents a comprehensive guide on how to safely use a fire extinguisher. Read on to learn the essential steps and techniques for effective fire extinguisher operation.


Step 1: Assess the Fire and Ensure Your Safety


Before attempting to use a fire extinguisher, it's crucial to assess the fire and determine if it is safe to extinguish. Remember the following guidelines:


  • Evacuation: If the fire is spreading rapidly, the smoke is thick and toxic, or if you feel unsure about your safety, evacuate the premises immediately and call emergency services.

  • Size and Location: Fire extinguishers are suitable for small fires that are localised and contained. If the fire is large or spreading rapidly, it's best to leave the area and wait for professional help.


Step 2: Choose the Right Type of Fire Extinguisher


Fire extinguishers are designed to tackle specific types of fires. There are four common types:


  • Class A: Suitable for fires involving ordinary combustible materials such as wood, paper, and cloth.

  • Class B: Designed for flammable liquid fires, including gasoline, oil, and grease.

  • Class C: Effective for fires involving electrical equipment and wiring.

  • Class D: Specifically formulated for fires involving combustible metals, such as magnesium or titanium.


Ensure you have the appropriate fire extinguisher for the type of fire you are dealing with. Remember, using the wrong type of extinguisher can be ineffective or even dangerous.


Step 3: Remember the P.A.S.S. Technique


When using a fire extinguisher, remember the P.A.S.S. technique:


  1. Pull the Pin: Pull the pin located on the extinguisher's handle to break the tamper seal.

  2. Aim Low: Aim the nozzle or hose at the base of the fire, not the flames.

  3. Squeeze the Handle: Firmly squeeze the handle to discharge the extinguishing agent.

  4. Sweep Side to Side: Sweep the extinguisher from side to side, covering the base of the fire until it is completely out.


Additional Tips for Fire Extinguisher Safety


  • Maintain a safe distance from the fire and use the extinguisher within its effective range, typically between 6 to 8 feet.

  • Stand on stable ground and avoid blocking any potential escape routes.

  • Continuously monitor the fire after extinguishing to ensure it does not reignite.

  • Remember, fire extinguishers have limited capacity. If the fire re-ignites or grows beyond control, evacuate immediately and call the emergency services.


Fire Extinguisher Sales & Servicing


Knowing how to use a fire extinguisher safely is a vital skill for every individual. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can effectively respond to small fires and prevent them from escalating. EK Fire Protection, one of the trusted fire extinguisher companies in Kent, emphasises the importance of fire safety education and training. Remember to regularly inspect your fire extinguishers, consider fire extinguisher rental for events or temporary needs, and consult professionals for any questions or concerns. 


Stay prepared and stay safe by working with EK Fire Protection. Get in touch with us today to find out more.


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