When used properly, a portable fire extinguisher can save lives and property by extinguishing a small fire or containing it until the Fire Department arrives. Individuals must know how to use the extinguisher - the easiest way is to remember the "PASS" procedure: Pull pin, Aim at the base of the fire, Squeeze the lever, and Sweep from side-to-side.
Recommendations about extinguishers:
- Must be within easy reach, in working order and fully charged.
- Must be installed in plain view of an escape route.
- Must match the type of fire being fought. Extinguishers that contain water are unsuitable for use on grease and electrical fires.
- ABC extinguishers are recommended for use on the most common home fires.
- Must be large enough to put out the fire. Many portable extinguishers discharge in as few as 10 seconds.
- 2A: 10: BC or larger size is recommended for home use.
- Have extinguishers tested and recharged after each use and annually by a licensed service company.
Always call "9-1-1" before attempting to extinguish a fire; and make sure everyone has left or is in the process of leaving the building. Be sure the Fire Department inspects the fire site, even if the fire appears to have been extinguished before they arrive.