It’s important to understand how to use a fire extinguisher so that you can act quickly in case of an emergency. Learn the three A’s and the PASS technique to help you easily remember your fire extinguisher training when you need it.

The Three A’s

As soon as you are aware of the fire, start with the three A’s:

  • Activate the building’s fire alarm system or call 911 to notify emergency services. Or, have someone else do this for you.
  • Assist those who are in immediate danger or who are incapacitated to exit the building, without risk to yourself.
  • Attempt to extinguish the fire only after the first two steps have been completed and if you feel confident doing so. Only attempt to fight small fires, about the size of a small waste basket. Fires can grow quickly, so it’s best to evacuate if the fire is any larger or appears to be spreading.

The PASS Technique

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For most fire extinguishers, you can use the PASS technique to activate and use the extinguisher. Know where each of the fire extinguishers are stored at your home and business and read the instructions on the extinguishers so that you can be ready before a fire starts.

  • Pull the pin and hold the extinguisher with the nozzle pointing away from you.
  • Aim low at the base of the fire.
  • Squeeze the lever slowly and evenly to discharge the extinguishing agent. (When the agent first hits the fire, the fire may briefly flare up. This should be expected.)
  • Sweep the nozzle from side to side, moving carefully toward the fire. Keep the extinguisher aimed at the base of the fire.

If you are learning how to use an extinguisher in case of a fire in the workplace, you may need to participate in additional fire extinguisher training. The OSHA fire extinguisher training requirements indicate that any employee who is expected to use a portable fire extinguisher must have prior “hands-on” training, which will likely be supplied by your employer.

There are many different types of fire extinguisher, each designed to tackle specific kinds of fires. Learn about the different types of fire extinguisher and types of fires from the Kidde Help Center today. You can also contact your local fire department for fire extinguisher training or with any questions about your equipment.

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