10.5.15 Fire Extinguisher Safety

Today marks the first day of Fire Safety Week and we are focused on helping you know what to do in the case of fire and specifically today, how to use a fire extinguisher.

First things first, if you do not have at least one fire extinguisher within your home, it is important that one be purchased.  For convenience, place an extinguisher by your stove, fireplace, furnace, and in the garage.  Having multiple throughout your home will help you to get to the fire quicker.

Before you use a fire extinguisher, there are some precautions that you should take.

  • Call for help before extinguishing a fire
  • Check for your own safety before starting to extinguish a fire. Always keep your back to the exit in case immediate evacuation is necessary.
  • Remember your life is more important than your property- don’t place yourself or others at risk
  • Only a contained fire should be fought using a fire extinguisher
  • If you use your extinguisher, make sure to purchase a new one immediately

Learn More: 4 Facts About House Fires: Is your family prepared?

Types of Extinguishers

There are 5 main classes of fire extinguishers but 3 more commonly used: A, B, and C.

Class A: Suitable for cloth, wood, rubber, paper, various plastics, and regular combustible fires.

Class B: Suitable for grease, gasoline, and oil-based fires.

Class C: Suitable for electrical fires caused by appliances, tools, and other plugged in gear.

Be In The Know: 3 Ways to Survive A House Fire

Purchasing an extinguisher that supports the use of A, B, and C class will make sure that you are prepared for any type of fire.

How To Use A Fire Extinguisher

Use this acronym from “Fire Extinguisher 101” as quick reference when using your fire extinguisher:

P- Pull

Pull the pin at the top of the extinguisher.  The pin releases a locking mechanism and will allow you to discharge the extinguisher.


Aim at the base of the fire, not the flames.  This is important because in order to put out the fire, you must extinguish the fuel.

S- Squeeze

Squeeze the lever slowly.  This will release the extinguishing agent in the extinguisher.  If the handle is released, the discharge will stop.


Sweep from side to side.  Using a sweeping motion, move the fire extinguisher back and forth until the fire is out.  Make sure to operate the extinguisher several feet away and then move towards the fire once it begins to diminish.

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