How to use a fire extinguisher

Proper knowledge of how to operate a fire extinguisher can mean the difference between a scary incident and a tragic loss of life and property. Your home should have at least one fire extinguisher in working order on hand and for large homes, it’s best to have multiple so you never have to travel far to reach one in an emergency. Fire extinguishers should be easily accessible and stored in places that have a path to an exit.

It can be hard to understand the classifications of fire extinguishers, and where to use them in your home. A multi-purpose dry-labelled ABC extinguisher is recommended for use thought-out the home.

  • Class A extinguishers will put out fires in ordinary combustibles such as paper, wood, drapes and upholstery.
  • Class B extinguishers are for use on flammable liquids like grease, gasoline and oil. 
  • Class C extinguishers are suitable for use on with wiring, overheated fuse boxes, or conductors. 
  • Class D extinguishers are designed for use on flammable metals. 

To use a fire extinguisher follow these steps in order

  1. Pull the pin while holding the extinguisher in an upright position.
  2. Aim the nozzle at the base of the fire.
  3. Squeeze the handle.
  4. Sweep from side to side.

The above method applies to the majority of fire extinguishers, however, there may be small variations in design from one brand to another. Make it a priority to ensure that everyone in your home is comfortable using the type of fire extinguisher you own,as this is not something you want to have to figure out in an emergency. If in doubt, contact the manufacturer or your local fire hall for more information. Remember, never try to fight a fire unless you are certain you can extinguish it. When in doubt, vacate the property immediately and call 911.