A portable fire extinguisher can save lives and property by putting out a small fire or containing it until the fire department arrives; but portable extinguishers have limitations. Only use a fire extinguisher if the fire is small and contained. When it comes to fire safety, your number one priority should be having a home fire escape plan, and a meeting place outside where everyone in the home knows to go during a fire. You should practice your escape plan at least twice a year. It is also important to have working smoke detectors in every bedroom, outside each sleeping area and on every level of the home.
Before Operating a Fire Extinguisher
Before using a fire extinguisher, alert others that there is a fire in your home. Make sure your back is facing an exit, check that you are using the right type of extinguisher and be sure the pressure gage is in the green.
Operating a Fire Extinguisher
Remember the acronym, P.A.S.S.:
Pull the Pin Aim Low. Point the extinguisher at the base of the fire. Squeeze the lever slowly and evenly Sweep the nozzle from side to side
The Importance of an Exit Plan
Install fire extinguishers close to an exit and keep your back to a clear exit when you use the device so you can make an easy escape if the fire grows out of control. If the room fills with smoke, leave immediately. Never allow the fire to be between you and your exit.
Types of Fire Extinguishers
There are many different types of fires and extinguishers. One of the best types of extinguishers for a residence, is a multipurpose extinguisher which can be purchased online or from your local hardware store.