Home Fire Extinguishers

fire extinguisher
Home Fire Extinguishers

Read the instructions on your extinguisher for proper use.
If there's a fire, get everyone outside and ask a member of your family to call the fire department from a neighbour's house. Only then should you permit yourself to fight a small fire. If the fire becomes large, get out. Close doors behind you to slow the spread of the fire.

The ABCD's of Portable Fire Extinguishers

  1. Ordinary Combustibles – Fires started with paper, wood, drapes and upholstery require a Class A type extinguisher.
  2. Flammable and Combustible Liquids – Fires originating from fuel oil, gasoline, paint, grease in a frying pan, solvents and other flammable liquids require a Class B type extinguisher.
  3. Electrical Equipment – Fires started with wiring, overheated fuse boxes, conductors, and other electrical sources require a Class C type extinguisher.
  4. Metals – Certain metals such as magnesium and sodium require a special dry powder Class D type extinguisher.

A multi-purpose dry chemical labelled ABC puts out most types of fires: wood, paper, cloth, flammable liquids and electrical fires. If you intend to buy more than one, you may want to purchase a BC for the kitchen, an A for the living room and an ABC for the basement and garage.

Buying and Maintaining an Extinguisher

  • Extinguishers come in various size and types depending on need. Whatever type you buy, it should be labelled by a nationally recognized testing laboratory.
  • Generally a multipurpose ABC extinguisher is suited for use in residential settings.
  • Ask your dealer how to have your extinguisher serviced and inspected. Recharge it after ANY use. A partially used extinguisher might as well be empty.
  • Extinguishers should be installed near an escape route and away from potential fire hazards.

Operating a Fire Extinguisher

Remember "P-A-S-S" when fighting a fire!
(Pull, Aim, Squeeze, Sweep)

  • PULL out the locking pin, breaking the seal. Some extinguishers may use a different release device. Please refer to your operator's manual.
  • AIM the nozzle horn (or hose) at the base of the fire about 3 metres (10 feet) from the fire.
  • SQUEEZE the trigger handle all the way, releasing the extinguishing agent.
  • SWEEP the material discharged by the extinguisher from side to side, moving front to back, across the base of the fire until it appears to be out. Keep your eyes on fire area. Repeat the process if the fire starts up again. Never turn your back on a fire even if you think it is out.

Most extinguishers will operate according to the PASS method. Some extinguishers may not. Read your operator's manual for specific directions. Remember to recharge the extinguisher immediately after use.

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