How To Use A Fire Extinguisher
According to Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005, all premises must have a way to control and extinguish fires. However, it is not enough to satisfy health and safety regulations by having firefighting equipment. You need to know how to use a fire extinguisher.
Which is the suitable fire extinguisher?To prepare for fire risks and hazards, you need to have the right fire extinguisher. Each type of fire needs a specific fire extinguisher. For example, using a fire extinguisher meant for solid combustible materials to put out an electric fire will cause more damage.
Classes of fire:
• Class A involves solid combustible materials like wood, paper, or fabric.
• Class B involves flammable liquids like diesel or oil.
• Class C involves flammable gases.
• Class D involves flammable metals.
• Class E involves electrical equipment, wiring, and other fixtures.
• Class F involves deep frying oils.
Appropriate fire extinguisher per fire class:
• Foam – Class A and B fires
• Dry powder – Class A, B, C, and E fires
• Wet chemical – Class A and F
• CO2 – Class B and E
• Water – Class A
How do you use the fire extinguisher?
Teaching your staff, family members, and even guests how to use a fire extinguisher is important. Here is a step-by-step guide on putting out a fire using a fire extinguisher.
1. Pinpoint a way out.
Before you start putting out the fire, you need to know your escape path. The fire may overwhelm you and affect you so much you can’t see a way out. It is best to position the fire extinguisher where there’s a clear path to the exit.
2. Position yourself strategically
You need to face the fire with the exit to your back. Avoid stepping too close to the fire as you prepare the fire extinguisher.
3. Use the fire extinguisher
By now, you’re likely feeling fear and panic, which can confuse you. Luckily, there’s a fire safety acronym to help you recall the steps to using the fire extinguisher called PASS.
The PASS method:
P - Pull the pin located on the fire extinguisher
A - Aim the nozzle of the extinguisher at the base or source of the fire
S - Squeeze the lever to release the extinguisher
S - Sweep the nozzle forwards and backwards to spread the extinguishing agent
4. Observe the area
Keep discharging the extinguisher until the fire is under control. In the meantime, check if there’s any other fire in the area. Should the fire re-ignite, repeat the PASS method until you put it out.
5. Call the local fire department
If you had called them earlier, check to see how far they are. If you haven’t, this will be an excellent time to contact the department. Even if the fire is out, the fire department personnel need to investigate the cause of the fire.
6. Get to safety
You need to get to safety even after putting out the fire. Besides getting burnt, other dangers are lurking in a fire. For example, the fire may compromise the structural integrity of the building.