Even though extinguishers come in a number of shapes and sizes, they all operate in a similar manner. Here’s an easy acronym for fire extinguisher use:
Pull the pin at the top of the extinguisher that keeps the handle from being accidentally pressed.
Aim the nozzle toward the base of the fire. Stand about 8 feet from the fire.
Squeeze the handle to discharge the extinguisher. If you release the handle, the discharge will stop.
Sweep the nozzle back and forth at the base of the fire. After the fire appears to be out, watch it carefully since it may re-ignite!
Do not walk on an area that you have “extinguished” in case the fire reignites or the extinguisher runs out! Remember: you usually can’t expect more than 10 full seconds of extinguishing power on a typical unit and this could be significantly less if the extinguisher was not properly maintained or partially discharged.
Recharge any discharged extinguisher immediately after use. If you discharge an extinguisher (even just a tiny bit) or pull the pin for any reason, call your campus or corporate Fire Marshal’s office to arrange a replacement.
IF ANY OF THESE CONDITIONS HAVE NOT BEEN MET, DON’T FIGHT THE FIRE YOURSELF. CALL FOR HELP, PULL THE FIRE ALARM, AND LEAVE THE AREA.