For this month’s Tribune Insider, we are going back to basics with fire extinguisher safety. Fire extinguishers are designed to fight fires in their early stages when the fire presents a relatively small hazard.
An extinguisher can be used when the fire is small, slow growing, gives off minimal smoke, or emits minimal heat. If a fire is too large, if there is too much smoke or if you are too frightened, evacuate immediately.
If you decide to use a fire extinguisher, use the PASS method to operate it correctly and keep yourself safe.
P=Pull. The safety pin is usually held in place by a plastic seal and will pull off. Do not push down on the operating lever while pulling the pin; it won’t come out.
A=Aim. Aim at the base of the fire with the lowest flame closest to you. The base of the fire will recede from you as you use the extinguisher, so you must adjust your aim.
S=Squeeze. The operating lever is above the carrying handle. The operating lever opens the valve when you squeeze it down. When you let go, the valve closes and the discharge stops.
S=Sweep. Sweep the nozzle by moving your arm at the elbow. Direct the discharge to cover the entire width of the base of the fire.
If you want to learn more, watch the video below with more tips on fire extinguisher safety.