Fire Extinguishers


How and When to Use a Fire Extinguisher          

  • Most fires start small. If the fire is contained to a single object, such as a trash can, you may want to try using a fire extinguisher to put out the flames.  Remember, you only have seconds; a fire burning for just one minute will have doubled its original size and will produce heavy, black, toxic smoke.
  • You should only consider using a fire extinguisher if all members of your home have been alerted to the fire and the fire department has been called. Also, make sure you are safe from smoke and that the fire is not between you and your only escape route.
  • When purchasing a fire extinguisher, look for one labeled A-B-C. An A-B-C extinguisher can be used on most fires that could occur in your home.
  • Make sure you are physically able to handle a fire extinguisher. Some models are heavy and may be hard to operate and hold at the same time.  Consider purchasing two of a smaller size.
  • Know how to operate the extinguisher quickly. You will not have time to read instructions during an emergency.
  • To operate, remember the word PASS: Pull the pin,  Aim at the base of the fire, Squeeze the handle, and Sweep side-to-side.
  • Keep your fire extinguisher in an easily accessible area. Make sure it’s not blocked by anything that would keep you from grabbing it quickly in an emergency.
  • If your means of escape becomes compromised at any time while using an extinguisher, get out of the house as fast as possible and wait for the fire department. Always know two ways out of every room.
  • If you have any doubt about whether or not to fight a fire with an extinguisher, DON'T! Get out and stay out, and call 9-1-1.
  • If you want to learn more about our hands-on fire extinguisher training, contact the BIFD or visit the Classes page of our website: