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FIRE FIGHTING TIPS: How to Properly Use a Fire Extinguisher for Workplace Emergencies

You can never predict the occurrence of a workplace emergency. It can happen anytime, anywhere even when you least expected it to happen. The advice therefore is to prepare for it in the best possible manner so that you manage to escape even the worst possible scenarios.

Learning the proper ways of operating a fire extinguisher is one thing that should be made mandatory in workplace training and development classes. That’s because it’s something that can actually be a life-saver in certain life-threatening situations such as a workplace fire.

In this article, I have highlighted a few tips that are related primarily to the way one can use a fire extinguisher in the best possible manner. Let’s go through them without further ado.

1. Know what the right fire extinguisher for the job is

Different extinguishers have different purposes. You need to know the same in thorough details, preferably during your basic fire-fighting training.

Fire extinguishers come with different symbols and letters that can determine the class to which they belong. Keep a tab on them especially during the time of your purchase. Here’s the legend for you:

– Class of Fire- A

This class of fire is mainly related to wood, cloth, paper, trash and other related materials.

Your fire extinguisher should have a green color on it for tackling fires belonging to the aforementioned category. A triangle symbol should also be present.

– Class of fire- B

This class of fire is mainly related to oil, gasoline, paint and other combustible fluids.

This type of fire extinguisher should have a red color on it. A square symbol should also be present.

– Class of fire- C

This class of fire is primarily related to electrical equipment.

The fire extinguisher that you should use for tackling these fires should have a blue color on its body accompanied by a symbol in the form of a circle.

– Class of fire- D

This class of fire is primarily related to all those combustible metals and alloys.

The extinguishers should primarily be yellow in color and should have a star symbol marked over them.

– Class of fire- K

This class of fire is linked to cooking fats and oils.

The extinguisher should be black in color and should have a hexagon marked on them.

2. Try to turn your back to an exit as a part of your safety precautions

Before you go ahead and use your fire extinguisher for any fire-fighting purpose of yours, it’s important for you to know a few safety precautions to stay on the safer side.

At first, locate the exit. Then take your position such that your back is turned toward it. Such a practice will definitely make it easy for you to escape at times of the emergency.

3. Know the right ways of using the extinguisher

A simple acronym should suffice and that is P.A.S.S. as far as operating the fire extinguisher is concerned.

P: Pull (You need to pull the safety pin from the handle of the extinguisher. This should be your first step).

A: Aim (You have to aim the extinguisher at the base of the fire).

S: Squeeze (Squeeze the trigger as simple as that).

S: Sweep (You should then move the extinguisher from side to side to cut out the oxygen supply and extinguish the fire ASAP).

Red flags:

  • NEVER put your back to the fire. Try to keep it in front of you.
  • Know when to stop. If you see a fire getting out of control, you need to evacuate the spot immediately and wait for the professionals to do the job.
  • DO NOT try to fight a fire in a room that’s full of smoke. Evacuate immediately.
  • DO NOT just assume the fact that you, yourself are enough for the job. Ring the fire department ASAP even if you think that you are enough to contain the fire on your own. A step today can save you a whole lot of hassle for tomorrow.

Accidents and fires can never be predicted. They can occur anywhere anytime without any prior notice. But that doesn’t mean we should keep quiet and do nothing.

We should always prepare ourselves for the worst and take the right steps to keep them at bay in the best possible way. Hope the points depicted in this article come in handy for you for this exact purpose of yours. With that, I’ll sign off for the time being. Hope you had a good read.

Written By

Katie Smith is a fire expert and her areas of interests and expertise include forensic science and accident or crime scene investigation related matters. She often conducts fire investigation in Houston. Blogging is her hobby and she is also a consultant blogger, having well-accepted write-ups on a wide range of topics, such as general safety, security and safety equipment.

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