Do you have a fire extinguisher in your home? And if so, do you know how to use it? Many homeowners know the importance of fire safety around their home. But when it comes to implementing safety measures in the event of an emergency, they’re unprepared. A fire extinguisher is one thing every homeowner should know how to use. And if you don’t already have one in your home, or if the fire extinguisher you have is out of date, be sure to purchase a new one from your local hardware store.
It’s important to note that not all fire extinguishers are created equal. Different fire extinguishers exist for different things. When it comes to protecting your home, having an ABC fire extinguisher is probably best. That’s because it will fight the three most common types of fires that happen around homes, including combustibles like paper or wood, flammable liquid like grease fires or gas, and electrical fires. Be sure to purchase a fire extinguisher for each level of your home and put it somewhere easily accessible in the event of a fire.
Using a fire extinguisher is quite simple. All you have to remember is PASS.
P: Pull the pin from your fire extinguisher. It’s usually a long metal rod with a small ring at the end that your finger can slip through. This pin acts as a safety and prevents you from using your fire extinguisher prematurely.
A: Aim the nozzle. Many homeowners feel they should aim their fire extinguisher at the top of the flame and work their way down. Instead, aim your fire extinguisher at the base of the flames to help quell the fire faster.
S: Squeeze the handle. Don’t be afraid to put some real pressure on the handle. Be prepared for a small kick (it won’t hurt) when the extinguisher begins to emit foam. Hold your fire extinguisher as steady as you can with one hand while your dominant hand aims the nozzle.
S: Sweep from side to side. With the nozzle of your fire extinguisher aimed at the base of the fire, sweep the nozzle from side to side to put out the flames quickly and efficiently.
Despite this helpful information, many homeowners may find it overwhelming to use a fire extinguisher for the first time. That’s okay! If you want to practice, your local fire department or police station may offer community safety classes that allow hands-on learning. Contact them about events happening in your area—and bring the whole family. Everyone should know about fire safety in the event of an emergency.