GRABBING FOR THE FIRE EXTINGUISHER IS usuallyNOT THE BEST FIRST ACTION!
We wish to acknowledge and thank all organizations and persons for creating, and the use of all the fire related videos on this web site.
The smoke resulting from a burning substance may kill you far sooner than the heat and flames of the actual fire!
Remember to determine what class of fire you are attempting to extinguish and do you have the proper type of fire extinguisher for the task?
Do NOT attempt to extinguish a fire until you are certain all persons in the area are going to be safe - yourself included.
CALL 911 OR YOUR LOCAL EMERGENCY SERVICES / FIRE DEPARTMENT FIRST!
As you will see in the video below, even the "experts" can make mistakes. So, please, we encourage you to read on - there are other safer ways to train and learn.
Below is a short video describing how to properly use a fire extinguisher. The "PASS" demonstration is explained.
P Pull the Pin on the fire extinguisher. There may also be a type of simple plastic seal that must first be broken. Once the PIN is pulled, you will then be able to squeeze the handle which in turn activates the expulsion device inside the extinguisher.
A Aim toward the base of the fire. You are attempting to extinguish the fire at the source (base of the flames) not the flames themselves. You should do one short, practive burst so you know how far it will go and what it feels like.
S Squeeze the handle slowly while making sure to continue to AIM at the base of the fire.
S Sweep slowly while still squeezing the handle. You may need to very carefully and slowly, move in closer to the fire. - only if it is safe to do so. If you do not feel it is safe, then probably you should not even be attempting to fight / put this fire out.
Below is an excellent video lesson from the U.S.A. National Fire Association, on the proper procedures and use of fire extinguishers. It makes if very clear as to what your first priorities are.
1. CONTACT THE FIRE DEPARTMENT
2. CLEAR THE BUILDING
3. Re-assess the fire situation and ONLY if you are certain the fire is still small, not spreading and you have the correct class of fire extinguisher for the type of fire, you could then consider trying to extinguish the fire with the fire extinguisher. If you are not certain of this, then keep other people away and safe while waiting for the professional firefighters to arrive.
(if you left your cell phone or blackberry inside - too bad. It will melt just fine and on its own, without you holding it as it melts.)