How To Use A Fire Extinguisher

In case of fire, do not use me

Good job if you already have at least one fire extinguisher at home, but a better job if you actually know how to use it. Else the fire extinguisher will just be a “flower vase”, pun intended given our fire extinguishers are indeed good enough to be a decorative pieces in homes.

Using a fire extinguisher for the first time can be somewhat daunting, since you do not know what to expect.

That said, it is not difficult to use a fire extinguisher. You just need to remember P.A.S.S.

Reference: Art of Maniless
  • Pull the pin.
  • Aim the nozzle at the base of the fire. Hitting the tops of the flame with the extinguisher won’t be effective. You got to smother the sucker at its base.
  • Squeeze the lever slowly. In a controlled manner, squeeze the trigger to release the agent.
  • Sweep from side to side. Sweep the nozzle from side to side until the fire is put out. Keep aiming at the base while you do so. Most extinguishers will give you about 10-20 seconds of discharge time.

It is also good to go for the Community Emergency Preparedness Programme (CEPP), which is a five-module emergency preparedness training programme that gives individuals a more holistic understanding and knowledge (both theoretical and practical) covering both conventional and unconventional threats, including fire. Module 3 on Fire Safety & Casualty Evacuation covers the use of fire extinguishers.