When a Fire Extinguisher shall be used?

Fire represents one of the biggest safety hazards, it is not only limited to workplaces but also residential buildings. Fire can result in serious injuries or even fatalities and can also cause extensive property damage.

We’ve shared a lot of content on our Minimax Fire Extinguisher LinkedIn page and information about how to use a fire extinguisher. If you need a refresher, hope you remember what the word P. A. S. S. means….

P – Pull the safety pin after removing the seal at the top of the fire extinguisher, this will release the lock and allow you to discharge the extinguishing media.

A – Aim at the base of the fire. Aiming at the base of the fire instead of the flames ensures fire is extinguished quickly and minimizes the risk of blowing flames causing the fire to spread.

S – Squeeze the lever slowly, this releases the extinguishing media on the fire.

S – Sweep from side to side (by aiming at the base of the fire, not the flames!), it covers the source of fire with the extinguishing media and until the fire is completely doused.

Make sure you are at a safe distance from the source of the fire. Almost all the fire extinguishers have a range of more than 2 meters so from a safe distance operate the fire extinguisher until the fire has been completely extinguished. Verify after few seconds if the fire is completely doused to make sure reignition doesn’t happen.

Knowing how to use a fire extinguisher is important, but equally important is knowing when to use one.

When to a fire extinguisher?

The obvious answer to this question is “In response to a fire.” But using a fire extinguisher without taking proper precautions can put you at serious risk of injury.

Global safety testing and certification organization Underwriters Laboratories suggests you use a fire extinguisher only under the following conditions,

  • The fire is contained to a small area and is not growing
  • You are aware of using a fire extinguisher
  • All the occupants are evacuated safely outside the premises/building.
  • The fire department has been informed about the fire
  • The premises is not filled with smoke

In many cases, observed people got injured while trying to control fire with a fire extinguisher without a proper understanding of its operation. Please remember that while trying to extinguish a small fire can help protect your building, it’s more important that you stay safe and get out of the building safely. If you don’t feel comfortable extinguishing a fire on your own, don’t worry about it, that’s what sprinklers are installed in your building.

If you do feel comfortable using the fire extinguisher, it’s extremely critical that you make sure it is maintained properly and has the pressure needle in the operable range. If you reach for a fire extinguisher during a fire and it doesn’t work, the result can be severe damage to your property. That’s why you must be aware of the fire extinguisher operating conditions and procedure.

Portable fire extinguishers are crucial to fire safety in a retail store, restaurant, residential complex, office building, warehouse, manufacturing facility, and commercial business sites. You must recharge fire extinguishers

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