Mastering the Flames: Essential Techniques for Swift and Safe Fire Extinguisher Use

Extinguishing a fire in its early stages is essential to avoid major damage. For this, a fire extinguisher is intended to be your best ally. An essential instrument for preventing loss in the event of a fire, the fire extinguisher can seem intimidating to those who are unfamiliar with its operation.

That said, it’s a skill we should all have. Using a fire extinguisher effectively can prevent serious damage and even save lives. The aim of this text is to offer you a detailed procedure for using a fire extinguisher during a fire, in order to guarantee rapid and safe intervention.

Acquiring skills in using a fire extinguisher is essential for everyone, allowing effective intervention in the event of a fire. By understanding the different types of fire extinguishers, and memorizing the PASS method of use, you will be ready to act quickly and safely if the need arises.

However, always remember that your own safety and that of other building occupants comes first. If you are not sure you can put out the fire without putting yourself in danger, the best intervention is to leave the scene and call the fire brigade.

What is a fire extinguisher?

The fire extinguisher is a fire-fighting device. It is composed of a extinguishing agent tank and a distribution device. It is used to extinguish or control the start of a fire. For optimal efficiency, choosing the right fire extinguisher is crucial. In fact, not all fire extinguishers are made in the same way, nor are they intended to fight the same types of fire.

Identification of fire extinguisher types

There are several types of fire extinguishers, designed for specific types of fire. For the intervention to go smoothly, it is essential to know which fire extinguisher to use.

  • Water extinguishers : They are effective on fires of solid materials, such as wood or paper. Never use a water extinguisher on an electrical fire or a fire involving flammable liquids.
  • Powder extinguishers : These versatile fire extinguishers can be used on flammable liquid fires, electrical fires and solid material fires.
  • CO2 fire extinguishers : They are mainly used on electrical fires, but can also be used on certain flammable liquid fires.

How to use a fire extinguisher?

The PASS (Pull, Aim, Squeeze, Sweep) method is most commonly used to remember the fundamental steps of using a fire extinguisher.

  1. Sweater (Pull): Unhook the fire extinguisher and remove the safety pin.
  2. Like (Aim): Aim the jet toward the base of the fire, never toward the flames.
  3. Squeeze (Squeeze): Squeeze the handle to release the extinguishing agent.
  4. sweep (Sweep): Continuing to squeeze the handle, sweep the extinguisher spray from right to left until the fire is extinguished.

Security measures

It should always be remembered that safety is the first thing to keep in mind while using a fire extinguisher.

  • Before using a fire extinguisher, make sure everyone else in the building is aware of the fire and is evacuating.
  • Never use a fire extinguisher if the fire is already too big. In this case, the best thing is to evacuate the area and call the fire brigade.
  • Make sure you have the correct distance from the fire, generally fire extinguishers should be used approximately 2 meters from the fire.
  • Finally, after using the fire extinguisher, be aware that the fire can still start again. If the fire is not completely extinguished, move away and call the fire brigade.

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