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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

How To Use a Fire Extinguisher

2/24/2022 (Permalink)

Learn More about How To Use a Fire Extinguisher and prevent Fire Damage in your Home.

Every home should have at least one very accessible fire extinguisher. This piece of equipment is an integral part of your South Boston, VA, family's fire safety plan. However, knowing how to correctly use it for the optimal effect is just as important as having one on hand. After all, once a blaze starts, it's too late to begin reading the instructions for the first time.

Preparation is key. Whether you have a kitchen fire or discover flames in another part of the house, there are several essential facts you should know well before a potential disaster occurs.

Safety Tips for Mitigating Fire Damage With an Extinguisher

1. Determine Your Evacuation Route

First, it's essential to know the path to exit the building safely if the fire won't go out. This should also be a consideration when you're deciding where to keep your fire extinguisher. Ideally, you can find an area where you'll have clear routes to multiple exit alternatives.

2. Keep a Safe Distance

When trying to extinguish a fire, it's vital to keep your distance from the flames and have a clear route to an exit directly behind you. You should face the fire as you're operating the extinguisher, but make sure you keep a safe distance from the flames. Typically six to eight feet will be adequate for putting out the fire while remaining safe.

3. Remember the PASS Discharge Technique

Fire safety experts have created an acronym for remembering how to operate an extinguisher. Although all extinguishers are not exactly alike, they all work similarly. It can be beneficial when you're in the midst of an emergency situation to know the basics of using one of these devices. Remember to PASS when you grab the fire extinguisher to put out a blaze, big or small:

  • Pull the pin on the extinguisher
  • Aim the hose nozzle low. Aiming it toward the base of the flames will be most efficient at putting it out.
  • Squeeze the lever to discharge the extinguishing chemicals.
  • Sweep the hose from side to side at the base of the fire. Do this until the flames are out.

4. Observe the Area

Keep an eye on the area you just extinguished until you're confident that it won't reignite. If you see a flare-up, perform the PASS technique again.

5. Call the Professionals

If you haven't had an opportunity to call the professionals, now is the time. Call 911 or your local fire department to put out the remaining flames and ensure there isn't a risk of it reigniting. Also, contact fire damage remediation specialists to restore your home to its previous condition.

6. Remove Yourself From the Area

Fire, smoke and soot, along with extinguishing chemicals, are hazardous, so it's best to leave the affected area as soon as possible after you have everything under control. The professionals can handle the job from this point on.

One way to keep your family and home safe from harm is to prepare for a potential fire. By having a safety plan and teaching everyone in the household how to use the fire extinguisher, you are much more likely to significantly mitigate the damage.

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