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Last Updated: 7/7/2014
A portable fire extinguisher can save lives and property by putting out a small, confined fire or containing it until the fire department arrives. However, fire extinguishers have limitations. Since fire grows and spreads rapidly, the first priority for residents is to get out safely.
To operate a fire extinguisher, remember the word PASS.
Pull the pin. Hold the extinguisher with the nozzle pointing away from you, and release the locking mechanism.
Aim low. Point the extinguisher at the base of the fire.
Squeeze the lever slowly and evenly.
Sweep the nozzle from side-to-side.
Use a fire extinguisher only if:
● Someone has called 911.
● You have alerted all other occupants.
● The fire is small and contained to a single object, like a wastebasket.
● You are safe from the toxic smoke produced by the fire.
● You have a means of escape identified and the fire is not between you and the escape route.
● Your instincts tell you that it is safe to use an extinguisher. If all of these conditions are not present, you should NOT try to use a fire extinguisher. Alert all occupants, leave the building, go to your agreed upon meeting place, and call 9-1-1 from a cell phone or neighbor’s house.