You’ve seen those red steel canisters almost everywhere you go: warehouses, grocery stores, offices, and maybe even your own home. But have you ever actually picked up and used a fire extinguisher before? While using a fire extinguisher isn’t exactly rocket science, being able to use one effectively and in a timely fashion can mean the difference between a scorching and complete incineration. Here is some information from us at Safety Supplies Unlimited you can use to help you extinguish any fire you might encounter.
Different Classes of Extinguishers
There are many different types of extinguishers meant to extinguish different sources of fire. In the United States, they are as follows:
- Class A: Ordinary solid combustibles like wood, cloth, and paper products
- Class B: Flammable liquids and gases
- Class C: Electrical fires (never use water for these kinds of fires, as you can get electrocuted)
- Class D: Flammable metals
- Class K: Oils and grease fires (another fire to never use water, as it will cause the flames to explode and spread) You’ll often find these in commercial kitchens
For most homes, a 5LB or 10LB ABC fire extinguisher is the perfect option, and can be purchased from Safety Supplies Unlimited.
For commercial buildings, a 10LB ABC fire extinguisher is required in addition to signage above the unit.
For construction jobsites, a 20LB ABC fire extinguisher is required with signage.
For commercial properties and construction sites, all fire extinguishers need to be tagged and inspected on a monthly basis. SSU can assist with inspections and service.
The P.A.S.S. Technique
Before attempting to extinguish any fire, sound the fire alarm and call the fire department as appropriate. Keep an eye on your escape route and don’t allow the fire, heat, and smoke to cut you off from safety. Then, take your fire extinguisher in hand, and follow the P.A.S.S. technique:
- PULL: Pull the safety pin. This will also pull the tamper seal.
- AIM: Aim low, pointing the nozzle at the base of the fire. Be careful of touching the nozzle of CO2 extinguishers, as they may get very cold.
- SQUEEZE: Squeeze the handle to release the extinguishing agent.
- SWEEP: Sweep the nozzle from side to side across the base of the fire until it appears to be out. Watch for reignition.
Remember, it’s always wiser to retreat and wait for professional firefighting help if you have any doubt about your ability to fight the fire.
Before accidents occur in your home or business, arm yourself with the equipment you need to combat fire. Safety Supplies Unlimited is your number one fire safety equipment and service provider. If you need any assistance in obtaining more details about our selection of products, feel free to contact us for a full catalogue!