How To: Use a Fire Extinguisher

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There's a fire extinguisher outside our apartment; one hangs on the wall across from our office. Given a fire, we're not sure we'd know how to use them. So we read up when we came across a website that explained how...

Remember the acronym PASS:


  1. Pull the Pin at the top of the extinguisher. The pin releases a locking mechanism and will allow you to discharge the extinguisher.
  2. Aim at the base of the fire, not the flames. This is important - in order to put out the fire, you must extinguish the fuel.
  3. Squeeze the lever slowly. This will release the extinguishing agent in the extinguisher. If the handle is released, the discharge will stop.
  4. Sweep from side to side. Using a sweeping motion, move the fire extinguisher back and forth until the fire is completely out. Operate the extinguisher from a safe distance, several feet away, and then move towards the fire once it starts to diminish. Be sure to read the instructions on your fire extinguisher - different fire extinguishers recommend operating them from different distances. Remember: Aim at the base of the fire, not at the flames!

For more details, click here

[Image via Brittney Bush]