Fire Extinguisher Safety 101: Remember PASS

If you live in California, then you know that fires are becoming all too common. Whether it’s in the workplace, school, or a hospital, it’s best to be prepared for the worst. Even if you know the theory behind proper fire extinguisher use, can you confidently say that you can operate one effectively if needed?

PASS: The Ultimate Fire Extinguisher Safety Tip

PASS is a handy acronym coined to help everyone operate fire extinguishers properly. If a fire breaks out, remember 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 steadily.
  • Sweep the nozzle from side to side.

More Fire Fighting Best Practices & Tips

Following ‘PASS’ will help you operate the extinguisher in the safest manner. In addition to this 4-step process, you should:

  • Be aware of your exits. Movie theatres and airplanes stress this to nauseum, but for good reason. If a fire occurs, utilize PASS while your back is facing the exit. This gives you a way out if the fire becomes overwhelming.
  • Read the instructions printed on the side of the extinguisher often. Simply put, you shouldn’t wait to read the instructions; read them before a fire occurs so that you have both theory and hands-on practice at your disposal.
  • Place your fire extinguishers in every room and in the hallways.. Don’t space them more than 75 feet apart.
  • Practice often. Don’t just operate your fire extinguisher once. Practice PASS monthly so that it becomes second-nature.

Does Your Business Have The Right Kind of Fire Extinguisher?

fire extinguisherWhen most people think of fire extinguishers, they tend to picture the foam-spray type. While foam-spray extinguishers are ideal for wood, paper, and flammable liquids, they are certainly not suited for fires caused by electrical equipment or cooking oils.

There are 5 types of fire extinguishers:

  • Water – best for fires caused by wood, paper, and textiles.
  • Foam-spray- best for fires caused by wood, paper, textiles, and flammable liquids.
  • CO2 – best for fires caused by flammable liquids and live electrical equipment.
  • ‘ABC’ Powder – best for fires caused by wood, paper, flammable liquids, gases, and live electrical equipment.
  • Wet Chemical – best for fires caused by wood, paper, and cooking oils.

‘ABC’ Dry Powder is the Most Versatile

Each fire extinguisher is meant for certain types of fires. No single type can oust any fire, but of the list, the type that uses dry powder (ABC) is the most versatile. When stocking your business with fire extinguishers, make sure that you have both ABC and wet chemical types in appropriate places.

Need Expert Fire Extinguisher Training & Advice? Call SoCal First Aid

SoCal First Aid comes to you! Our expert practitioners will show your team how to properly operate fire extinguishers, which ones to use, and where to place them.

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