Using Fire Extinguishers Effectively from Paul Davis

Can you believe that 372,900 fires occur in homes every single year? These fires cause 2,530 deaths, 13,125 injuries and $7 billion in property damage each year, according to the US Fire Administration. Astoundingly, fire extinguishers were present in only 4% of these fires. If a fire happened in your home, would you know the next steps? Knowing the following fire extinguisher tips will help you be prepared.

First, you should know what type of fire extinguisher to buy. For a home, select a multi-purpose extinguisher that is large, but not too big so that you can handle its weight. Make sure the extinguisher has an “independent testing laboratory” label. Keep the fire extinguisher close to an exit. If you have multiple floors, keep at least one fire extinguisher on each level of the home. Read the instructions to become familiar with how the extinguisher functions.

If and when a fire occurs, before using a fire extinguisher, make sure all of the building occupants have exited and call the fire department. If the fire is limited to a small space, operate a fire extinguisher to put the fire out. Remember to keep your back to a point of exit while using the extinguisher. That way you will have an easy escape if the fire gets out of control. If the fire starts to spread or fills the room with smoke, exit the property immediately.

The National Fire Protection Association advises to remember the acronym PASS when operating a fire extinguisher:
P = pull the pin. Make sure the nozzle points away from you and release the pin.
A = aim low pointing at the base of the fire.
S = squeeze the fire extinguisher lever slowly.
S = sweep from side-to-side.

For hands-on training, call your local fire department who may offer fire extinguisher training classes.
On top of the importance of fire extinguishers, it’s also crucial to have working smoke alarms that have been tested regularly, along with having and practicing a fire escape plan with your loved ones. Check out the NFPA Fire Escape Plan for safety advice on escape planning.

If you do experience fire damage to your property, please don’t hesitate to Call Paul! We’re available 24/7 with over 375 franchise offices throughout North America to carefully and effectively handle all of your property damage emergency service needs.

For more info about fire extinguishers and fire safety, please visit NFPA.