Safety Tips for Using a Fire Extinguisher
Fire extinguishers are a valuable tool in the fight against smaller fires and can also be used to protect evacuation routes in the event of a larger fire when emergency personnel are on their way. OSHA has stated that the most common emergency occurrence owners of homes and small businesses should plan for is fire. Here are some tips that will help in the event of a fire.
Homeowners should take the time to know how to use the fire extinguisher kept in their home. OSHA requires employers to train their staff thoroughly on how to use a fire extinguisher correctly as well and to accurately assess the situation if a fire is to occur, properly determining when an evacuation needs to take place. OSHA has established annual training for employees as a minimal requirement for all places of business, and this training is helpful for homeowners as well.
The PASS training technique can be used, and is outlined here:
- P. Pull the pin on the extinguisher.
- A. Aim the nozzle of the hose at the base of the fire.
- S. Squeeze the handle to release the extinguishing agent.
- S. Sweep the nozzle from side to side, directed at the base of the flames, until the fire is extinguished.
Once someone knows how to properly operate a fire extinguisher, they should then also be trained to follow fire safety protocol. They should know how to:
- Locate and activate the fire alarm.
- Call the fire department and emergency responders immediately.
- Determine a safe evacuation route that will direct people away from flames, excessive heat, and smoke. They should also know how to keep the route from becoming blocked,
- Use the PASS technique for discharging a fire extinguisher (outlined above), and know the importance of backing away from the area if the fire flares up again.
- Evacuate the area immediately if the fire is still going and the extinguisher is empty, or if the fire grows beyond what can be safely handled without fire department personnel.
Fire extinguishers are made to handle small fires only. If the environment becomes too dangerous or the fire becomes too large, everyone should know when and how to evacuate. Excessive smoke and heat, impaired evacuation routes, and poor visibility are all conditions that can arise really quickly, and people need to understand that safety comes first and foremost.
SERVPRO of Huron and East Seneca Counties is here to help in the event of cleanups both large and small, after fire and water damages have been sustained in your home or business. We also handle mold remediation. Call us today at (419) 443-1790, or visit our website: SERVPRO of Huron and East Seneca Counties