First things first: If there’s a fire of
any size in your home, call 911. Remember that fire spreads rapidly –
even if you end up extinguishing the fire yourself, it’s a good idea to
have the pros on the way to check your work.
If you do need to use your extinguisher, the National Fire Protection Association uses the handy acronym PASS:
- Pull the pin. Grab the extinguisher, point the nozzle away from you and release the locking mechanism.
- Aim low, pointing the extinguisher at the base of the fire.
- Squeeze the lever slowly and evenly.
- Sweep the nozzle from side to side.
Use your extinguisher on a small fire
that’s not growing – for example, a fire contained in a wastebasket.
When fighting the fire, keep your back to a clear exit so you can make
an escape if you need to. If the room fills with smoke or the fire
grows, leave immediately.
If you’d prefer a hands-on learning
experience, call your local fire department. Most offer training on how
to use a fire extinguisher.