October 10, 2016

Portable Fire Extinguishers

The proper use of portable fire extinguishers can extinguish many fires while they are still small. You should be aware, however, that New York City Fire Department (F.D.N.Y) should be notified without delay as soon as any fire is discovered.

The F.D.N.Y regulates the number, type, and placement of fire extinguisher tag are required for any building. It’s important to keep in mind that the successful use of portable fire extinguishers depends on the following:

  1. portable fire extinguishers are properly located and in working order.
  2. fire extinguishers are of the correct type
  3. when a fire is discovered while still small enough for use of the portable fire extinguishers to be effective
  4. fire is discovered by persons woo are ready, willing and able to use the fire extinguisher

You should also know thatĀ  portable fire extinguisher is valuable for immediate use on small fires. Portable fire extinguishers contain a limited amount of extinguishing compound and need to be used properly so that this material won’t be wasted.

OSHA in some cases requires that an employer provides education to its employees on how to use the portableĀ  fire extinguisher that is located in the workplace. Operation instructions are provided on the side of the fire extinguishers. They describe how to use the portable fire extinguisher in case of an emergency. An Example of a label is below.

Fire extinguisher instruction

Fire extinguisher instruction

Photo of instructions on fire extinguisher

Using A Fire Extinguisher


Remember the following acronym: P A S S

Pull The Pin at the top of the extinguisher. The pin releases a locking mechanism and will allow you to discharge the extinguisher.

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.

Squeeze the lever slowly. This will release the extinguishing agent in the extinguisher. If the handle is released, the discharge will stop.

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!!!!