Regarding the safe disposal of used fire extinguishers, we encourage residents to follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
Used properly, a portable fire extinguisher can save lives and property by putting out a small fire or containing it until the fire department arrives. Portable extinguishers for home use, however, are not designed to fight large or speeding fires. Even against small fires, they are useful only under certain conditions.
The operator must know how to use the extinguisher. There is no time to read directions during an emergency.
The extinguisher must be within easy reach and in working order, fully charged.
The operator must have a clear escape route that will not be blocked by fire.
The extinguisher must match the type of fire being fought. Extinguishers that contain water are unsuitable for use on grease or electrical fires.
The extinguisher must be large enough to put out the fire. Many portable extinguishers discharge completely in as few as 8 to 10 seconds.
Remember the PASS word
If you decide to use your extinguisher to fight a fire, keep your back to an unobstructed exit and stand six to eight feet away from the fire. Follow the four-step PASS procedure.
Always be sure the fire department inspects the fire site, even if you think you’ve extinguished the fire.
Should you fight the fire? Before you begin to fight a fire:
Make sure everyone has left, or is leaving the building.
Make sure the fire department has been called.
Make sure the fire is confined to a small area and is not spreading.
Be sure you have an unobstructed escape route to which the fire will not spread.
Be sure you have read the instructions and that you know how to use the extinguisher.