How do you use a fire extinguisher?


Quick Answer

To use a fire extinguisher to put out flames, pull the pin, aim the nozzle at the fire, squeeze the lever and sweep the extinguisher from side to side. The acronym to make the process easier to remember is PASS, which stands for pull, aim, squeeze and sweep.

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Full Answer

  1. Pull the pin

    Fire extinguishers have a pin in the handle that locks the release mechanism. Pull out the pin to prepare to engage the extinguisher. Hold on to the nozzle with one hand and the tank with the other.

  2. Aim at the fire

    Standing back away from the fire, aim the nozzle of the extinguisher at the base of the flames. Aim low to put out the fuel causing the fire, not the actual flames. Firmly grip the nozzle so the spray from the extinguisher goes where it is needed.

  3. Squeeze the lever

    Fire extinguishers have a lever in the handle that can be depressed once the pin is removed. Squeeze the lever to propel the flame retarding chemicals onto the fire. Release the lever to stop the flow.

  4. Sweep from side to side

    Move the extinguisher from side to side to sweep over the flames. The movement allows more of the extinguishing agents to reach a larger area. Continue to move the nozzle from side to side until the flames go out.

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