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Portable Fire Extinguishers
General Extinguisher Information
Use fire extinguishers to contain or extinguishsmall fires until the Fire Department arrives on the scene. The extinguisher must be the correct size to handle the fire. Do not try to fight a large fire with a portable fire extinguisher. Additionally, remember that the extinguisher must be within reach and in good operating condition. You must also have an escape route that is not blocked by fire.

Choosing an Extinguisher
It is important to remember to use the correct extinguisher for the fire (for instance, do not use a water extinguisher on a grease or electrical fire). Select an extinguisher that has been tested by an independent laboratory and labeled for the type and size of fire to be extinguished. The different classes of fires are:
  • Class A - Fires that have wood, cloth, and paper burning
  • Class B - Fires that have flammable liquids burning (gasoline, oil)
  • Class C - Fires that are electrically energized (circuit breakers, appliances)

There are also multipurpose fire extinguishers that are labeled ABC that can be used on all of the above types of fires. View additional information about extinguisher sizes, installation, and maintenance.

How to Use an Extinguisher
Remember to PASS:
  1. Pull the pin that unlocks the operating lever.
  2. Aim low by pointing the nozzle at the bottom of the fire.
  3. Squeeze the lever above the handle discharging the extinguishing agent.
  4. Sweep from side to side carefully moving toward the fire. Keep sweeping at the base of the fire until the fire appears to be out. If it reignites, repeat the process.

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