fire extinguisher safely

How to use a fire extinguisher safely

Do you know how to use a fire extinguisher safely?  We know it can be a daunting experience to have to use a fire extinguisher and businesses should ensure they have trained fire wardens, our latest blog gives advice on how to use a fire extinguisher safely.


Firstly, many people put out small fires quite safely, however, death or serious injury can occur by tackling a fire which is beyond your capabilities. Only tackle a fire in its very early stages and always ensure you put your own and other peoples safety first.


Ensure you’re using the correct extinguisher

Choosing the wrong type of extinguisher can have life-threatening consequences. Using a water extinguisher where electricity is present could result in electrocution for example.  The extinguisher should detail on the label which fire it is suitable for.


Stand back and ensure you have a clear escape route

Before operating the fire extinguisher, make sure you have a clear evacuation path. If you cannot put out the fire, you’ll need to make a safe exit. Consider this when determining where to store your fire extinguisher, and make sure you’ll have multiple exit options nearby after you retrieve it.

Face the fire and keep your back to the clear exit you earlier identified. You should stay between six and eight feet away from the flames as you prepare to operate the fire extinguisher.


Discharge the extinguisher

It can be difficult to think clearly during an emergency, so fire safety has a long-standing acronym to help you recall the steps involved in operating your fire extinguisher. When extinguishing a fire, you should PASS:

     P: Pull the pin on the fire extinguisher.

     A: Aim the extinguisher nozzle on the hose low, toward the base of the fire.

     S: Squeeze the handle or lever to discharge the extinguisher.

     S: Sweep the nozzle back and forth. Keep the fire extinguisher aimed at the base of the fire and move it from side to side until the flames are extinguished.


Ensure the fire doesn’t reignite

After the flames appear to be out, continue to watch the fire area to make sure it doesn’t reignite. If the fire does start up again, repeat the PASS process.



If you cannot safely put out the fire, call the fire service as soon as you can and evacuate the building.



For more information on our fire warden and fire extinguisher training, get in touch with our safety team on or visit enquire about our fire extinguisher training HERE.

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