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Fire Extinguisher

Use the following acronyms to help you recall the Fire Escape and Fire Extinquisher safety guidelines. Used properly, these safety tips will help you properly handle an emergency situation.

R. A. C. E.

Rescue: anyone who is in immediate danger.
Alarm: Pull the nearest alarm or call the front desk.
Confine: Close all doors to reduce smoke and flame spread.
Extinguish: If the fire is in incipient stage and you are trained (see below)
Evacuate: Use the closest pre-determined escape route to the building. 

Fire Extinguishers

Five classes of extinguishers. Extinguishers are labeled with standard letters and symbols for the classes of fires that they can put out.

Class A Ordinary combustibles - is made of foam or dry chemicals.
Class B Flammable liquids or gases - is made of foam or carbon dioxide or halon.
Class C Electrical equipment - is made from dry chemicals or halon.
Class D Combustible metals - is made from dry powder agents designed for these types of metals.
Class K Involve cooking oils used in commercial cooking equipment.

It is important to choose the correct extinguisher for the types of fires you anticipate. There are multi-purpose extinguishers with an ABC rating. These are good for multi-use however you should be aware that ABC-rated extinguishers can harm computers and other electronic equipment. Water extinguishers should not be used to extinguish electrical fires. It is best to research the types of extinguisher you may need with the environment you intend to use it for.

Extinguishers can be purchased from most hardware stores, through extinguisher companies (check your yellow pages) or some department stores. 

How to use a fire extinguisher

Remember P A S S

  • P     Pull the pin
  • A     Aim the nozzle
  • S     Squeeze the trigger
  • S     Sweep the extinguisher at the base of the fire

Before Fighting a Fire be Sure:

  • 9-1-1 has been called.
  • You have been trained to operate the extinguisher.
  • Everyone not designated to use the extinguisher is leaving the area and the alarm has been sounded.
  • You have an unobstructed escape route in case you can't put the fire out.
  • You know what's burning and your extinguisher is right for the fire.
  • The fire is not larger than a small trash can.