How to use a por­ta­ble fire extinguisher

South Shore Breaker - - Games - CON­TRIB­UTED ed­i­tor@southshore­breaker.ca

In case of fire, you should al­ways evac­u­ate your home as quickly as pos­si­ble. How­ever, in some sit­u­a­tions, a por­ta­ble fire extinguisher can be very use­ful if it’s used prop­erly. Do you know how to use yours?

The first thing to re­mem­ber is that a por­ta­ble fire extinguisher should only be used on a small fire or in­cip­i­ent fire — one in the ini­tial stages — and only if the room isn’t filled with smoke. Af­ter all, it takes just three min­utes to be as­phyx­i­ated. If you’re sure you aren’t in any danger, fol­low these steps to use your extinguisher:

1. Re­move the extinguisher from its mount­ing and heft it in your hands to make sure it’s full. Check that the nee­dle is in the green zone of the pres­sure gauge.

2. Po­si­tion your­self be­tween the fire and an exit (or with your back to the wind if the fire is out­side) and ap­proach within two or three me­tres of the fire.

3. Re­move the safety pin by turn­ing it and break­ing the seal, as nec­es­sary.

4. Take hold of the noz­zle and aim it at the base of the flames, press­ing the lever down as far as it will go. Sweep the noz­zle from side to side, al­ways at the base of the flames, be­ing sure to cover the en­tire width of the fire.

5. Stop only when the flames are ex­tin­guished or the fire extinguisher is empty. If the fire doesn’t go out or if the room is fill­ing with smoke, evac­u­ate the premises im­me­di­ately. Call 911 and wait for the fire­fight­ers to ar­rive. If the fire seems to have gone out, call the fire depart­ment any­way; the fire could have spread into the walls.

Af­ter the fire, be sure to re­place your fire extinguisher or have it filled, even if it isn’t empty. Place it near an exit where it is vis­i­ble and easy to get to.

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