Hopefully you’ll never have to use Fire extinguishers in your life, with a bit of luck your life will be free from fire and there’ll be no need for you to use Fire fighting equipment. Just suppose though. Say a small fire broke out in the canteen at work and you had Fire extinguishers close by, would you be in the position to use this type of Fire fighting equipment? You’d be amazed at the amount of people that would answer no to this question. Fire extinguishers are designed to save lives and help to protect property at the same time. So it’s shame if you don’t know how to use Fire extinguisher because you could be in the right place at the right time one day.
Ideally if you work in a building some kind of training would come in handy for Fire fighting equipment. Some companies do this as standard and they run health and safety courses that involve the use of Fire extinguishers. If not, don’t worry brief instructions are normally printed on the side of Fire extinguisher and they show you the basics. The important thing is to do a risk assessment before you even think about using Fire extinguishers. If the blaze looks too big to tackle it’s best to exit the building as soon as you can and leave it to the professionals.
If you feel confident tackling minor fires using Fire fighting equipment here’s what you need to know. Most Fire extinguishers have some type of safety pin fixed through the handle. Pull this pin out and it arms the Fire extinguishers. Aim at the base of the fire and squeeze the handle to release the agent inside. It’s important to aim at the base of the fire to achieve positive results whilst keeping low at the same time. Sweep the extinguisher side to side and this should put out the fire. If this doesn’t work extract yourself from the situation and find a safe exit route.
Fire extinguishers should only be used on small fires that have only just broke out, never try to tackle a large blaze with Fire fighting equipment, this is a job for professional fire fighting teams. However if you see signs of a small fire at work and have a fire extinguisher handy you could prevent a major disaster, just be careful and follow the instructions on the canister.
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