When and how to use a fire extinguisher

Wednesday, September 4, 2019

ABC home extinguisher
made by Amerex
Fire Extinguishers and You

The Washington State Fire Marshal’s Office (SFMO) would like to remind residents that when used appropriately, portable fire extinguishers can save lives and property and are an important part of a home safety plan.

Fires grow and spread rapidly, and the first priority for residents should always be to get out safely during a fire.

Use the following tips to remember:
  • For the home, select a multi-purpose extinguisher that is large enough to put out a small fire, but not so heavy that it is difficult to handle.
  • Maintain the condition of your fire extinguisher by reading maintenance guidelines, checking the pressure regularly and ensuring it is clean and undamaged.
  • Before trying to fight a fire, be sure that:
    • Everyone else has left the home and someone is calling the fire department.
    • The fire is small, confined, and not spreading.
    • You have a clear escape route.
  • Only adults who know how to use portable fire extinguishers should use them.
  • Use the acronym “PASS” to remember how to use a fire extinguisher:

P for Pull: Pull the pin on the handle to remove it.

A for Aim: Aim the nozzle of the extinguisher at the base of the flames.

S for Squeeze: Squeeze the top handle downward towards the bottom handle.

S for Sweep: Sweep the nozzle of the fire extinguisher from side to side, aiming at the base of the flames, until the fire is completely out.

For more information about home fire safety, visit the SFMO’s website or follow SFMO on Twitter @wafiremarshal.


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