Before a tenant considers fighting any fire, know the following:
- Make sure that the Fire Department (911) and the Management Office have been notified.
- Never fight the fire unless you are sure that you have the proper size and type of extinguisher and you have been properly trained in its use. The extinguisher must be rated for the type of fire you are fighting.
- Fight the fire from a safe distance and with a buddy. Use the buddy system.
- Never let the fire get between you and the exit.
- Even if the fire is extinguished, the area must be inspected by the Fire Department.
- The extinguisher must be fully charged; otherwise, it may be ineffective.
- If in doubt, close off and leave the area immediately.
There are four basic steps to operating a portable fire extinguisher. An easy way to remember the procedure is to think of the word “PASS.”
- PULL: Holding the extinguisher with the nozzle pointing away from you, pull the pin, which is located below the trigger. Some extinguishers require releasing a latch or pressing a puncture lever.
- AIM: Aim low. Standing 6-8 feet away from the fire, point the nozzle at the base of the fire. Always hold the extinguisher vertically. Never hold it horizontally or at an angle.
- SQUEEZE: Squeeze the trigger/handle slowly and evenly. This releases the extinguishing agent.
- SWEEP: As the agent is being expelled, sweep the nozzle from side to side. As the fire begins to go out, move closer to the fire and continue the sweeping motion until the fire is extinguished. If the fire does not diminish or it grows, get out of the area. Close any doors in order to contain the fire to the immediate area.
Most portable extinguishers work according to these directions, but some do not. Be prepared by making sure you read the directions on your fire extinguishers before a fire emergency happens.
ABC fire extinguishers are located throughout the general building areas in wall cabinets on every floor. All occupants should know the location of the nearest fire extinguisher and read the instructions.