Fire Extinguishers

About Fire Extinguishers

Everyone has seen a fire extinguisher a some time or another. Fire extinguishers can be found just about everywhere: at work, at home, or in your car. However, many people do not have a good working knowledge of fire extinguishers. In the hands of an improperly trained person, a fire extinguisher could be dangerous or even make the fire worse. Fire extinguishers were designed to be used as a first line of defense in the event of a small fire.

Classes of Fire

  • Class A: Ordinary combustibles (wood, cloth, paper, etc.)
  • Class B: Flammable or combustible liquids (gasoline, greases, kerosene, etc.)
  • Class C: Energized electrical equipment (electrical cords, electrical panels, electrical motors, etc.)
  • Class D: Combustible metals (magnesium, titanium, etc.)

Using a Fire Extinguisher

When using a fire extinguisher, follow these easy to remember steps.


  • P - Pull out the safety pin
  • A - Aim the nozzle at the base of the fire
  • S - Squeeze the handle to expel the agent
  • S - Sweep the nozzle from side to side

When to Use an Extinguisher

Attempt to use the extinguisher only if the following apply:

  • The building is being evacuated
  • The Fire Department is being called
  • The fire is small and contained
  • The exit is clear and you can fight the fire with your back to the exit
  • The proper extinguisher is available
  • You are trained and confident about using the extinguisher
  • You can stay low and avoid breathing smoke