The Proper Operating Method

Fire extinguishers are not difficult to use if the user has proper training. The acronym used to remember the proper operating method is PASS:
  • Pull - Remove the safety pin from the handle of extinguisher by pulling it out.
  • Aim - Aim the discharge hose or nozzle at the base of the fire. Keep a safe distance between you and the fire. The fire extinguisher will have a recommended distance located on the label.
  • Squeeze - Squeeze the discharge handle to release the extinguishing agent. If extinguisher has a discharge hose, ensure a secure grip on the hose before you squeeze.
  • Sweep - Sweep the extinguishing agent in a back and forth (left to right and right to left) motion at the base of the fire until it is extinguished. Once extinguished, observe the area in case the fire re-ignites.

Before using a fire extinguisher you should first activate the 9-1-1 system so that your local fire department can respond to the fire as quickly as possible. If you are attempting to extinguish the fire and you are not being effective, exit immediately and wait for the fire department to arrive.

It is also very important to read the instruction manual for the fire extinguisher. The instruction manual will provide additional information about that particular extinguisher and provide the required maintenance.