How To Prepare for and Extinguish a Fire
Fires can happen at any time, at any place and often without warning. Having a fire extinguisher on hand is your first line of defense. If your building in Raleigh, NC, has a fire, it is vital to know the appropriate actions to take when fighting it. If used correctly, an extinguisher can help limit the amount of fire damage to your building. The following steps will help you prepare for and extinguish a fire:
1. Pick the Right Extinguisher
Make sure your building has the appropriate fire extinguisher for the type of fires you might face at your workplace. (This may mean having multiple extinguishers available for use.) All extinguishers are labeled in accordance with what type of fire they are to be used against. For example, a kitchen fire would require an extinguisher labeled with a ‘K,’ as it is designed for fighting fats, grease and oils.
2. Call Emergency Services
In the event of a fire, the most important step is calling emergency services. Fires can be unpredictable and quickly grow out of control. Always take the immediate step of pulling the fire alarm and ensuring back up is on its way.
3. Use the Extinguisher
Before choosing to use an extinguisher, always make sure there is a clear path for evacuation if necessary. Then follow the PASS method to operate the extinguisher:
- Pull - Pull the pin; this releases the locking mechanism.
- Aim - Always aim low, toward the base of the fire.
- Squeeze - Spray the extinguisher by squeezing the handle.
- Sweep - Use a side-to-side sweeping motion to most effectively cover the fire.
After following these steps, if the fire is not yet out or if it re-ignites, use your evacuation route and wait for emergency services to arrive.
While knowing how to effectively use a fire extinguisher can aid in limiting fire damage, personal safety should always be your top priority. Whenever a fire has taken place, it's wise to have a fire damage assessment to ensure the building's safety before returning.