Remember the acronym PASS. This stands for Pull, Aim, Squeeze, and Sweep. First, stand about 20 feet away from the flames. Locate the pin at the top of the extinguisher. It usually has a ring at the end. Grab a hold of this ring and pull the pin out. Take the hose and aim it toward the fire. Using your other hand, squeeze the lever. This will release the water, foam, or other fire fighting chemicals. Move the hose from side to side, sweeping the fire. Walk closer and around the fire as the flames diminish. Stand ready in case the fire flares back up. Note that each type of fire extinguisher may differ in its operation. Read the directions before use. It is best to be aware of fire extinguishers in your place of work and home and get familiar with their operation before a potential fire.
A fire extinguisher is easily recognized by its large metal cylinder. Usually the metal is red or stainless steel, but can come in any color. The extinguisher is made out of metal so it can hold water, foam, or chemicals that have been pressurized. (That is why users are asked to start about 20 feet away from the fire. The intense pressure causes the fire fighting agents to spray out fast and far.) At the top of the cylinder is a lever, and attached to that is a hose. When the lever is pressed, the chemicals are released through the hose, which help the user direct the fire fighting agents toward the fire. On top of the entire extinguisher is a gauge. It is similar to a thermometer, but instead of taking temperature, it measures how much pressure is in the extinguisher's cylinder. If there is not enough pressure, the extinguisher will be useless.
There are different types of Fire Extinguishers for different types of fires. Please be sure to review the Class listing below to make sure you have the proper fire extinguisher in your home.
Class A- puts out wood and trash fires
Class B- use on flammable liquids
Class C- puts out electrical fires
Class D- fights fires involving metals
Class K- use on grease fires