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An Essential Guide to Fire Extinguishers

A fire extinguisher on a white wall.

Understanding fire extinguishers is a crucial part of your fire safety plan.

For business owners, maintaining a safe and secure business is of the utmost importance. A crucial part of keeping your business’s property and employees safe is having an active fire plan. With a proper fire safety and protection plan comes the need for a fire extinguisher, or multiple fire extinguishers. Before you ever need to use your building’s fire plan, there are some critical features of fire extinguishers that you should be aware of first. 

Different Types of Fire Extinguishers

One of the key facts about fire extinguishers that many don’t know is that there are different types of fire extinguishers that work for different types of fires. Business owners should make sure that the types of fire extinguishers present in the facility are the exact right ones for the specific types of fires that may occur. Knowing what fires your facility is at risk for will depend on the various materials present in the building itself.

How to Properly Use A Fire Extinguisher

There is nothing worse than experiencing a fire emergency without knowing how to use a fire extinguisher properly. Fortunately, there is an acronym that has helped people remember the steps involved in using a fire extinguisher. The PASS Method involves these steps:

  • Pull: Pulling the pin is the first step in using a fire extinguisher. The person should hold the fire extinguisher with the nozzle directly pointing away from their body and then release the locking mechanism.
  • Aim: The goal here is to aim low. Pointing the fire extinguisher at the base of the fire will do the job.
  • Squeeze: Then, it’s imperative to squeeze the lever slowly and evenly to extinguish the fire properly.
  • Sweep: Here, the person charged with extinguishing the fire must sweep the nozzle from side-to-side to get the fire completely extinguished safely.

Proper and Routine Inspections

Critical emergency tools such as fire extinguishers must be routinely inspected and properly maintained, otherwise they will be useless to you when you need them. You can follow this checklist when inspecting the quality and condition of your fire extinguishers:

  • Check that the locations of your extinguishers are easily accessible.
  • Ensure that everyone in your building knows where the fire extinguisher closest to them is, and how to use it.
  • Check that the locking pin is intact and that the tamper seal is not broken.
  • Check that the nozzle isn’t clogged, the hose isn’t broken, and the handle isn’t wobbly or damaged in some way.
  • See that the pressure gauge is green to indicate a full charge. If the needle shows the extinguisher is depressurized, it may have a leak or require a recharge.
  • Inspect the nameplate and instructions for accuracy, and ensure that they are legible and facing outward.
  • Leave your initials and the day’s date on the back of the tag to document this monthly inspection.
  • If the date on the tag indicating the last professional inspection was over a year ago, call a fire protection service and schedule more in-depth services.


Anderson Fire Protection, Inc. has the expertise and skill to help your home or commercial property for all your fire protection needs. We have been working in the Maryland, Northern Virginia, Southern Pennsylvania, and Washington, D.C. areas for over 25 years. We are known for our top-notch customer service and high-quality results. If you are ready for fantastic fire prevention and protection services, from fire sprinkler installation to fire alarm design and to consult, give us a call at (410) 796-4915 or visit us online.

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This entry was posted on Tuesday, November 5th, 2019 at 11:29 am. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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