Fire Extinguishers

In the event of a fire, you need to have the confidence to act on the spot. The smaller the fire is, the sooner it goes out. Learn about fire extinguishers to gain the confidence to use one.

Quick Tips

Look for the ABC rating.
Consider purchasing an extinguisher that has an ABC rating. This type can be used on most types of fires.

Only use an extinguisher if you have learned how to do so.
Remember the acronym PASS: Pull the pin; Aim the nozzle at the base of the fire; Squeeze the trigger; Sweep the extinguisher from side to side until it is empty.

Store it correctly.
Store the extinguisher in plain view, out of the reach of children and away from stoves and heating appliances.

Only use on small, contained fires.
Never let the fire get between you and the exit. Most fire extinguishers empty in less than 30 seconds. If the fire is not out by then, leave the premises immediately and call the fire department. Note: many stovetop fires can be safely extinguished without the use of a fire extinguisher. Slide a lid over the pot to smother the flames and turn off the stove.

Limitations of Fire Extinguishers

Portable fire extinguishers have limited applications against small fires. When used properly, an extinguisher can save lives and property by putting out a small fire or containing it until firefighters arrive. Fire extinguishers do not replace the need to call Fire Services. Always call 9-1-1 first when a fire occurs, no matter how small.

Fire extinguishers are not designed for use on large or spreading fires. Even on small fires, they are effective only under the following conditions:

Extinguisher must be:

Operator must be:

  • rated for the type of fire being extinguished
  • trained in the proper use of the extinguisher
  • large enough for the fire at hand
  • physically capable of lifting, handling and operating the extinguisher
  • in good working order, fully charged and within easy reach

FAQs: Fire Extinguishers

What is fire?

Fire is a combination of 3 elements: heat, fuel and oxygen. Remove any 1 of these elements and the fire will go out.