Fire Extinguisher Use and Inspection Safety Talk
When a fire breaks out, the correct use of a fire extinguisher can be the difference between a minor loss or a major loss. They can also be an essential tool in helping a small fire from turning into a larger fire. The most important thing to remember during a fire is to get yourself to safety and call the proper authorities to help fight the fire.
If the fire is small and it is something you can control with a fire extinguisher there are several things you need to consider before using it.
Responding to Fires
When you see fire the first thing you should do is pull the fire alarm and call the local fire department also, notify your immediate supervisor. Make sure you are following company policies and procedures when dealing with a fire. If you are attempting to extinguish a fire you should:
- 1. Know what type of combustible material is burning.
- 2. Have been trained to use a fire extinguisher correctly.
- 3. Make sure the fire is still in the early stages.
If the fire gets out of control quickly or you do not know what material is burning or how to properly use a fire extinguisher, you should evacuate the building immediately. Do not enter a building under fire for any circumstances. Always wait for a supervisor to advise you on what to do next after a fire.
Classes of Fires
There are four different classes of fires. A fire class is a system of categorizing fire with regard to the type of material and fuel for combustion. The class of fire also determines what type of extinguishing agent that can be used for the fire to be put out.
- 1. Class A involves ordinary combustibles such as paper, wood, cloth, rubber, or plastics. The common extinguishing agent is water or a dry chemical.
- 2. Class B involves flammable liquids, grease, or gases. The common extinguishing media are foam, carbon dioxide, or dry chemicals.
- 3. Class C are live electrical fires or CO2. Sometimes the actual burning agent may be a class A item but a dry chemical extinguisher should be used to extinguish the fire.
- 4. Class D these burning materials include combustible metals such as magnesium and sodium. When dealing with these metals, special extinguishing agents are needed to extinguish the fire.
Before you try to extinguish a fire you must know the class fire you are dealing with to ensure you are using the proper agent to put the fire out.
The PASS acronym is used to remember how to properly use a fire extinguisher in case of a fire. It stands for the 4 basic steps used:
P- Pull the pin. Hold the extinguisher away from your body and release the locking mechanism A- Aim. Aim the stream towards the base of the fire. Do not aim at smoke or flames as this will not put the fire out. S- Squeeze. Make sure you squeeze the lever slowly and evenly. If you pull the lever too fast you could shoot the stream where you are not intending it to go and waste valuable fire fighting agents. S- Sweep. Be sure to sweet the nozzle side to side at the base of the fire to combat and extinguish the fire.
Fire Extinguishers Limitations
When using a fire extinguisher it is important to know the limitations. Some of these include:
Fire extinguisher Inspection Tips
In order to keep the fire extinguisher in working order, a few things should be done periodically. Some tips include:
In the case of a fire at work, it is important to know more than just where the extinguisher is located. Make sure you know how to properly use the extinguisher, know the limitations of the extinguisher you would be using, and know the tips to keep the extinguishers in good working order. If you experience a fire at work always notify your supervisor and the local fire department. Do not try to extinguish the fire if it is out of control make sure you get to safety.
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