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How to Use Fire Extinguishers

Aug 21, 2008
Fire safety is a major concern everywhere, and it is unusual that so many people do not know how to use one. This procedure should be taught at home by parents as well as every department of a firm should have fire safety classes, that not only teach people what to do in case there is ever an actual fire.

Fire extinguishers are color coded and by law each office or building has to be inspected by a fire extinguisher expert, to determine where the best place to place a fire extinguisher, and also determine what type of fire and extinguisher the designated spot might have. Class A fires are fires that are caused by paper, wood, plastics, and other rubbish, and usually occur mostly in a home around a kitchen Class F fires caused from burning pans,or laundry rooms.

Class C fires are caused by bad wiring, machinery, short circuits, and sparks that may come from bad switches, controls, or even some motors. Class C fires can happen in the home as well as the work place. Class D fires usually happen at a work place as they involve some flammable types of metals.

There is a word that you can remember, that will actually help you use a fire extinguisher if the need should ever arise. P pull the pin A aim the nozzle below the flames P press the lever as gently as possible if the fire extinguisher has been recently charged, the lever may need a little bit more pressure to press it M kneel low and move the nozzle from one left to right as you press the lever.

A good type of fire extinguisher that should be kept next to the electricity box is a blue labeled, powder base fire extinguisher. Never use a water based fire extinguisher on an electrical fire. There are fire extinguishers that use a powder for extinguishing these types of fires, and they will have a blue color coded sticker on the outside, instead of a red sticker. Always make sure if it is an electrical fire, to turn off the power to the electrical box before you start to extinguish it.

There are fire extinguishers that use foam and CO2 for some types of fires which would probably be used in a particular work station. Both these types should not be used for long periods of time because of the fumes and they may interfere with your breathing. The foam fire extinguishers are coded with a cream colored sticker, and the CO2 extinguisher will have a black symbol on the outside sticker. Some fire extinguishers can be found in larger restaurant kitchens, and are color coded with a yellow sticker.

Always remember if you think a fire is too large to try to put out with a fire extinguisher do not even try, smoke and the flames could spread fast enough to keep you from getting out safely. As you leave any rooms remember to always close the doors behind you to try and prevent the fire from spreading.
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