How to use a Fire Extinguisher

As a small business, the most common emergency we need to be prepared for is a small business. As AXIS has a shop with welding inside our building, it is incredibly important for us to know how to properly use a fire extinguisher in case something goes wrong. A fire extinguisher may seem like an easy piece of equipment to use, but how many of us properly know how to maneuver it? We want to  show an easy method for using a frie extinguisher, but first we want to share a few notes about fire extinguishers many people may not know:

  • fire extinguishers do not “expire” but typically last 5-15 year
  • there are 5 main types of fire extinguishers, each used for different types of fires:
    • water
    • powder
    • foam
    • CO2
    • wet chemical
  • dry powder is the most common extinguisher to have in the home or at work, as it is effective for all types of fire
  • a fire can double in size in 60 seconds


In the case of a small fire, reach for the nearest fire extinguisher and remember the acronym PASS:

P – pull the pin

A – aim at the base of the fire

S – squeeze the trigger

S – swipe side to side

More important than knowing how to use an extinguisher, is knowing when not to use the extinguisher. Only try to fight a fire when it is small, contained, and you are able to control the extinguisher. Fires spread rapidly and it is safer to evacuate and call 911 than fumble with the extinguisher and lose important time.


What do your workplaces do for fire safety? Let us know in the comments below

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