Posted on: 26 August 2020
One of the most important safety items in your home is your fire extinguisher. A good fire extinguisher can put out small fires fairly quickly, so it is crucial that you keep up with the maintenance on the equipment and know exactly how to operate it if an emergency arises. These simple tips will help you keep your extinguisher in excellent working condition and ready for use.
1) Have the correct fire extinguisher on hand.
Fire extinguishers come in several different classification types. To protect your home, purchase a fire extinguisher that is effective against different kinds of fires. You will most likely require a Class A (wood, paper or clothing), Class B (flammable liquids like oil or gasoline), or Class C (electrical equipment) extinguisher. Your extinguisher should be lightweight enough for you to lift and control but also have enough power to handle a small fire. Confirm that your extinguisher has been approved by a safety certification company such as Underwriters Laboratories (UL).
2) Inspect the fire extinguisher regularly.
Each month, you should perform a visual assessment of the extinguisher. Look for any signs of damage, such as rust, dents or leakage. Check that the locking pin is still in place, and ensure that the nozzle and hose are not worn or cracked. If your extinguisher has a pressure gauge, verify that the dial is firmly in the green section; a reading outside of this safety zone can indicate that the extinguisher is not adequately charged. Additionally, put the extinguisher in a location that can be easily reached in the case of an emergency. It should be accessible and visible with nothing blocking it. After you complete your examination, write your initials and the date on the inspection record card. You only need to spend a few minutes every month on this inspection, but it is an essential measure to guarantee that your extinguisher will work successfully when you need it.
3) Be comfortable with the proper operation of the fire extinguisher.
Spend a few moments learning what to do in the event of a fire and how to use your own fire extinguisher. The first thing you should always do when you notice a fire is to call the fire department. Then, alert anyone currently in your home that there is a fire, and make sure that everyone knows the clearest exit path. After you have taken those immediate steps at the onset of a fire, you are ready to use the fire extinguisher with the word "PASS" in mind:
- Pull the pin to release the tamper lock.
- Aim low at the base of the fire. Always keep the extinguisher nozzle facing away from your body.
- Squeeze the handle lever with slow and even pressure.
- Sweep the nozzle with a side-to-side motion until the fire is out. If the extinguisher becomes empty and the fire is still present, evacuate the area immediately.
Taking the time to consistently perform proper maintenance on your fire extinguisher can safeguard you and your family if a fire ever occurs in your home.Share