Fire Extinguisher Usage Review
Fire Extinguishers are located throughout the corridors, parking garage and in many rooms of LSUHSC’s buildings. When used appropriately by a trained team, they can be very effective tools for extinguishing small fires. There are a few basic rules to know about fire extinguishers:
- Know how to properly select & use a fire extinguisher.
- Know how to activate the building alarm system.
- Recruit a "buddy" to assist if possible.
- Never turn away from a fire you have extinguished until you are out of the area.
- Remember, all extinguishers are not the same. Look at the icons or letter(s) on the extinguisher, it will usually indicate what types of fires can be extinguished with the equipment you have.
- Basically, there are 5 different types of extinguishing agents. Most fire extinguishers display symbols to show the kind of fire on which they are to be used.
Types of Fire Extinguishers
Class A- combustible materials such as cloth, wood, rubber, paper, and many plastics.
Class B- flammable liquids, such as grease, gasoline, oil, and oil-based paints.
Class C- appliances, tools, or other equipment that is electrically energized or plugged in.
Class D- flammable metals and is often specific for the type of metal in question. These are typically found only in factories working with these metals.
Class K- vegetable oils, animal oils, or fats in cooking appliances. These extinguishers are generally found in commercial kitchens, such as those found in restaurants, cafeterias, and caterers. Class K extinguishers are now finding their way into the residential market for use in kitchens.
¥ There are also multi-purpose fire extinguishers such as those labeled "B-C" or "A-B-C" – that can be used on two or more of the above type fires. Most extinguishers at LSUHSC-NO are of the "A-B-C" type.
Remember PASS: Pull, Aim, Squeeze, Sweep
This will allow you to discharge the extinguisher.
Aimat the base of the fire.
If you aim at the flames (which is frequently the temptation), the extinguishing agent will fly right through and do no good. You want to hit the fuel.
This depresses a button that releases the pressurized extinguishing agent in the extinguisher.
Sweepfrom side to side
Until the fire is completely out. Start using the extinguisher from a safe distance away, then move forward. Once the fire is out, keep an eye on the area in case it re-ignites.
Consider The Following Before Using a Fire Extinguisher:
1. What type of fire extinguisher is needed?
· Different types of fires require different types of extinguishers.
· “A-B-C” types are multi-purpose extinguishers and by far the most common and widely available.
· “K” types are relatively new to the residential market and are now available at most retailers. They are designed for kitchen type of fires. (Most home fires occur in the kitchen)
2. Is the fire at a point where it might still be controlled by a fire extinguisher?
· Portable fire extinguishers are valuable for use on small fires. They contain a limited amount of extinguishing material and need to be properly used so that this material is not wasted. For example: if a fire is confined to a trash can, it may be easily extinguished by carefully placing the lid on it and/or using a fire extinguisher. However, if it has spread to the surrounding area, these actions may not be adequate. Only trained firefighters can safely extinguish such fires.
· Things to consider:
° You are safe from the toxic smoke produced by the fire?
° Have you identified a means of escape and ensured the fire is not between you and the escape route?
3. Am I physically capable of using the extinguisher?
· Some people have physical limitations that might diminish or eliminate their ability to properly use a fire extinguisher. People with disabilities, older adults, or children may find that an extinguisher is too heavy to handle or it may be too difficult for them to exert the necessary pressure to operate the extinguisher.
General Fire Safety
· ALWAYS identify and know where escapes, extinguishers and fire alarm pull stations are located.
· Know the exterior Area of Refuge for your building.
· NEVER use an elevator during an evacuation.
· Wheelchair bound, non-ambulatory or those not physically able to egress stairs should be placed or report to a fire escape landing for shelter & rescue. Fire departments routinely monitor these areas during an evacuation.
· Upon hearing a fire alarm, leave immediately. Do not return to gather items etc. Do not panic, walk safely to the nearest/safest EXIT and exit the building.
· Make sure extinguishers are not blocked by equipment, furniture, doorways, or anything that might limit access in an emergency.
· Report missing or discharged extinguishers to EH&S at 568-6585.
· There should not be any signs of damage or abuse, such as dents or rust, on the extinguisher.