Use fire extinguishers correctly

Today is International Fire Extinguisher Day. Learn how to use a fire extinguisher.

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10 February 2022 Fire Safety

Use fire extinguishers correctly

Everyone should know how a fire extinguisher works and have practised it. Today, on International Fire Extinguisher Day, we would like to show how a fire extinguisher should be used.

International Fire Extinguisher Day

The 10.02. of each year it is the international day of the fire extinguisher. The choice of the date 10.02. is no coincidence. On 10.02.1863, the patent for a fire extinguisher was registered by Alanson Crane from Virginia/USA. At that time, Alanson Crane developed a fire extinguishing device for a (multi-storey) house. The patent shows drawings of a network of pipes in the building through which the extinguishing agent should also reach the upper parts of the building(1). But why this day was chosen for the fire extinguisher, when the patent has more similarities to a fire water system... we don't know. But we like to use the day to draw attention to fire extinguishers, these little helpers can save lives if used correctly.

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Handling fire extinguisher

Many fires that are still very small can be extinguished with a fire extinguisher. Using a fire extinguisher is easy, but many people do not dare. What helps is to become familiar with the operation of a fire extinguisher in advance so that they can act quickly and purposefully in case of danger. Fire safety training prepares employees for emergencies.

Fire extinguishers are located every few metres in the building, often in the corridor. A fire extinguisher sign makes a fire extinguisher location recognisable from a distance, the fire extinguisher signs are photoluminescent. In addition, fire extinguishers are also listed for everyone in the escape and rescue plan.

How does a fire extinguisher work?

  1. Pull the safety pin or loop out of the fire extinguisher.
  2. Hit the push button from above with your fist to spray the extinguishing agent with pressure.
  3. Hold the handle of the fire extinguisher with one hand and the hose with the spray gun in the other hand.
  4. Carefully approach the source of the fire, pay attention to the power and spray range of the extinguisher steel. Now spray directly on the source of the fire.
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How do you use a fire extinguisher in different situations?

1. Wind direction: Pay attention to the wind direction and always extinguish with the wind. Spray the extinguishing agent into the embers, not into the flames.

2. Wildfire: Always extinguish a wildfire from the front and bottom, not from the back or top. Always extinguish the embers, not the flames.

3. Dripping and flowing fires: Extinguish from the point of exit to the burning pool. The source of the fire must be eliminated first.

4. Multiple fire extinguishers: Extinguish larger incipient fires by having several people, each with a fire extinguisher, extinguish the fire at the same time. Be aware of wind direction and talk to each other, coordination is extremely important.

5. Re-ignition: If the fire is extinguished at first sight, stay ready with the fire extinguisher in case a re-ignition comes.

6. Recharge the fire extinguisher: Inform the fire safety officer after using the fire extinguisher. Do NOT hang up the fire extinguisher. It must be reconditioned for use by a specialist company.

Use fire extinguisher

Best prepared

Thank you for reading this article and for considering the use of fire extinguishers. We hope you will never find yourself in a situation where you need to use a fire extinguisher in an emergency. If you do, you are now well prepared!

PS: In our fire safety training course, participants practise how to use a fire extinguisher correctly in a safe environment and under supervision. We will be happy to send you an offer.

Do you still have questions about fire extinguishers or fire safety training?

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