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Using an Extinguisher? Learn P.A.S.S.

by | Jan 5, 2021 | Fire Safety

Child using a fire extinguisher on a controlled fire

How to properly use a fire extinguisher


Using a fire extinguisher may look like simple task, but it’s important to know how to use a fire extinguisher properly by using the P.A.S.S. technique.

In this article you will learn how to use a fire extinguisher by following the acronym P.A.S.S.

First, before operating a fire extinguisher it’s important to always keep your back to an unobstructed exit.

Stand six to eight feet away from the fire, and follow the PASS (Pull-Aim- Squeeze-Sweep) four-step procedure:

PULL THE PIN – This unlocks the operating lever and allows you to discharge the fire extinguisher. Some extinguishers may have other lever-release mechanisms.

AIM LOW – Point the fire extinguisher nozzle (or hose) at the base of the fire.

SQUEEZE THE LEVER ABOVE THE HANDLE – This discharges the extinguishing agent. Releasing the lever will stop the discharge. (Some extinguishers have a b

SWEEP FROM SIDE TO SIDE – Moving carefully toward the fire, keep the extinguisher aimed at the base of the fire and sweep back and forth until the flames appear to be out. Watch the fire area. If the fire re-ignites, repeat the process.

After you have completed the P.A.S.S. technique and extinguished the fire, watch the area where the fire was. 

If the fire re-ignites, repeat the process (steps 2-4). 
Aim low-squeeze the lever-sweep from side to side.  

If you are experiencing problems with the fire extinguisher or cannot completely extinguish the fire….EVACUATE THE BUILDING IMMEDIATELY.

Learn more about fire safety fundamentals

Find valuable life saving answers to frequently asked questions about fire protection and preparedness on our F.A.Q page.

Do you have a business in San Diego or the Banning, Beaumont, Cabazon, Blythe, Cathedral City, Coachella, Desert Hot Springs, Indian Wells, Indio, La Quinta, Mecca, Oasis, Palm Desert, Palm Springs, Rancho Mirage, Thousand Palms, Yucca Valley, or Twentynine Palms areas?

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