How to Extinguish a Fire
A fire can be a scary and dangerous situation, but with the right tools, it's also something that can be relatively easy to handle. Knowing how to use a fire extinguisher is one of the most important things you can do.
How to Use a Fire Extinguisher
To use a fire extinguisher, you should first remember the ABCs: A is for the type of fire, B is for the type of fire extinguisher, and C is for the size of the fire.
If the fire is small and can easily be put out with a hand-held unit, pick up one from your local hardware store and follow these steps:
Aim at the base of the flame. Do not aim directly into flames; this will only make them worse.
Squeeze the lever to release the agent onto the base of the flame. It's important not to overuse your extinguisher as doing so can waste precious seconds when seconds count! If possible, try to aim at unburned material such as carpeting or fabric furniture instead—but never attempt this if there are any nearby flammable materials such as dry leaves or paper trash in close proximity!
Sweep from side to side until all flames have been extinguished.
How to Put Out a Grease Fire
Oven fires are the most common type of kitchen fire and can be caused by a number of things. Follow these steps:
Turn off the stove. If you can't turn off your stovetop flame quickly enough, place a lid over it—this should help extinguish the flames before they get out of control.
Remember, never use water on a grease fire!
How to Put Out a Kitchen Fire
If you are unfortunate enough to have a kitchen fire, don't panic. Here's how to put it out:
- Use a fire extinguisher with a class B rating for most fires. Aim at the base of the flames and squeeze until all of them are extinguished. If it is a grease fire (the most common), use a class K rating instead.
- Electrical fires need to be put out with one rated for class C.
How to Put Out an Electrical Fire
Electrical fires are tricky to put out and can be dangerous if you don't know what you're doing. If the power source isn't immediately accessible, shut off the breaker in your home or building's electrical panel. Once it's safe to do so, use a fire extinguisher to fight the flames.
Do not use water on an electrical fire unless you have no other option—water tends to conduct electricity, which will make things worse!
How to Put Out a Garbage Can Fire
If the garbage can is on fire, remove it from the area. If you are able to turn off the heat source (like a stove or other open flame), do so immediately.
If there's no way to avoid contact with flames and smoke, move as far away as possible and cover your mouth with your shirt or coat.
If there's no chance of getting burned or injured by falling debris, use an ABC dry chemical extinguisher on small trash fires that are contained within their own containers.
Remember to always be careful when handling a fire extinguisher. There are many different types of fires, each requiring a different type of extinguisher and process for putting them out. If you have any questions about what type of fire you are dealing with or how best to deal with it, contact your local fire department immediately!