How to Use a Fire Extinguisher

General Information

If You See a Fire in a Building

  • Call 3-911 or 911
  • Pull the building fire alarm
  • Leave the building by the nearest exit

Only Use a Fire Extinguisher to Fight a Fire if:

  • The fire is small enough to put out using a fire extinguisher
  • You are trained and confident in using a fire extinguisher

Know How to Select the Right Fire Extinguisher

There are several types of fire extinguishers - each designed to put out a different type of fire:

Type A - will put out burning paper and other combustible materials

Type B - will put out fires involving flammable or combustible liquids (gasoline, kerosene, etc.) 

Type C - will put out electrical fires

Type D - will put out fires involving ignitable metals 

Type A B C - this combination fire extinguisher will put out fires involving combustible materials like paper, flammable liquids like gasoline, and electrical fires. This is the most common type of fire extinguisher you will find on campus and when used properly, will extinguish most fires.

Fighting a Fire with a Fire Extinguisher:

  • Chose the correct type of fire extinguisher for the fire
  • Take the fire extinguisher off the hanger or out of the storage box
  • Pull the pin out of the fire extinguisher
  • Approach the fire with caution and the nozzle aimed at the base of the fire
  • Squeeze the trigger
  • Continue to aim the spray from the fire extinguisher at the base of the fire
  • Sweep the fire extinguisher spray from side to side - still aimed at the base of the fire
  • Don't stop! Keep spraying until you are certain the fire is out
  • When the fire is out or the extinguisher is empty - back away from the fire and go to a safe area

 Use Caution:

  • Always leave yourself a way to get out
  • Do not allow the fire to get between you and your exit
  • Never turn your back to the fire

 Remember to Use the P.A.S.S. System:

Pull the pin

Aim the extinguisher at the base of the fire

Squeeze the trigger

Sweep side to side