How to Properly Use a Fire Extinguisher

You may be familiar with the sound of an alarm going off in the middle of the night. Maybe you’ve even woken up to the sound of an alarm in the middle of the night. You get out of bed, excited about the possibilities of what could happen, only to discover that it was just a false alarm. It’s no secret that false alarms are extremely common with fire alarms. In fact, according to the Insurance Information Institute (III), “homes lost to fire are the number one cause of financial hardship for American families.”

Even when they’re not false alarms, fire alarms can be rather stressful. After all, what if the real alarm goes off when you’re not there? You might rush upstairs to find out what’s going on, only to discover that it was just a faulty appliance. You’ll be relieved, of course, but also a little worried about what might have happened.

While false alarms and anxious feelings about faulty appliances are one thing, what about the possibility of dying from a fire? It’s hard to think about, but it’s something that everyone should be aware of, especially since according to the American Association of Fire Marshals (AAFM), “most people, when faced with a fire, will not react calmly. In fact, when faced with a life-threatening situation, the average person will behave in a way that is neither logical nor safe.”

For those in charge of protecting the lives of others, it might be wise to keep this in mind and be prepared to act quickly and decisively when needed. For instance, if you’re running late for work and you park in a lonely spot, it may be smart not to waste time looking for a parking spot. Instead, you might want to consider getting out of the car and running for work. You might also want to think about how you would react if you knew that there was actually a fire. Would you really rush upstairs to find out what was going on? Or would you have a fire axe or a fire extinguisher handy, and know exactly what you were doing?

There are several steps you can follow to properly use a fire extinguisher, and we’ve compiled a list with some of the things you should know and do before, during, and after using one.

Before You Use It

Before you use a fire extinguisher, ensure that you have the proper safety gear with you. This includes protective clothing and equipment, such as personal protective equipment (PPE). Also make sure that you practice using the equipment you’ll be wearing, to ensure that you don’t suffer from performance anxiety while protecting yourself and others around you from a fire.

During Use

When you’re using a fire extinguisher, follow all the instructions carefully, including how to correctly aim the nozzle. If you’re getting nervous or anxious, take a break and come back to it later. There’s no rush – you’ll never know when the moment might come when you need to use the extinguisher, so take your time.

After Use

After you use a fire extinguisher, ensure that the area is safe and clean before you leave. Check for signs of a fire, and ensure that the nozzle is turned off and stored safely.

Hopefully, you’ll never have to use a fire extinguisher as long as you’re following these tips. However, you should always be aware of what they are and where they are located, in case the need arises. Hopefully, this post gave you some good ideas regarding how to properly use a fire extinguisher, and helped you develop a better understanding of how important it can be when needed.

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