Fire Extinguisher Usage

Portable fire extinguishers apply an extinguishing agent that will either:

  • cool burning fuel,
  • displace or remove oxygen, or
  • stop the chemical reaction so a fire cannot continue to burn.

When the handle of an extinguisher is compressed, agent is expelled out the nozzle. A fire extinguisher works much like a can of hair spray.

All portable fire extinguishers must be approved by a nationally recognized testing laboratory to verify compliance with applicable standards. Equipment that passes the laboratory’s tests are labeled and given an alpha-numeric classification based on the type and size of fire it will extinguish.

Listen to this short audio clip by Dan Clark of the theSafetyBrief.com. Fire extinguisher operation is not as easy as point-and-shoot. We explain the types of fires, and the types of extinguishers, and how to use them. What’s burning? Is the source wood, gasoline or electrical? What’s inside the fire extinguisher makes a difference. In this podcast, Dan describes the types of fires, and the various types of fire extinguishers to use on them.