Even though extinguishers come in a number of shapes and sizes, they all operate in a similar manner. Here’s an easy acronym for fire extinguisher use:
P A S S — Pull, Aim, Squeeze, Sweep
Pull the pin at the top of the extinguisher that keeps the handle from being accidentally pressed.
Aim the nozzle toward the base of the fire.
Squeeze the handle to discharge the extinguisher. Position yourself approximately 8 feet away from the fire. If you release the handle, the discharge will stop.
Sweep the nozzle back and forth at the base of the fire. After the fire appears to be out, watch it carefully since it may re-ignite!
Make sure all employees who are expected to use fire extinguishers if a controllable fire occurs are properly training with hands-on practice. There’s no OSHA requirement to actually extinguish a fire or discharge a fire extinguisher during training. However, each employee should handle the fire extinguisher and demonstrate they can perform the PASS steps.