Fire Extinguisher Operating Procedure

It is very important to understand the fire extinguisher operating procedure. A portable fire extinguisher carried on wheels and operated by hand contains an extinguishing agent that can be expelled under pressure to suppress or extinguish the fire.


Fire Extinguisher Operating Procedure


Different types of fire extinguishers are designed to fight different classes of fire. Remember they have limited capacity and will typically work for about 10-30 seconds depending on size, so use them wisely.


The most common types of fire extinguishers are:

1. Dry Powder (ABC, AD, BC)
2. Carbon Dioxide (CO2)
3. Foam Spray 
4. Water (Air Pressurized Water-APW)


How to Use a Fire Extinguisher?

Fire Extinguisher Operating Procedure. The operating procedure of a fire extinguisher is simple if you remember the word “PASS”.



Pass Method


To operate an extinguisher:

Pull = Pull the Pin

Aim = Aim nozzle at the base of the fire

Squeeze = Squeeze the handle

Sweep = Sweep nozzle side to side


  • Pull the pin; this may permit you to discharge the extinguisher. Get the hose or nozzle prepared to be used.
  • Aim at the base of the fire.
  • Squeeze the highest handle; this depresses a button that releases the pressurized extinguishing agent.
  • Sweep the nozzle from side to side until the fire is out.



Remember: Operate the extinguisher from a safe distance, say 2 – 3m, and then slowly move forward. Once the fire is out, keep a watch on the area in case it re-ignites.


Essentials of The Fire Extinguisher

Essentials of The Fire Extinguisher

    • – For easy fire extinguishing
    • – To avoid death
    • – To save property and prevent destruction
    • – Ensure better safety in any important place



Fire Extinguisher Placement

The OSHA and NFPA Specified Maximum Travel Distances To An Extinguisher By Fire Class:

Fire Class

Travel Distance

Class A

75 Feet

Class B

50 Feet

Class C

Based On Appropriate A or B Hazard

Class D

75 Feet

Class K

30 Feet


Materials Used in Fire Extinguisher






Phosphate and Ammonium Sulfate


Bicarbonate/Potassium Chloride

Sodium Chloride




Gas Used – CO2  GasCurtis Type: CO2  Gas

Pressure Type: N2  Gas


Wet Chemical

Water + Aluminum Sulphate Gas Used: N2  GasPotassium Acetate and Carbonate


Extinguisher tips

  • Make sure everyone in the house or business is aware of where and how to use each extinguisher.
  • Always use an extinguisher only when it’s safe to do so. Get out if in doubt.
  • Pull the safety pin out by giving it a hard tug (this also breaks the plastic seal).
  • After removing the extinguisher from the mounting bracket, check to make sure it is still functional.
  • For safety reasons, always try to work in pairs.
  • Extinguishers should be dragged or carried to the flames.


Fire Extinguisher Mistakes

We don’t frequently get the chance to practice fighting fires, so when the time comes, simple mistakes are easy to make. Recognize the common mistakes that individuals make so you can avoid them when under pressure.


Don’t disregard the directions: Read the fire extinguisher’s operating instructions in their entirety. Ensure that all of your household’s capable members have read and comprehended the guidelines. When you practice your evacuation strategy and conduct fire drills, go through them frequently.


Use the appropriate fire extinguisher: A fire extinguisher should never be used to put out a type of fire that is not listed on the label. Most critically, grease or electrical flames cannot be extinguished with extinguishers intended specifically for Class A fires.


Keep your extinguisher in good condition: The extinguishing chemical in fire extinguishers has an expiration date after which it loses its effectiveness. Keep track of the expiration dates on your fire extinguishers and replace them as necessary.


Don’t forget to maintain your fire extinguishers: The pressure needle on the extinguisher should always be pointing toward the green area. It doesn’t have enough pressure when it enters the red zone to discharge the extinguishing agent. Even if the extinguisher is never deployed, this could still occur.


Keep exits in mind: When deciding where to keep your fire extinguisher, ensure it is close to outdoor doors and easily accessible. Place your extinguishers where fires tend to start most frequently in a house.


Communication: Make sure everyone in your home is aware of where the fire extinguishers are kept. Don’t keep it a secret. Communicate the location with any long-term guests, homesitters, and babysitters, as well as your whole fire escape strategy.


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