Five Ways You Should Not Use a Fire Extinguisher

September 1, 2021 2:02 am Published by Leave your thoughts

Do you know what to do in the event of a fire at your workplace? While escaping unharmed is the main priority, there are some situations that call for the use of fire extinguishers to allow all occupants to escape safely. Follow these fire extinguisher safety tips so you’ll know exactly what not to do should a fire break out at your workplace.

Don’t use an extinguisher without consulting the manufacturer’s instructions

One of the most important fire extinguisher safety tips is to follow all of the manufacturer’s instructions. All extinguishers have unique guidelines that detail proper use, and you should never assume that your previous experience of handling a fire extinguisher will be the same with every model. While it’s not wise to be reading directions in the middle of a fire event, you should appoint a fire marshal for your building who understands how to use all fire extinguishers on the premises.

Don’t be unprepared

It’s natural for people to try to get a fire under control as quickly as possible, but it’s wise to take a few seconds to make sure you’re approaching the situation safely. Determine both the source of the fire and its general progression so you can position yourself appropriately to prevent injury and ensure you always have a means of escape. Once you’ve made these determinations, you can then approach the fire with the appropriate extinguisher.

Don’t stand too close to burning liquids

If you stand too close to a fire comprised of burning liquids, particularly hot oil, you put yourself at risk of injury when using a fire extinguisher. The force of the material coming from the extinguisher can splash the burning liquid onto your body, causing serious injury. Most extinguishers have a discharge rate of between six and 20 feet. Never get closer than that to a burning fire, especially one that involves liquids.

Don’t use a fire extinguisher against the wind

It’s easy to panic in a fire event and forget some of the basic rules of physics. Don’t point an extinguisher hose directly towards an opposing wind—it will render your efforts ineffective. Whenever possible, position yourself in a way where the wind will not blow the extinguishing material back at you.

Don’t aim for the top of the flame

A fire’s true source—the way in which it spreads—is at its base. The base is the location of the chemical reaction that results in the ignition of the flames. When aimed at the flames, the extinguishing agent simply flies right through and is ineffective. Hit the base, where the fuel is feeding the fire, and you’ll have a better chance of getting the blaze under control.

Following these proper fire extinguisher safety tips can keep you and others safe in the workplace should a fire situation occur. Contact Anchor Safety Inc. to learn more about fire safety and to ensure your building has the proper equipment to protect life and property in the event of a fire.

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