Many people have fire extinguishers in their homes or businesses, and you’ve probably seen one millions of times. However, surprisingly, not many people know how to use them properly! Having one around is the first step to keeping your house prepared for a fire, but knowing how to use it is critical. While we hope you never find yourself in a situation where you need to use one, knowing how to could quite possibly save your life. With some help from the U.S. Department of Labor, we’re taking you step-by-step for how to properly—and safely—use a fire extinguisher using the P.A.S.S. technique.

Most extinguishers have a locking mechanism that needs to be released. On top of the extinguisher, there is a pin. Be sure the nozzle is facing away from you, and pull the pin to release the tamper seal.

From a safe enough distance, aim the extinguisher low with the nozzle pointed toward the base of the fire. Do NOT touch the plastic discharge horn on CO2 extinguishers, it’s extremely cold and can cause skin damage!

Squeeze the lever slowly to release the discharge.

Once the extinguishing agent is released, sweep the extinguisher from side to side until the fire appears to be gone.

If the fire progresses or continues to grow, evacuate immediately and call 911. Once you’ve successfully extinguished the fire, keep an eye on the area, as the fire has the potential to reignite. If it does, repeat the last three steps.

If the fire has caused any damage to your home or business, give us a call. Our technicians are certified by the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification, and we can get your home or workplace back to feeling like paradise.

Source: U.S. Department of Labor