Four Important Things You Should Know About Fire Extinguishers

A fire extinguisher is a life saving device that is able to put out a small fire and contain the incident before it escalates into an emergency. Please note, if you are not appropriately trained in the use of a fire extinguisher always call ‘triple 0’ immediately.

Below are four important things you need to know about fire extinguishers:

  1. There are different fire extinguishers for different types of fires.

In Australia we use a range of fire extinguishers for different types of fires. For example with an oil fire in a kitchen, a wet chemical fire extinguisher is to be used. Always check the identification sign above for the fire extinguisher to ensure you have selected the correct one.

Fire Extinguishers are clearly marked with information on what type of fire they can and cannot be used for.  Some extinguishers are inappropriate for certain types of fires and it is important that you check that the extinguisher is appropriate for the fire you are trying to extinguish.

2. Remember PASS

Always remember the acronym PASS when using a fire extinguisher:

P – Pull the pin

A – Aim low – at the base of the fire

S – Squeeze the handle

S – Sweeping action with the nozzle

3.Fire extinguishers need to be inspected and tested on a 6 monthly basis by an appropriately accredited person according to the Australian Standards AS1851-2012 and the Building Code of Australia.  FireSafe can assist with these checks to ensure your extinguishers are ready for an emergency.

4.Fire Extinguishers and Exits

Past of your duty of care is that you need to provide the quickest way of egress (exit) for the occupants of the building.  Most buildings have emergency lighting and exit signage showing this path however a lot of people don’t realize that exits need to also have a fire extinguisher next to it in case there is also a small fire blocking the exit.

Use a fire extinguisher ONLY if:

  • you know that the extinguisher is suitable for use on the type of fire you are trying to extinguish
  • you have considered whether electricity is possibly involved and if so, that the available extinguishing agent is non-conducting e.g. a water extinguisher would be unsuitable
  • you can extinguish the fire quickly
  • the fire is not so large that the extinguisher will not be able to put it out; generally fires greater than a square foot should be dealt with by the fire brigade
  • you are not putting your personal safety at risk by staying in the vicinity of the fire
  • all other persons have been evacuated from the area.

If you would like more information or training on fire extinguisher use or you would like to have your extinguishers checked visit our website firesafe-au.com.au, email us at info@firesafe-au.com.au or call us on 1300 347 372