I bought a fire extinguisher for my Missoula home -- now what?
So, you read our recent blog about fire extinguishers in the home, and you went out and bought one. (If you need to catch up, no worries; just scroll down the page a bit for “Should I have a home fire extinguisher?”) Now you may be thinking that you’re as prepared as you could possibly be for a home fire. However, owning a fire extinguisher won’t do you much good if you don’t know how to use it. Fires can double in size every 60 seconds, so you don’t want to wait for a fire to break out in your home to look over the directions for the first time.
Before you even reach for that fire extinguisher, make sure the fire is still in the incipient stage (the flames aren’t taller than you) and that it’s not threatening to block your evacuation route. If you’re good on both of those fronts, all it takes to effectively operate most fire extinguishers is remembering and executing the acronym P.A.S.S:
PULL the pin.
AIM the nozzle at the base of the fire.
SQUEEZE the handle to release the fire extinguishing agent.
SWEEP the nozzle from side to side until the fire appears to be out.
After executing the P.A.S.S. technique, don’t turn your back on the area of the fire as flames may still flare up. And remember to evacuate immediately and call 9-1-1 if the fire gets out of hand. Your safety is the number one goal of a fire preparedness plan!