You should keep a fire extinguisher in both your home and place of business. A fire extinguisher is an essential tool when it comes to keeping you safe in the event of a fire. It can make the difference between a small mess and a big mess in your home or business.

It is important not only to keep a fire extinguisher on hand, but to also understand when to use the fire extinguisher and how to use it as well.

When to Use a Fire Extinguisher

Although some people may believe that if you see a fire, you should grab a fire extinguisher and try to put it out, that is not actually the case. Before you start to use a fire extinguisher, you need to make sure that the setting and situation is safe for you to proceed and use it.

First, you need to make sure that others are aware of the fire. That could mean notifying someone else in the building or calling emergency services. You shouldn't try to put out a fire if no one else knows there is a fire and there is no one to call emergency services.

Second, you need to make sure that the fire is small and localized. If an entire wall is on fire, you should just get out of the building. If a trash can is on fire, that is a small fire that a fire extinguisher could take care of.

Third, you need to make sure there is a clear escape route. Never position yourself so you are spraying down a fire without an exit. You should be between the nearest exit and the fire. You want to make sure you can get out if you can't contain the fire.

Finally, you need to be physically capable of pulling the pin on the fire extinguisher and hold it as it sprays.

How to Use the Fire Extinguisher

You also need to know how to properly use the fire extinguisher. When you pick up the fire extinguisher, you want the nozzle to be pointing away from you and towards the fire. Then, you can release the locking mechanism by pulling the pin.

After you pull the pin, you need to aim low at the fire. Do not aim at the top of the fire. You put a fire out at the base first. As you aim at the pass, pull on the lever and keep the pressure even. As you release the substance from the fire extinguisher, take the nozzle and move it side to side to put out the fire.

Before you use the fire extinguisher, you need to make sure that someone else knows about it and can call 911. Use the fire extinguisher only if you can position yourself safely and can escape if the fire is not put out. Be safe when using a fire extinguisher.