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Knowing how to use a fire extinguisher is an important skill that can save lives. Unfortunately, while a lot of people do have extinguishers at home, most still don’t know how to use them.

According to the Fire Extinguishing Trades Association or FETA, fire extinguishers have saved the UK economy over £500 million – they have successfully prevented 1,629 injuries and 24 deaths according to the latest report.

Proper Use of Fire Extinguishers

Extinguishing a fire is not as easy as it seems, especially when you are under pressure.

Before you use a fire extinguisher, here are some important things to keep in mind:

  • Call the local fire brigade as soon as possible.
  • Alert others about the fire. Check if people have started to evacuate the area.
  • Make sure that the fire is not emitting a toxic smoke or spreading.
  • Ensure that the fire doesn’t block your exit point.

The P.A.S.S. Technique

In case of fire emergencies, just remember P.A.S.S (Pull, aim, squeeze, sweep).

Fire Extinguisher


Pull the pin located at the top of the fire extinguisher. The pin will release a locking mechanism that will allow you to discharge the extinguisher.


Aim the hose or the nozzle at the base of the fire – not the flame itself. Keep yourself low; this will extinguish the source of the fuel.


Slowly squeeze the lever or handle to release the extinguishing agent. Keep it held down, as letting go will cause the discharge to stop.


Sweep from side to side until the fire is out. Move at least 6-8 feet away and operate at a safe distance while you move the fire extinguisher back and forth. Once the fire is diminished, watch the area as the fire might re-ignite. If so, repeat the process.

Use P.A.S.S. as a reference. You can print it and place it next to the location of your fire extinguisher.

It is important to take note that fire extinguishers can only put out small fires that are just starting – bigger fires should be left to the professionals.

Fire Services Central Ltd. offers competent fire extinguisher servicing in Birmingham and across the UK. Call us today on 0121 525 1976 and let our Fire Extinguisher Installation and Maintenance team assist you further.