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A Source for Workplace Safety News and Notes - from ComplianceSigns.com ®

September 16, 2009

Safety Tip: Using a Fire Extinguisher

how to use a fire extinguisher
Employers are not required to provide portable fire extinguishers for employee use. But if you do, you must:
  - Establish an educational program to familiarize workers with general principles of fire extinguisher use
  - Provide hands-on training in using the equipment
OSHA reports that most fire extinguishers can be operated using the PASS technique:
  • PULL - Pull the pin. This will also break the tamper seal.
  • AIM LOW - Point the extinguisher nozzle (or its horn or hose) at the base of the fire. Note: Do not touch the plastic discharge horn on a CO2 extinguisher. It gets very cold and can damage skin.
  • SQUEEZE - Squeeze the handle to release the extinguishing agent.
  • SWEEP - Sweep from side to side at the base of the fire until it appears to be out. Watch the area. If the fire re-ignites, repeat steps 2 - 4.
Employees who have the slightest doubt about their ability to fight a fire should evacuate immediately.