Using a Fire Extinguisher

Be prepared for any accidents by having fire extinguishers strategically placed
around your house.

You should have at least one extinguisher on each floor and one in the kitchen (this one should be an all-purpose extinguisher, meaning it can be used on grease and electrical fires), and one in the basement, the garage, or workshop area. Keep them out of the reach of children.

Fire extinguishers are best used when a fire is contained to a small area, like a wastebasket, and when the fire department has already been called.

The NFPA says to remember the word PASS when operating an extinguisher:

Pull the pin. Release the lock with the nozzle pointing away from you.

Aim low. Point the extinguisher at the base of the fire.

Squeeze the lever slowly and evenly.

Sweep the nozzle from side to side.

Watch video on how to use your fire extinguisher


The best time to learn how to use the fire extinguisher is now, before you ever need it (if you have any questions, the local fire department can help). Fire extinguishers have gauges on them indicating when they need to be replaced and should be checked regularly to make sure they’re still functional.

If you’re ever in doubt about whether to use an extinguisher on a fire, don’t try it. Instead, leave the house immediately and call the fire department.