Types of fire extinguishers
There are three common classes of fire extinguishers. All fire extinguishers are labelled to show the class of fire they can extinguish.
Class A – Ordinary combustibles including paper, wood, drapes and upholstery.
Class B – Flammable liquids such as gasoline, oils, solvents, paints and flammable gases.
Class C – Electrical fires involving energized electrical material such as power tools, appliances, televisions and electrical motors.
For general household use, a multi-purpose ABC extinguisher is recommended.
A red slash through any of the fire class symbols means you cannot use the extinguisher on that class of fire. If you use the wrong type of extinguisher, you can endanger yourself and make the fire worse. Be sure to read the instruction manual and label of your extinguisher.
How to use an extinguisher
When using an extinguisher, remember the word P-A-S-S.
P – Pull out the pin unlocking the operating lever.
A – Aim low. Point the hose at the base of the flame about three metres from the fire.
S – Squeeze the lever above the handle to discharge the extinguishing agent.
S – Sweep the nozzle from side to side while moving towards the fire. Keep the extinguisher pointed at the base of the fire.
Repeat the process if the fire starts up again. Never turn your back even if you think the fire is out.
When to use an extinguisher
Use an extinguisher only if:
- The fire is small, confined and not spreading.
- Everyone else has left the building and someone is calling the fire department.
- There is a clear escape route that will not be blocked by fire.
- The extinguisher matches the type of fire.
- You know how to operate the extinguisher.
Do not fight a fire under any other circumstance. Leave the building immediately, close off the area and call 9-1-1.
Installing a fire extinguisher
Extinguishers should be installed in plain view, out of the reach of children, near an escape route and away from stoves and heating appliances.
Disposing of fire extinguishers
Fire extinguishers need to be disposed of safely and properly. They are accepted at specific locations around Saskatoon as part of the Household Hazardous Waste program.