How To Use A Fire Extinguisher: Step-By-Step Guide With Tips For Safety

To use a fire extinguisher effectively, remember the acronym PASS. Pull the pin, Aim at the base of the fire, Squeeze the handle, and Sweep from side to side. Keep a safe distance and evacuate if necessary. 

You should also keep it in a place where you can easily reach it when necessary.

If you do not know how to use a fire extinguisher, do not worry. This article will guide you on how you can use an extinguisher and save the day like a hero. 

how to use a fire extinguisher

Step-by-Step Guide On Using Fire Extinguisher

Using a fire extinguisher effectively requires following a step-by-step process. It is not very difficult. You can learn it now. 

  • Determine the fire’s type and size while ensuring a clear evacuation path.
  • Confirm its suitability for the fire type, hold it upright, and remove the safety pin.
  • Stand 6-8 feet away, keeping an escape route behind you.
  • Direct the nozzle or hose at the fire’s base to cut off its oxygen source.
  • Firmly grip the handle and use the other hand to release the extinguishing agent.
  •  Move the nozzle or hose in a controlled sweeping motion until the flames are out.
  • Stay vigilant in case the fire re-ignites, and be ready to reapply the extinguisher.
  • If the fire is uncontrollable, leave the area and call emergency services.
  • After use, ensure the extinguisher is still functional; recharge or replace if needed.
  • Inform authorities about the fire incident, and promptly recharge or replace the used extinguisher.

Choose The Right Fire Extinguisher

Choosing the right fire extinguisher is also an important aspect for extinguishing fires. As there are different types of fire extinguishers, choose the one that is needed for the type of fire. 

Fire ClassSuitable Extinguisher TypeDescription
Class AWaterEffective for wood, paper, cloth, and other common combustibles.
FoamSmothers the fire by creating a barrier between the fuel and air.
Class BCO2 (Carbon Dioxide)Works for flammable liquids like oil, gasoline, and grease.
Dry ChemicalCreates a chemical reaction to extinguish the fire. Suitable for liquid and gas fires.
Class CDry ChemicalNon-conductive and safe for electrical fires.
Class DDry PowderDesigned for combustible metals such as magnesium, titanium, and potassium.
Class KWet ChemicalSpecifically for kitchen fires involving oils and fats.

Common fire extinguisher mistakes

Improper usage or misconceptions about fire extinguishers can lead to dangerous situations. Here are some common fire extinguisher mistakes you should avoid:

  • Not knowing the fire extinguisher types and using the wrong one for a specific fire.
  • Neglecting to read the instructions on the extinguisher leads to improper usage.
  • Holding onto an expired extinguisher, which may not function correctly during emergencies.
  • Failing to perform regular inspections, risking a malfunctioning extinguisher when needed.
  • Using the wrong extinguisher on electrical fires potentially causes electric shock or fire spread.
  • Holding the extinguisher incorrectly leads to inadvertent discharge or difficulty in aiming.
  • Delaying the use of the extinguisher, hoping the fire will self-extinguish, allowing it to escalate.
  • Lack of proper fire extinguisher training, resulting in panic or hesitancy during emergencies.
  • Not recharging or replacing partially used extinguishers promptly, rendering them ineffective.
  • Attempting to fight large fires alone without professional assistance jeopardizes personal safety and causes further damage.

What Are the Steps to Safely Use a Fire Extinguisher for Computers?

To safely use a fire extinguisher for computers, follow these steps: first, assess the situation and evacuate if necessary. Then, locate the fire extinguisher nearby and check its pressure. Pull the pin and aim the nozzle at the base of the fire. Next, squeeze the handle and move it from side to side to extinguish the flames. Finally, monitor the area for any signs of re-ignition.

What To Do After Using A Fire Extinguisher?

After using a fire extinguisher, it is essential to take specific actions to ensure continued safety and proper fire preparedness:

  • After extinguishing the flames, inspect the area for any remaining embers or sparks that could reignite.
  • Check the pressure gauge and ensure the extinguisher is still operable. If it is empty or low, replace or recharge it immediately.
  • Open windows and doors to let out smoke and fumes. Proper ventilation aids in clearing the area and restoring breathable air.
  • Remove any debris or extinguisher residue carefully, taking care not to spread it around. Properly dispose of any used extinguisher canisters or components.
  • Inform the appropriate authorities or building management about the fire incident, no matter how minor it may seem.
  • Replace any discharged or partially used fire extinguishers promptly to maintain preparedness for future emergencies.
  • Evaluate the extent of damage that is caused by the fire and take necessary steps for repairs or restoration.


Mastering the proper use of a fire extinguisher is an important skill that empowers individuals to respond effectively during fire emergencies. 

By following the simple PASS technique and understanding the suitable extinguisher type, you can confidently protect lives and property, promoting a safer environment for all.