Fire Extinguishers

A portable/residential fire extinguisher can save lives and property by putting out a small fire or containing it until the fire department arrives. But fire extinguishers have limitations. Because fire grows and spreads so rapidly, the #1 priority for residents is to GET OUTSIDE safely; every household should have a home fire escape plan and working smoke alarms! Here are our top tips if you choose to have portable extinguishers in your home:

  • Select a multi-purpose extinguisher (one that can be used on all types of home fires) that is large enough to put out a small fire, but not so heavy as to be difficult to handle.
  • Choose a fire extinguisher that carries the label of an independent testing laboratory.
  • Before a fire breaks out, read the instructions that come with the fire extinguisher and become familiar with its parts and operation.
  • Keep your extinguisher working by doing regular checks (every few months) to ensure that the pressure gauge is full (green), the pin is still intact and hasn’t been pulled, the manufacture date on the bottom of the extinguisher is not older than 12 years, and there are no visible signs of damage such as corrosion, leakage, or clogging. While checking your extinguisher, give it a couple of shakes to help keep the powder from becoming too stiff.
  • Install fire extinguishers close to an exit. When doing your regular checks, make sure the fire extinguisher hasn’t been moved; this will also help you remember its location in an emergency.
  • When using the extinguisher, keep your back to a clear exit, so you can make an easy escape if the fire cannot be controlled. If the fire is rapidly growing or the room fills with smoke, leave immediately!

The acronym for remembering how to use a Fire Extinguisher is P-A-S-S:    

  • Pull the pin.
  • Aim at the base of the fire.
  • Squeeze the trigger.
  • Sweep the extinguisher back and forth across the base of the fire.

The following short video provides basic training on the use of Fire Extinguishers.


Kidde Fire Extinguisher RECALL November 2017

NFPA (National Fire Protection Assoc.): Fire Extinguisher Basics