It is primarily the responsibility of the fire department to control and extinguish fires in a building. The production of toxic fumes in buildings makes fire-fighting potentially dangerous, particularly if a large amount of smoke is being generated. Portable extinguishers are designed for incipient fires (fires that have just begun). If the fire cannot be easily extinguished with the use of a portable fire extinguisher, leave the area immediately and proceed to your assigned meeting place until the arrival of the fire department. Only persons who are familiar with fire extinguisher operation should attempt to extinguish a small fire. First, determine the type of fire that is burning and second, verify that the extinguisher you will be using is the correct one for that type of fire. ABC Dry Chemical type extinguishing agents are good for most fires involving Solid Combustibles, Flammable Liquids & Greases as well as Electrical fires. Third, verify that the Seal and Pin are in place on the handle as well as the Gauge indicator is in the "green" area.
P - PULL:
Pull the pin (by twisting it to break the seal and then pulling).
A - AIM:
Always aim at the base of the fire using the nozzle provided.
S - SQUEEZE:
Activate the fire extinguisher by squeezing the handle fully (right down).
S - SWEEP:
Move from side to side in a sweeping motion, watching closely to make sure that the flames do not start up again. Break up any clumps of burned solid materials to ensure the fire is fully extinguished.
In order to choose the right type of fire extinguisher, you must know what type of fire you are attempting to control. Extinguishers are labelled as to which type(s) of fire they are effective in controlling as follows.
Wood, paper, textiles, most plastics and other ordinary combustibles.
Flammable and combustible liquids (oils, paints, solvents, greases, etc.).
Electrical (live or energized wires or equipment).