How To Use a Fire Extinguisher in a Commercial Fire
If your business in Anaheim, CA, has a fire, your normal inclination might be to immediately put it out. However, while a sense of panic is natural before you grab your fire extinguisher, you need to take a breath and really assess the situation.
If turning something off will immediately stop a fire and you can safely do that should be your first step. If the fire is spreading quickly, get everyone out of the building and call the fire department. But if the fire is small and poses no immediate risk, here's how to use a fire extinguisher effectively and safely.
Types of Fire Extinguishers
The 4 basic classes of fire extinguishers found in restaurants are:
- Class A for materials such as wood, paper and cardboard
- Class B for oils, petroleum and grease
- Class C for electronics and electrical
- Class K for a kitchen fire
The most common type found in businesses and homes is ABC, which covers most fires. However, many commercial kitchens are required to have a Class K fire extinguisher, so employees should know the difference.
The P.A.S.S. Method
Fortunately, handheld extinguishers are easy to use. P.A.S.S. stands for Pull, Aim, Squeeze and Sweep. However, before you use the device, always call the fire department first. If there's no time to call them, there's no time to try to fight the flames!
Grab the extinguisher and pull the pin off the top. It's usually secured with a light tamper-proof ring that should be easy to break with a fairly gentle tug for most people. Aim the extinguisher at the base of the flames and slowly squeeze the handle. Sweep the extinguisher back and forth until the fire is suppressed.
Once the flames are out, you'll need to call a smoke and fire damage restoration expert. Smoke will leave soot everywhere, which usually requires commercial cleaners to remove. Smoke damage can spread throughout a business in minutes.
Safety should always come first when considering using a fire extinguisher. However, if you have the time, you can save tens of thousands of dollars in damage if you're prepared.