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Fire SAFETY / PORTABLE FIRE EXTINGUISHERS / Fire extinguisher Basics

Portable Fire ExtinguishersThe proper use of portable fire extinguishers can extinguish many fires while they are still small. You should be aware, however, that the New York City Fire Department (FDNY) should be notified without delay as soon as any fire is discovered.

The FDNY regulates the number, type, and placement of the portable fire extinguishers that are required for any building. These portable fire extinguishers are an important part of an overall fire safety program. It is important to keep in mind that the successful use of portable fire extinguishers depends on the following:

  • the portable fire extinguishers are properly located and in working order.
  • the portable fire extinguishers are of the correct type.
  • the fire is discovered while still small enough for use of the portable fire extinguishers to be effective.
  • the fire is discovered by persons who are ready, willing, and able to use the portable fire extinguishers.

Also, you should know that portable fire extinguishers are valuable for immediate use on small fires. They contain a limited amount of extinguishing material and need to be used properly so that this material is not wasted.

In some cases, OSHA may require that an employer provide education to its employees on how to use the portable fire extinguishers that are located in the workplace. Generally, operation instructions are provided on the side of the fire extinguisher. They clearly describe how to use the extinguisher in case of an emergency. An example of these instructions is shown below.

PASS - Pull, Aim, Squeeze, and Sweep Instructions

P A S S -- Pull, Aim, Squeeze, and Sweep

 

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