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Fire Extinguisher Operation

Basic step-by-step instructions for operating a fire extinguisher.

How to Operate a Fire Extinguisher

Follow these three basic steps to operate a fire extinguisher. Use caution when using an extinguisher based on the type of fire and the extinguisher on hand. For example, use a dry-based extinguisher for oil fires. Water-based extinguishers will spread oil fires.

1. Pull the Pin

(Metal Ring at Top of Fire Extinguisher)

A cartoon image of a fire extinguisher.

2. Aim at the base of the Fire

(Stand 8-10 feet from fire)

A cartoon image of flames.

3. Squeeze Handle and Sweep Back and Forth

A cartoon image of firefighters extinguishing a  fire using fire extinguishers.