Sammamish Summer of Safety: The Importance of Owning Fire Extinguishers

Release Date: July 05, 2019

Time and time again, portable fire extinguishers have proven to be the most effective means of defense against fires of limited size. Surveys show that when properly used, fire extinguishers are effective in extinguishing fires 95% of the time. In cases where the fire was not completely put out, the extinguisher helped control the fire until the fire department arrived.

A simple way to ensure that you are protected against fire is by purchasing portable fire extinguishers for your home, autos, and recreational vehicles and learning how to use them properly. It’s a simple investment that can make a life-saving difference!

ABC(DK)’s of Fire Extinguishers

Did you know that different types of fire extinguishers are designed to put out different types of fire? The five primary types of fire extinguishers are:

  • Class A: For use with ordinary household materials like wood, cloth, plastic, and paper.
  • Class B: For use on combustible liquids such as gasoline, oil, solvents, and paint.
  • Class C: For use on electrical equipment like appliances, tools, TVs, or computers.
  • Class D: For use on flammable metals like magnesium (not often found in residential homes) 
  • Class K: For use on the cooking oils found in large commercial kitchens (fryers, etc.)

Fire extinguishers often available for purchase at home improvement stores are multipurpose ABC extinguishers and can assist in putting out Class A through C fires.


How to Use an Extinguisher

When operating a fire extinguisher, tell residents to remember the acronym PASS: 

  • Pull the pin. Hold the extinguisher with the nozzle pointing away from you and release the locking mechanism.
  • Aim low. Point the extinguisher at the base of the fire.
  • Squeeze the lever slowly and evenly.
  • Sweep the nozzle from side-to-side.

For more information on fire safety, including hands-on training on Fire Extinguishers, register for Community Emergency Response Training (CERT) here.