Main content

When and How to Use a Fire Extinguisher:

1. Fight or Flee

Your safety is the top priority! Do not fight the fire if:

  • There is a considerable amount of heat.
  • There is significant smoke or fumes.
  • There is any possibility of getting trapped by the fire.

2. Call 911

Always call 9-1-1- before attempting to extinguish the fire.

3. Choose the Correct Extinguisher

  • A - For use with Ordinary materials like cloth, wood and paper. Often found in homes and businesses.
  • B - For use with combustible and flammable liquids like grease, gasoline, oil, and oil-based paints. Often found in homes and businesses.
  • C - For use with electrical equipment like appliances, tools or other equipment that is plugged in. Often found in homes and businesses.
  • D - For use with flammable metals. Often found in factories.
  • K - For use with vegetable oils, animal oils, and fats in cooking appliances. Often found in commercial kitchens. 

4. Remember to P.A.S.S.

  • Pull
  • Aim
  • Squeeze
  • Sweep

5. After the Fire

  • Fires frequently re-ignite so always call 9-1-1 to have the fire department ensure the fire is safely extinguished.
  • Make sure your fire extinguisher is recharged. No matter how long it was used, it will need to be checked and recharged.
  • If your fire extinguisher is not rechargeable, get a replacement one and properly dispose of the used one.

*Source: US Fire Administration

You can download and print this Fire Extinguisher flyer.