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line of defence against small fires
Portable fire extinguishers have limited applications against small
fires. When used properly, an extinguisher can save lives and property
by putting out a small fire or containing it until firefighters
arrive. Fire extinguishers do not replace the need to call Toronto
Fire Services. Always call 9-1-1 first when a fire occurs, no matter
are not designed for use on large or spreading fires. Even on
small fires, they are effective only under the following conditions:
must be rated for the type of fire being extinguished.
must be large enough for the fire at hand.
must be in good working order, fully charged and within easy
must be trained in the proper use of the extinguisher.
must be physically capable of lifting, handling and operating
of extinguisher should I buy?
There are three basic classes of fire extinguishers. Fire extinguishers
must be labelled to show the class of fire they can extinguish.
A: Ordinary combustibles such as paper, wood, rubbish,
drapes and upholstery.
B: Flammable liquids such as gasoline, oils, solvents,
paints and flammable gases.
C: Electrical fires involving Class "A" or
Class "B" materials and live electrical power
- overheated wiring, fuse boxes, stoves, motors etc.
must be tested and listed by The Underwriters' Laboratories of
Canada (ULC). Look for the ULC label on the extinguisher.
Be certain that you use the correct type of extinguisher for the
fire you are fighting. If you use the wrong type of of extinguisher,
you can endanger yourself and even make the fire worse.
also used with letters for extinguishers labelled for class A
and B fires. The larger the number, the larger the fire the extinguisher
can put out. Extinguishers rated ABC Multipurpose provide the
required protection for all of the above types of fire.
of your extinguishers
Extinguishers require regular care. Learn how to inspect your extinguisher
by reading your operator's manual. Follow the manufacturer's maintenance
instructions. Remember to recharge reusable extinguishers and replace
disposable models after every use.
I install my extinguishers?
Install your extinguishers in plain view, above the reach of children,
near an exit route, and away from stoves and heating appliances.
Ideal locations for your extinguishers are in the kitchen, workshop,
upstairs and at the top of a basement stairwell.
I use my extinguisher to fight a fire?
Only fight a fire if:
- the fire
is small and not spreading
have been alerted
has left or is leaving the building
- 9-1-1 has
- you have
a clear escape route that won't be blocked by fire
- you know
how to operate your extinguisher and are aware of its capabilities
a fire in any other circumstance. Leave the premises immediately,
close off the area and call 9-1-1 from a neighbour's home.
Remember "P-A-S-S" when
fighting a fire
Aim, Squeeze, Sweep)
out the locking pin, breaking the seal. Some extinguishers
may use a different release device. Please refer to your
the nozzle horn (or hose) at the base of the fire about 3
metres (10 feet) from the fire.
the trigger handle all the way, releasing the extinguishing
the material discharged by the extinguisher from side to
side, moving front to back, across the base of the fire until
it appears to be out. Keep your eyes on fire area. Repeat
the process if the fire starts up again. Never turn your
back on a fire even if you think it is out.
will operate according to the PASS method. Some extinguishers
may not. Read your operator's manual for specific directions.
Remember to recharge the extinguisher immediately after use.
Fire is a combination of three elements: heat, fuel and oxygen.
Remove any one of these three elements and the fire will go out.
an ABC multipurpose dry chemical extinguishing agent forms a
coating layer over whatever is burning and thereby separates
the oxygen from the fuel. The chemical also reduces the heat
and interferes with the chemical reaction-combustion process.
of fire or an emergency, call 9-1-1.