The PASS Method: How to Operate a Fire Extinguisher

The majority of fires are the result of cooking-related failures. Thawing frozen foods or heating up leftovers in the microwave can yield disastrous results when done improperly.

Despite the variety of causes, being prepared can save your home and family from disaster in the form of a fire. Failure to react and put out a fire can lead to permanent structural damage to your house and loss of valuables.

We often think of using fire extinguishers in the form of a raging flame. However, the PASS method to operate a fire extinguisher is designed to be used in a variety of fire scenarios.

Step 1: Pull the Pin

Step 1 of the PASS Method How to Operate a Fire Extinguisher is to pull the pin. This is an important step in the operation of the fire extinguisher and must be done before the other steps are undertaken.

The pin is pulled to unlock the handle, allowing the user to depress the handle to discharge the extinguisher. Care must be taken when pulling the pin to ensure that it is not released or dropped. After the pin has been removed, the extinguisher is ready to be operated.

It is important to hold the fire extinguisher securely and aim the discharge nozzle at the base of the fire. Without the pin removed, the fire extinguisher won’t be effective. Pulling the pin is a vital first step in the effective operation of a fire extinguisher.

Step 2: Aim Low

Step 2 of the PASS Method is to aim low when operating a fire extinguisher. This means that the stream should cover the base of the fire, avoiding the backdraft and flames. It is important to aim low to ensure that the fire is smothered instead of fuelling it.

By aiming the nozzle of the fire extinguisher at the base of the fire, the user can ensure that any burning embers are extinguished to prevent further fire growth. Additionally, aiming low will also reduce the amount of extinguisher powder used. Once extinguished, the gas and smoke should be ventilated.

Step 3: Squeeze the Lever

This is the step in which the extinguishing agent is applied to the fire. At this point, the user should be standing some 6-8 feet away from the fire to ensure safety.

Once the lever is squeezed, a stream of the extinguishing agent is propelled from the fire extinguisher onto the fire. This should be done in a sweeping side-to-side motion so that the extinguishing agents/types are evenly distributed over the fire. As the user moves closer to the fire while squeezing the lever, they should continuously assess the effectiveness of the fire extinguisher safety.

Step 4: Sweep the Nozzle

The user should start at the base of the fire and slowly move the nozzle from one side to the other until the fire is completely covered. This step involves moving quickly but smoothly from side to side when putting out the fire, as well as up and down if needed. The user can also slowly move closer to the fire while sweeping the nozzle in order to put the fire out faster.

Learn the PASS Method Today

Overall, the PASS Method is a methodical and essential process to confidently operate a fire extinguisher. Following this step-by-step approach can help you effectively extinguish a fire or contain it until authorities arrive.

Remember: a fire extinguisher is a tool that can save your home, property, and even lives – so learn to use it before you may need it!

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