How to Use a Fire Extinguisher – The PASS Method

Using a fire extinguisher requires just 4 easy steps, each represented by a letter in the word PASS:

Pull the pin: every fire extinguisher has a safety pin to prevent accidental discharge of the extinguishing media during handling. There is also a safety tie keeping the pin in place. The fire extinguisher cannot discharge until this pin is removed.

So the first step is to pull the pin out of the extinguisher.

It helps to use a twisting motion while you pull, so that the safety tie is broken, making it easier to remove the pin.

Aim the hose at the base of the fire: as mentioned above, the source of the burning is the base of the fire, where the oxygen is hitting the fuel and heat and where the chain reaction is taking place.

If you aim at the flames, the extinguishing media will fly over the burning material to the other side and be rendered useless.

So, from a safe distance, aim the hose at the base of the fire.

Squeeze the handle: once you are aiming at the base of the fire, squeeze the handle of the fire extinguisher to discharge the extinguishing media.

A word of caution: if you are using a CO2 extinguisher, avoid touching the discharge nozzle, as there is a risk of getting frostbite.

Sweep: sweep from side to side over the base of the fire as you slowly approach. This ensures that all of the burning material is covered with the media. Be cautious not to get close or to stand on the previously burning area, as it can reignite.

It is as simple as that.