Common Fire Extinguisher Mistakes You Should Avoid

Fire extinguishers are the first and most common line of defense at home and in the workplace when it comes to preventing the spread of a small fire. However, there are a few common mistakes that people make when using fire extinguishers, which can render this important fire safety tool ineffective. In this article, we take a look at common fire extinguisher mistakes that you can avoid, in order to make sure that you are able to use yours properly, effectively, and safely in the event of an emergency.

Not Reading the Instructions

While you may feel that you have a “general idea” on how to use a fire extinguisher, it’s incredibly important to read the instructions well before you need to use it. Many of us walk by fire extinguishers every day, never stopping to read the instructions that are printed right on it. 

Cheshire Fire tells us more on why you should take the time to read the detailed instructions instructions on your fire extinguisher before the event of an emergency:

“Reading the instructions in the event of a fire is not the best idea. This is because not only will it use up valuable time, allowing the fire to grow, but it may also be difficult to fully comprehend the instructions in a state of panic. We suggest taking the time out of your day today — or some time very soon — to read over the instructions on your fire extinguisher so you know exactly how to use it if needed. There are various types of fire extinguisher, each which are suited to tackling certain types of fire, and so recognizing the type of extinguisher you own and how to use it will be highly beneficial for when it is needed.”

Not Pulling the Extinguisher Pin

Did you know that fire extinguishers contain a pin that must be pulled in order to use them? If a person is unaware that fire extinguishers contain this pin, they may be completely baffled as to why their fire extinguisher is not working in the event of an emergency.

Fireline explains more on the importance of removing the fire extinguisher’s pin:

“Pins exist for a reason on fire extinguishers and that is to prevent an unintended discharge. The pin is located on the handle. Always remember to pull the pin or you will not be able to use your fire extinguisher. Many jurisdictions require what are known as tamper seals. Fire extinguisher tamper seals protect the pin from being accidentally pulled from a fire extinguisher and can be used to identify a fire extinguisher that has already been discharged. When you see the tamper seal on a fire extinguisher, simply twist and pull the pin and you will be good to go. This is one way to avoid those pesky fire extinguisher mistakes.”

Rushing To Stop A Fire

It’s important to recognize when you should be using your fire extinguisher and when you should take a step back and head to safety. For example, large and out of control fires are too dangerous to attempt to put out with a fire extinguisher, and can end up putting you in serious danger if you rush to put it out. explains why considering your own safety in the event of a fire is more important than rushing to try to put it out:

“When a fire occurs, many people rush to get the fire safety equipment without stopping to think of their safety from fire. A fire accident causes depression and stress, but it is necessary to do your best to remain calm and think about your actions about controlling the fire. If the fire is enormous to stop or settle with the fire extinguisher and there are the possibilities that you will be injured or affected by trying to fight the fire, leave the building quickly and call a helpline.”

Fire-Alert takes pride in equipping homeowners, commercial businesses and government buildings with all necessary fire safety devices to ensure the well-being of families and employees across the nation. Reach out to us using our contact form to find out more.