How to Install, Maintain & Operate an Extinguisher

Install extinguishers in plain view near an escape route and away from stoves and heating equipment.


Extinguishers need to be cared for. Read the operator's manual for inspection, installation and maintenance instructions. Rechargeable models MUST be serviced after every use. (Service companies are listed in the Yellow Pages under "Fire Extinguishers.") Disposable extinguishers are very limited and can be used only once.

Operation: Use the P.A.S.S. Word
To use a portable fire extinguisher effectively, remember to use the four-step P.A.S.S. Word:
  1. Pull the pin: Holding the extinguisher with the nozzle pointing away from you, remove the pin, seal or the level release mechanism. This unlocks the operating lever
  2. Aim low: Point the extinguisher nozzle (or hose) at the base of the fire. Always hold the extinguisher vertically, never horizontally
  3. Squeeze the level fully: This will release the extinguishing agent through the nozzle. Releasing the lever will stop the discharge
  4. Sweep from side to side: Sweep the nozzle from side to side aiming at the base of the fire. As the fire closest to you goes out, you may move closer to the fire and continue the sweeping motion until the fire is extinguished
Please note: If your extinguisher is empty, stops extinguishing the fire or the fire grows larger - leave the building immediately, closing the doors behind you. Call the Fire Department and ensure the Fire Department inspects the fire site even if you think the fire is extinguished.