How to operate a fire extinguisher

Every fire is a matter of urgency. The fire extinguisher is quickly located and taken out of its holder. So far so good. But do you also know how to operate it? In an emergency, you will not have time to study a manual.

At first glance the handling of a fire extinguisher may seem complicated, but it is actually quite easy.

There are stored pressure extinguishers and cartridge extinguishers. Stored pressure extinguishers are under constant pressure and are ready for immediate use. They are recognizable by the handle which is reminiscent of a hand brake on a bicycle. F-Exx extinguishers are also stored pressure and particularly easy to use.

In cartridge extinguishers the necessary pressure for extinguishing is built up only after triggering the shock valve. In this instance an LPG bottle is in the container, which is triggered by the shock valve on top of the extinguisher.

First unlock, then extinguish

All extinguishers are protected with a device against accidental triggering. This is a safety pin, which has to be pulled out first. Most often, a ring made of metal or plastic is at the end of the pin by which the pin can be pulled. On some models, a seal has to be broken before the extinguisher can be unlocked.

With cartridge extinguishers you can now trigger the button that is located on top of the fire extinguisher with a short, solid blow and the extinguisher is ready for use.

In the case of stored pressure extinguishers one must simply push or pull the handle or lever of the extinguisher after removal of the safety pin and the agent will then be dispensed.

The use of F-Exx extinguishers

F-Exx extinguishers are also secured against accidental triggering by a pin. After removing this securing pin by pulling it out the trigger (pistol trigger type) can easily be operated. Releasing the trigger stops the spray until the trigger is pressed again. F-Exx extinguishers operate in any position. The small grease fire extinguisher for the kitchen work as easily as a spray can. The empty extinguisher can be easily disposed after use in the household waste bin.

Extinguish without any risk

Use caution when extinguishing the fire and do not approach the fire source too closely and do not spray the extinguishing agent into the flames, but the at the source of the fire.

Extinguish wall fires from the bottom upwards and wildfires from front to back. Dripping and flowing fires must be extinguished from the outlet to the floor.

Always operate the fire extinguishers in a slightly bent down position to avoid the toxic fumes.

Keep in mind that a fire may flare up again even after successful extinguishing. Therefore remove all combustible material around the fire and wait until the fire brigade arrives, or the fire has completely cooled down. Do not leave the extinguished area unattended.

Once a fire extinguisher has been in use - even if only for a short use – it must by all means be replaced by a new extinguisher! The regular maintenance of the equipment is not an unnecessary expenditure, but could be lifesaving.