No one wants to think about a fire starting in their home, but it’s important to know how (and when) to use a fire extinguisher in case the unthinkable happens. We spoke with Bloomington, IL Fire Department Public Education Officer, Stuart Blade, to learn some firefighting basics.
Remember the three A’s: Activate, assist and attempt. You should only attempt to put out a fire on your own after completing the first two steps.
When using a fire extinguisher, remember to PASS (Pull, Aim, Squeeze and Sweep).
Be sure to keep an eye on the area in case it re-ignites. To put out a grease fire, cover the fire with a lid or cookie sheet to cut off the oxygen source. You should never use an extinguisher on a grease fire because it could spread the flames making it much worse.
For these instances, it’s important to evacuate and let the fire department handle it.
Depending on the type, fire extinguishers can last anywhere between 5 and 15 years. If you’re not sure when yours expires – or didn’t know to check the date on the box before recycling it – it’s probably best to replace it after at least 10 years to be safe.
Non-rechargeable fire extinguishers are only good for one use. So, if you use it – even once – you’ll need to replace it.
You should always empty a fire extinguisher completely before throwing it away. If you don’t have a good way to get rid of the fire extinguisher’s contents (it can get messy!), take expired extinguisher to your local fire department.
If you still have fire extinguisher-related questions, call your local fire department’s non-emergency number and they’ll be happy to help!
COUNTRY Financial® is the marketing name for the COUNTRY Financial family of affiliated companies (collectively, COUNTRY), which include COUNTRY Life Insurance Company®, COUNTRY Mutual Insurance Company®, and their respective subsidiaries, located in Bloomington, Illinois.