A small portable fire extinguisher can save lives and property. At least one portable fire extinguisher should be kept in an accessible location on each level of your home. Your fire extinguishers should be inspected monthly and shaken once a year to stir up the powder inside. In-home fire extinguishers should be replaced after twelve years.
You can find fire extinguishers for sale at most home improvement stores. West Vancouver Fire Station No. 1 has fire extinguishers available for sale at 760 16th Street.
Selecting, installing and handling a fire extinguisher:
- Select a four to seven pound, ABC or multipurpose extinguisher
- Ensure it is easy to handle but large enough to put out a small fire
- Understand how to use your extinguisher by reading the instructions carefully
- Install fire extinguishers so they are visible, easily accessible and close to exits
- Keep your back to an exit when using the extinguisher—you must have a clear and accessible escape route should you not be able to control the fire
- Develop a fire escape plan. If the room fills with smoke, leave immediately
To operate fire extinguishers remember the word PASS:
- Pull the pin. Point the nozzle away from you and release the locking mechanism
- Aim low. Point the extinguisher at the base of the fire
- Squeeze the lever slowly and evenly
- Sweep the nozzle from side to side
It is important to recognize that these devices also have limitations and should only be used for small contained fires.