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What You Need to Know About Home Fire Extinguishers

A fire extinguisher can be a lifesaver. It can put out a small fire before firefighters arrive, or at least suppress the flames allowing your family to escape.

It's vital to know what type of extinguisher you are using. Using the wrong type of extinguisher for the wrong type of fire can be life-threatening. All household extinguishers are classified A, B, or C (or a combination of these) on the label to indicate which types of fires — ordinary combustibles, flammable liquids, or electrical—you can use them on. Many of the extinguishers sold at home stores are classified A:B:C and fight all three types of fires.




Know what type of fire extinguisher you are using
How to inspect your Fire Extinguisher
  1. You should read the operators manual that comes with your extinguisher to learn how to properly inspect and maintain your extinguisher. Extinguishers require routine maintenance.
  2. Look at your fire extinguisher and see if it is a rechargeable or disposable. A rechargeable extinguisher can be refilled so you can use it over. A disposable must be thrown away after use.
  3. Look over your fire extinguisher well, looking for dents, rust or any other damage. Make sure the extinguisher looks in good condition.
  4. Check the seal that holds the pin in the extinguisher handle. Look carefully making sure there is no evidence of it being tampered with. Make sure there are no broken or missing seals or pins.
  5. If your extinguisher has a gauge make sure you check the pressure, the needle should be in the “green”. Also make note of the weight. Is the extinguisher full? Does it need recharged.
  6. Look at the pin, nozzle and name plate to make sure they are all intact. Most fire extinguishers are stamped with the last service date.
  7. Check the inspection tag on your extinguisher. Make sure it has been serviced.



How to use the Fire Extinguisher
To use a fire extinguisher correctly, experts say that one should remember the acronym P.A.S.S. --

P: Pull the Pin at the top of the extinguisher. The pin releases a locking mechanism and will allow you to discharge the extinguisher.

A: Aim at the base of the fire, not the flames. This is important – in order to put out the fire, you must extinguish the fuel.

S: Squeeze the lever slowly. This will release the extinguishing agent in the extinguisher. If the handle is released, the discharge will stop.

S: Sweep from side to side. Using a sweeping motion, move the fire extinguisher back and forth until the fire is completely out. Operate the extinguisher from a safe distance, several feet away, and then move towards the fire once it starts to diminish. Be sure to read the instructions on your fire extinguisher – different fire extinguishers recommend operating them from different distances.
REMEMBER: Aim at the base of the fire, not at the flames!

The National Fire Protection Association (www.nfpa.org) recommends an extinguisher for each floor. But no matter how many you have, nothing can substitute for the most important safety tool: a fire plan. Make sure everyone in the family knows how to get out in a hurry, where to meet outside, and how to call 911. Even if you think you've put out the fire on your own, don't cancel that emergency call. Leave it to the pros to decide if it's really out.




Deadly Levels of Carbon Monoxide in Amherst Building Causes Emergency Evacuation

Main-Transit firefighters responded to a call at Windsong Radiology, Amherst around 1am, after several construction workers were overcome by deadly gases produced by their own construction equipment.

Main-Transit Fire Department Public Information Officer Carl Fisher determined that the workers were operating a propane floor cutter without proper ventilation. "They were using the propane powered saw to cut some plumbing into a new office that they were making ... the propane ... just got to be too much for them," said Fisher.

One of the construction workers was taken to Millard Fillmore Suburban Hospital and the rest were evaluated on scene and declined further treatment.

Firefighters found deadly levels of carbon monoxide all throughout the building and evacuated the complex. Crews were on scene throughout the night venting the odorless gas from the medical complex.



Move to the RIGHT for Sirens & Lights

When our Fire Department is called to an emergency it's important that we respond quickly and safely.

If you're driving down the road and see the lights and sirens of an emergency vehicle in your rearview mirror, MOVE TO THE RIGHT AND STOP to allow emergency vehicles to move easily down the road. You may even want to use your turn signal to indicate your intentions, this will help the emergency vehicles navigate through the safest path.

NEVER slam on the brakes and stop in the middle of the road and do not make any sudden moves. If an emergency vehicle is approaching from the opposite direction, you should also pull over and stop.

Once the emergency vehicles have passed, use your turn signal again to merge back into traffic when it is safe to begin driving.

DO NOT tailgate or follow an emergency vehicle closely. Not only is this illegal, you run the risk of a collision as vehicles pull back out into traffic after the emergency vehicle goes by. You are not required to slow down or pull over for emergency vehicles that are responding in the opposite direction on a divided highway.

Every time fire engines or emergency vehicles are called to an emergency Fire Fighters are giving their all to help others. Do your part as a driver to help Fire Fighters do their job as quickly and safely as possible.

So Remember: Move to the RIGHT for sirens and lights.


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