Employees who have been designated to use fire extinguishers as part of the emergency action plan, must be trained on how to use the fire extinguishers appropriately in the workplace.
An employer must:
Inspect, maintain, and test all portable fire extinguishers in the workplace.
Visually inspect portable extinguishers or hoses monthly.
Using a Fire Extinguisher:
The following steps should be followed when responding to incipient stage fire:
Sound the fire alarm, horn, alert, whistle and call the fire department, if appropriate.
Identify a safe evacuation path before approaching the fire. Do not allow the fire, heat, or smoke to come between you and your evacuation path.
Select the appropriate type of fire extinguisher (we have A,B, C’s on site).
Discharge the extinguisher within its effective range using the P.A.S.S. technique (pull, aim, squeeze, sweep).
Back away from an extinguished fire in case it flames up again.
Evacuate immediately if the extinguisher is empty and the fire is not out.
Evacuate immediately if the fire progresses beyond the incipient stage.
Most fire extinguishers operate using the following P.A.S.S. technique:
1. PULL… Pull the pin. This will also break the tamper seal.
2. AIM… Aim low, pointing the extinguisher nozzle (or its horn or hose) at the base of the fire.
NOTE: Do not touch the plastic discharge horn on CO2 extinguishers, it gets very cold and may damage skin.
3. SQUEEZE… Squeeze the handle to release the extinguishing agent.
4. SWEEP… Sweep from side to side at the base of the fire until it appears to be out. Watch the area. If the fire re-ignites, repeat steps 2 – 4.
If you have the slightest doubt about your ability to fight a fire….EVACUATE IMMEDIATELY!
Multi-purpose – Dry Chemical Extinguishers
Dry chemical extinguishers put out fires by coating the fuel with a thin layer of fire retardant powder, separating the fuel from the oxygen. The powder also works to interrupt the chemical reaction, which makes these extinguishers extremely effective.
Dry chemical extinguishers are usually rated for class B and C fires and may be marked multiple purpose for use in A, B, and C fires. They contain an extinguishing agent and use a compressed, non-flammable gas as a propellant.
ABC fire extinguishers are red in color, and range in size from 2.5 pounds to 20 pounds.
Dry Chemical extinguishers will have a label indicating they may be used on class A, B, and/or C fires.
These extinguishers will be found in a variety of locations including: public hallways, chemical storage areas, offices, commercial vehicles and equipment, next to fueling areas and generators, and other areas with flammable liquids.
Additional information can be found : https://www.osha.gov/SLTC/etools/evacuation/portable_use.html#PASS
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