Using Fire Extinguishers Do YOU know how?


It’s been amazing that so many people can’t identify the different types of fire extinguishes or the classes of fires they are to be used for.

What’s also been highlighted, and even more frightening is just how many crew members and shore based workers don’t know how to use a fire extinguisher.

Using Fire Extinguishers Do YOU know how?

It’s no use trying to read the instructions when there’s a fire in front of you as every second you delay allows the fire to increase in intensity and potentially become uncontrollable!

Hopefully from last weeks newsletter you can now identify different fire extinguishers and know what classes of fires they are good for.

So now let’s make sure you know how to use them safely and effectively.

PASS is the simple acronym you need to remember. Let’s break it down.

P means pull the pin

A means aim at the base of the fire

S means squeeze the handle

S means sweep the nozzle side to side

This acronym is the basis of using all types of fire extinguishers but with dry chemical/power extinguishers I include another step in the process.

For dry chemical/powder extinguishers turn them upside down before pulling the pin. Quite often the powder in these extinguishers settles on the bottom and may not work effectively or even at all.

Turning them upside down and even giving them a little shake will ensure they work!

The diagram below demonstrates the PASS method.

Using Fire Extinguishers Do YOU know how?

Training is the best method for ensuring you, your crew and shore based workers know how to use a portable fire extinguisher properly.

Check out our fire extinguisher training here (link to page/brochure)

Shorlink’s Recommendation

Our simple recommendation but one that can save precious time when dealing with a fire is to ensure you test the extinguisher prior to approaching the fire.

You do this by aiming the nozzle to the side and giving the handle a quick squeeze as you approach the fire. Make sure it’s a quick squeeze as you need it to fight the fire.

It’s better to know the extinguisher is going to function when you get to the fire and not let you down!


The best tip we can give you is to ensure all of your fire extinguishers are in good condition and in service. If they’re out of date get them serviced now! Having a fire extinguisher is great but if it doesn’t work it’s useless and puts you, your crew members and workers in danger