How to Use a Fire Extinguisher

by Brett & Kate McKay on January 23, 2013 · 38 comments

in Manly Skills, Survival

Fire Ex Header 3

Fire extinguishers. You pass them all the time as you walk the hallways at work or school, and hopefully at home too.

But no matter how many times you’ve seen them in your day-to-day life, you’ve probably given little thought as to how you actually use one. Maybe it never crossed your mind, or maybe you assume it’s so simple it’s not something you need to learn.

Well, it’s true that using a fire extinguisher isn’t rocket science by any stretch, but there are a few basics you need to be aware of – and probably aren’t. According to FEMA, the majority of Americans don’t know how to use an extinguisher, even if they have one in their home. This is a dangerous knowledge gap. Fires double in size every 60 seconds, so you don’t want to be fumbling around in an emergency situation, reading over the instruction manual as a small flame on the stove grows into an inferno.

Today we’ll talk about some guidelines for choosing an extinguisher and storing it in your house, and then discuss how to use it.

The Right Fire Extinguisher for the Right Fire

Fire extinguishers come in a wide variety of types — each one designed to put out a different kind of fire. Classification systems have been developed to help users know what sort of extinguisher they’re working with. Because the majority of our readers are based stateside, I’ll be focusing on the system used to classify extinguishers in the US.

60px-Fire_type_A Class A – Ordinary solid combustibles like wood, cloth, and paper products.
60px-Fire_type_B Class B - Flammable liquids and gases.
60px-Class_C_fire_icon Class C - Electrical fires. (Do not use water to put out this kind of fire – you could get electrocuted!)
60px-Class_D_fire_icon Class D - Flammable metals.
60px-Class_K_fire_icon Class K - Oils and grease fires. (Never use water on a grease fire – it will cause the flames to explode and spread.)

Most fire extinguishers for homes and public spaces are classified as Class ABC extinguishers, meaning they’re suitable for putting out wood and paper fires, flammable liquid fires, and electrical fires. ABC extinguishers use the dry chemical monoammonium phosphate as the extinguishing agent. You can buy an ABC extinguisher for about $30 -$60 on Amazon or at your nearest hardware store. Get the biggest one you can comfortably handle to maximize its discharge pressure, time, and range.

If you’ve worked in a commercial kitchen, you’ve probably seen Class K extinguishers. The extinguishing agent in the Class K variety is a wet potassium acetate. (Interesting fact: Before the introduction of potassium acetate, sodium bicarbonate powder was the extinguishing agent of choice for grease and oil fires – that’s why baking soda can work in a pinch).

Class K extinguishers are used in commercial kitchens because they’re more powerful for dealing with grease fires and the chemicals are less likely to damage the cooking appliance when used. But for small grease fires in a home kitchen, an ABC extinguisher will likely get the job done. An ABC is still going to damage your stove though, so if it’s a very small fire, try to smother it with a pot lid or wool blanket first, before you resort to the extinguisher.

Where to Put a Fire Extinguisher in Your House

Your office or school very likely already has fire extinguishers in place. But it’s up to you to get ones for your own home. Some states require that you do so by law, but even if yours doesn’t, they’re an essential safety item – your second line of fire defense after smoke detectors. A fire extinguisher can keep a small incident from turning into a dangerous emergency.

You should, at minimum, have one ABC extinguisher per level of your house. It’s best to have one near each of the rooms where fires are most likely to break out – the garage and especially the kitchen.

Store extinguishers where your kids can’t get to them, but they’re still easy to access – you don’t want to be looking around and digging through a closet when every second is crucial. Don’t place them near stoves and heating appliances, or behind curtains and drapes – places where fires may start and quickly spread; if you can’t reach the extinguisher because the thing that’s on fire is right by it, you’re in trouble. The best location for your fire extinguisher is mounted near a door – your escape routes.

Once you’ve gotten an extinguisher or two to protect your castle, try to check it periodically to see if its pressure is still in the green zone, the seals haven’t been broken, the hoses are intact, and it hasn’t been damaged by things like dents, leaks, or rust.

How to Use a Fire Extinguisher

Alight. So you’re familiar with the different kinds of fire extinguishers and where to put them in your house. It’s time to get down to how to actually use these suckers. If you chance to encounter a fire, mentally go through this checklist of questions before attempting to put it out with an extinguisher:

Are you taller than the fire? Fire extinguishers are designed to put out fires in the incipient stage. That’s fireman talk for when the fire is just getting started. When it gets past the beginning stage, a fire becomes too large to fight with a portable extinguisher.

How do you know if the fire is still in the incipient stage?

Just give the flame the once over to see if it’s taller than you.

It is? Hightail it out of there and call 911. Your fire extinguisher will likely be no match for the flames.

You’re still taller than the fire? Proceed to the next question.

Do you have the right fire extinguisher for the type of fire? Remember, extinguishers are designed for certain fire types. If you’re facing a grease fire, a simple A extinguisher (which contains only pressurized water) won’t put it out.

Is the fire extinguisher pressurized? Check the gauge on the extinguisher to see if it’s fully charged and pressurized. If the needle is in the green, you’re good. If not, you won’t have enough pressure to put the fire out. Forget it and get out of there.

Get in Position

If you can answer “yes” to all three of those questions, you’re ready to put out the fire with the extinguisher.

If possible, position yourself with your back to an unobstructed exit so that you can get out quickly if you need to. The discharge range for extinguishers can run from 6-20 feet (know your extinguisher’s range beforehand), and you want to be far enough away to not be in danger of being burned, and close enough that the discharge will be effective.

PASS!

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To employ the extinguisher with proper technique, just remember the acronym ”PASS.”

  • Pull the pin.
  • Aim the nozzle at the base of the fire. Hitting the tops of the flame with the extinguisher won’t be effective. You got to smother the sucker at its base.
  • Squeeze the trigger. In a controlled manner, squeeze the trigger to release the agent.
  • Sweep from side to side. Sweep the nozzle from side to side until the fire is put out. Keep aiming at the base while you do so. Most extinguishers will give you about 10-20 seconds of discharge time.

Slowly back away. Even if the fire appears to be extinguished, don’t turn your back on it. There might be unseen hot spots or hidden fires that can ignite into a large flame at any moment. You want to be on guard for that.

Once you’ve used a fire extinguisher, even if you didn’t deplete all the pressure, you must get it recharged. Do so as soon as possible. If it’s a disposable extinguisher, throw it away and replace.

If you can get some hands-on training with a fire extinguisher (some emergency services/community organizations offer classes), it’s highly recommended that you do so. But now you know the basics. Next time you see a fire extinguisher in the hallway, you can give it a nod of confidence as you PASS it by.

Have you ever had to use a fire extinguisher? Share your fire extinguisher stories and tips with us in the comments!

Illustrations by Ted Slampyak

{ 38 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Andrew January 23, 2013 at 9:46 pm

Please not that a Class K fire is a subsection of a Class B fire.

There are different extinguishers for Class K fires as they are not likely to cause as much damage, and are more powerful when dealing with Grease fires. Class K extinguishers are generally permanent fixtures in a kitchen. Class K extinguisher can not be used on any other type of fire (even Class B) (Class ABC + K fire extinguishers do not exist.

Don’t forget that if the fire is quite small (e.g. within a pot) it is rarely a good idea to use a fire extinguisher unless you want to buy a new stove. Smother a small fire with a pot lid or fire (wool) blanket.

2 Joey E January 23, 2013 at 9:46 pm

Yep. Worked in a chemistry lab for 10 years. Things happen.

The biggest thing that makes a difference, IMO, is having a chance to practice. It’s like with sports — when you do something enough times in a drill, you react more calmly and efficiently when it comes to “game time.”

3 Brett McKay January 23, 2013 at 9:48 pm

@Andrew-

By “Class ABC + K” I meant a Class ABC extinguisher AND a Class K extinguisher.

4 Andrew January 23, 2013 at 9:59 pm

@Brett

Owning a Class ABC and a Class K extinguisher seems like an unnecessary cost. The all around Class ABC extinguisher will be more than effective on a small kitchen fire (Class B extinguisher will work on Class K fires, but a Class K extinguisher will not be effective on a Class B fire).

A home owner would be better off spending the cost of one Class K extinguisher on one or two more ABC extinguishers for other areas of the home (such as in the basement near the hot water heater, and most definitely near any bedroom in a basement as there are fewer emergency exits)

5 Brandon H January 23, 2013 at 10:03 pm

I used to have a state (TX) fire extinguisher license, serviced them in refineries for a living and did extinguisher training.
The only thing I could think to add (forgive me if I just missed reading it) is that you should put the fire out from the base up, not the top down, to prevent re-ignition.

We used to light and put out a 30 foot long oil trench fire over and over for training. Good times.

6 Brett McKay January 23, 2013 at 10:07 pm

@Andrew-

Looking into what you said in your first comment, you’re right. Will amend the post to reflect that. Thanks for feedback.

@Brandon-

Yup, we mentioned hitting the fire at the base in the text and illustration.

7 Matto January 23, 2013 at 10:53 pm

Great article Brett – it’s something that you don’t think of until you need it, then you REALLY need it.

Love the idea of gauging the progress of the fire by whether it’s taller than you or not. Very quick and easy to do/remember. I also like the advice of buying the biggest one you can carry – the small extinguishers are worse than useless in my book, due to the tiny run time.

Just regarding the use of the extinguisher – I was always taught not to aim it directly at the fire then squeeze the trigger, but aim it to the side to start and sweep the spray into the fire. The rationale was if you hit the base with a big blast, it could actually further distribute whatever was on fire. By starting “off target” and sweeping in, you could control the situation a lot better. I’d be interested to hear your thoughts on whether that’s a legitimate concern or not.

Thanks again for another great article.

Cheers,
Matto

8 Andrew January 23, 2013 at 11:17 pm

@Matto

That is correct, aiming at the fire could result in spreading the fire. Where you aim will vary depending on the kind of extinguisher you are using, but aiming at the side or top of the fire initially is a good idea.

When using a Class A (not ABC) extinguisher, which contains only pressurized water, one will spray the water in a fine mist (restricting the flow with a thumb) at the top of the fire.

When using the other Class of extinguisher (ABC or BC) aim at the side and sweep across the bottom of the fire. The same is true for a Class K extinguisher, but more often than not they are a fitted system, and all one can do is pull the pin. the rest is done automatically.

9 Geoff January 23, 2013 at 11:42 pm

Great work guys!

I really dig the “How To” articles.
Keep it comin’ in 2013!

Best

10 Aidan Gallagher January 24, 2013 at 2:28 am

Useful article but I would also add yelling fire to warn others and so help can be called for and giving the extinguisher a quick blast before going anywhere near the fire. Much better to find out the extinguisher isn’t going to work before you enter the room than once you are next to the flames.

11 jk January 24, 2013 at 2:51 am

Besides the ABC categories, there is a difference in extinguishing agent. You should be aware of that, because different agents have different properties, such as duration of the blast, blast-force, and damage or health issues.
The older systems, but still widely in use, are CO2 extinguishers. The provide a short, powerful blast, good for liquids, as long as you do not blast directly into the liquid. However, on glowing embers, it has only a temporarily effect. Be aware of coldburns, hold it by the grip. You can recognize these extinguishers by the flaring nozzle.
Than there are powder extinguishers. Very effective, low in weight, long blast, but mostly devastating to electronics and metals. You it in your house or on your car, and you’ll have a extinguished fire and a total write-off! Inhaling the powder is not advised!
The most useful types are foam extinguishers: long blast, good extinguishing properties, some are biodegradable, even usable on electrics and grease. They are somewhat more expensive, but worth while in your home, car or boat. They can also savely be used to extinguish burning clothes on people. Do not try that with CO2 or powder!

It is also advisable to have a fire blanket at hand (just a few dollars at IKEA’s), good for kitchen- fires and burning clothes.

Do not extinguish a gas fire with an extinguisher: cut of the source, or leave it to professionals. If you do not cut off the source, the risk of explosion is very high!

Lastly: an extinguisher is for small starting fires only, or for buying time. Do not attempt a put aut a big fire, like a burning building, you’ll get in trouble! Even a burning car requires more than a few extinguishers, use is only to get out the oassengers, or to stop a starting fire.

12 Chris January 24, 2013 at 6:57 am

I’m active duty military and fire safety is a persistent training scenario for us. We are required to memorize which extinguishers classes are used for which types of fires. So we came up with a memory aid. Here it goes:
Class A fires generate “A”sh- wood, cloth, paper.
Class B fires go “B”oom- like fuel tanks.
Class C fires, think “C”onduit like for electrical wires.
Class D fires have “D”ents in the metal.
Class K fires are simply “K”itchen fires like grease.

Hopefully this will help readers out there remember the proper extinguisher classes to be used for the various types of fires.

13 sugapablo January 24, 2013 at 8:21 am

Tell you what…I’ve been in a room where one accidentally went off, and I’ve been doused with one directly. They’d make an awesome weapon. No joke. You feel like your lungs are collapsing. In a pinch, indoors, you could easily disable someone with a fire extinguisher..

14 John January 24, 2013 at 8:24 am

Great article! One thing I would like to add is make sure to regularly service your fire extinguishers. The powder in a Class ABC extinguisher will settle over time and eventually solidify within the extinguisher, even while the extinguisher gauge indicates pressurized. It is recommended to do this yearly. There are many companies that will do this for you, or you can do it yourself. Simply pound on the bottom of the extinguisher with a rubber mallet.

If your extinguisher is properly serviced, you can hear the powder moving when you turn the extinguisher upside down. If you cannot hear or feel the powder moving, then the powder has solidified and it is time to service or replace.

15 Shell January 24, 2013 at 8:39 am

Item of note:

While this is a well written instruction, it’s no replacement for hands on training.

Many fire departments have weekend classes where they’ll run you through the various fire and extinguisher types – and let you use them. If your local FD of VFD doesn’t have training classes, a nearby industrial training school may have a fire range.

There’s a lot of “finer points” you’ll pick up from hands on training that you won’t get from even the best written instruction.

Putting out fires isn’t only a good idea, it’s also a whole lot of fun (in a controlled environment) and a training session is a great way to spend a Saturday morning!

16 Jamie Hankin January 24, 2013 at 9:27 am

If you are in an auto accident and/or your car catches on fire, remember to shut off the ignition before you tackle the fire. If you leave the key in the on position, your fuel pump will continue to operate, feeding the fire you’re trying to put out. Eventually, your extinguisher will be empty, but the fuel pump will keep going. Voice of experience here.

17 chris January 24, 2013 at 10:51 am

A tip and a response to the question…

Tip: Before using for auto fires, beware of hybrid vehicle fires. if you come upon a scene of a hybrid car fire, you can’t tell if the engine is running. It’s possible the driver put it in park or pulled over and simply jumped out (upward on a hill, it would appear like it was in park). Therefore, approach it from the sides and NOT the front or the rear.

Response: I’ve used extinguishers twice – both kitchen fires.

I have one in my home and one in my car.

18 Mark January 24, 2013 at 10:53 am

Once a year our Boy Scouts use them during a training meeting on disaster preparedness. After all, Be Prepared, right?

19 Salvador Curiel January 24, 2013 at 10:53 am

Where can one get their extinguisher pressurized if the needle is on the red?

20 Drew January 24, 2013 at 11:53 am

First time I ever used an ABC extinguisher was at my last high school job, at a Gas Station… Fun already, eh? Some probably well-meaning idiot threw his cigarette butt in the garbage next to a pump before stomping it out on the ground…probably because smoking a lit cigarette next to a gas pump didn’t seem like a very bright idea!

The garbage can was flaming up when I got to it (I had seen it smoldering from inside the store and immediately shut off the pumps and grabbed the extinguisher).

It was relatively small and easy to put out, seeing as the oxygen it needed to burn was coming from the top, where I was spraying the extinguisher.

Salvador, call your local Fire Department (NON-EMERGENCY! – NOT 911!!!) if they don’t do it, they can recommend a place nearby.

21 bil January 24, 2013 at 1:04 pm

As John noted above, the powder sometimes cakes up. A fireman friend of mine told me it was a good idea to bang a powder extinguisher on it’s side before pulling the pin, since that can loosen the powder.

22 James C January 24, 2013 at 1:13 pm

I have had way too much interaction with fire for a non-firefighter.

I crushed a backyard trash-can fire with a water hose. It was significantly taller than I was, but, by attacking it at the base, and working methodically I contained the worst of it before the fire dept arrived, at which time they told me that by acting fast and decisively I had saved the garage behind the trash cans, and likely the cars in it.
Chalk one up for manliness.

23 John Parker January 24, 2013 at 2:02 pm

Thanks for sharing this how-to with fire extinguishers. Never know when my shenanigans will call for knowing the proper way to use, allowing me to scot-free of all harm!

24 john January 24, 2013 at 10:27 pm

I’m a career firemen, and while fire extinguishers are useful its important to appreciate the power of fires in buildings. If you are inside, any fire that is “taller than you”, you should most likely be bailing out on. I’d use waist high as a cut off point. The other thing is make sure someone is calling 911 and getting others out of the building before or while the you attempt to put the fire out. I’ve been to a number of very good fires that an occupant attempted and failed to put out. Even if you think you’ve put the fire out, empty the extinguisher. There is no reason to save it, you’ll need to recharge it anyways. Make sure the fire department is still coming for two reasons. 1.) (hopefully)unlike Joe Homeowner, this isn’t our first fire. We’ll be able to ensure its out, hasn’t damaged anything in the house (such as electric or gas utilities) and the fire is actually out. The fire may have entered void spaces and could still be burning, leading to us being called back to the house later (hopefully with you safely outside). Believe me, those fires cause a lot of property damage. I’ve also arrived at fires to find people badly burned or with smoke inhalation from trying to fight fires themselves. If you have doubt, bail out and wait for the fire department.

The article is well written and a good how to, but I’d like to see more on judging whether or not to fight the fire and what to do when its out. I don’t want anyone to get a false sense of security and get hurt, I see it happen a lot.

On a side note: for most fires people have in the kitchen like frying or burnt food. All you need is a pot lid and an oven mitt. Put the lid on, turn off the stove, and let things cool down. Same with the oven, keep the door closed and turn the heat off, it’ll smother itself.

25 Roger T January 25, 2013 at 8:18 am

When I was a kid, our dad got a kitchen fire extinguisher and sat us all down to instruct us in how to use it. Problem was, he never instructed my mother, so when a stovetop oil fire flared up one day, and just tugging on the extinguisher didn’t pull it down, she grabbed the pan of flaming oil and tried to run out of the kitchen. Of course in her panic she slipped, falling into a pool of flaming oil.

As I watched her struggle with the extinguisher, all my ten-year-old mind could think was, “Mom, you’re doing it wrong” – she wasn’t throwing the catch to release the extinguisher from its base. By the time I got there to demonstrate, she was lying in flames. Fortunately, the catch released and the extinguisher worked perfectly. She got some 2nd and small 3rd degree burns, but we all survived.

When I got an extinguisher for our kitchen and instructed the kids in its use, I told them that story, and insured my wife knew how to use it (she did, having learned long before she met me.) Thus, when my daughters were doing some frying and the oil bubbled onto the burner and flared, they were ready. I heard the excited shouting from the kitchen and ran downstairs to see a smoking mess and my eldest daughter holding the extinguisher and beaming at me in frantic excitement: “I remembered how to work it, Dad!” In both situations, I dread to think what the outcome would have been had there not been a cheap kitchen fire extinguisher on hand. Make sure they’re in place, guys – it’s the least a man can do for the safety of his home and loved oned.

26 chris January 25, 2013 at 9:15 am

@John Great points on judging the size of the fire and having someone call the FD. Just because I can put out the visible fire doesn’t mean it isn’t burning elsewhere.

27 David Humble January 26, 2013 at 6:20 pm

working as a professional chef I’ve been around lots of fires, mostly grease and oil, the of gas leak and then others in a non professional setting.

The most fun I had with a fire extinguisher was a deep fryer that super heated and went up. it was quickly and easily dealt with. much easier than using the big ansul system.

for most fires in a kitchen we use salt. I find it easier to clean up that baking powder, you usually have more salt than baking powder as well. don’t ever think about using flour in place I’d baking powder, our anything starchy. that’s as bad as water on grease.

Practice is number one. I’ve used a few different types of fire extinguishers, been trained professionally as well. I would strongly recommend checking the fire extinguishers in my house monthly. I know how to use mine and I know how to kill both gas and electricity in my house. My better half does as well.

28 Wes January 28, 2013 at 11:32 am

Regarding maintenance, be sure to SHAKE your extinguisher periodically. The solids will settle to the bottom, often forming a clump, thereby lessening the effectiveness of the extinguisher. This is especially true for those mounted in autos and boats. To check for this- grab your ext. and move it around. It’ll feel bottom-heavy. With one hand atop and one on the bottom, shake it around; side to side, upside down, etc. This should break up the solids. Think “over-size spray can without a rattle”. Hope this helps. FYI, I keep one under the kitchen sink and one in the garage.

29 J.J. Vicars January 29, 2013 at 6:35 am

Never use one inside your car if it’s winter and you live in the Midwest. While working in a ‘commercial kitchen’ (I call it a grease pit) I let a buddy hang out in my car and have a smoke while listening to some tunes, probably something of mine I had just recorded. Being a 22 year old bachelor at the time the passenger floorboard was littered with the remnants of many a drive-thru breakfast and the ashtray was overflowing so when he didn’t notice that his cherry had fallen out guess what happened?

In the meantime yours truly had been trying for months to make time with this gorgeous waitress who kept blowing me off. Finally I got her to come out on break with me and hang a bit, listen to my latest musical masterpiece, blah blah blah. As we round the corner to the parking lot we notice that my car is filled with smoke. Opening the door reveals a small fire on the floor of the passenger side. Being young and dumb I run back in after shouting a basket full of ‘motherfucker’s and grab the fire extinguisher. How did I know that stuff doesn’t wash out. For the rest of that winter I drove from side of Indianapolis to the other damn near everyday with the windows down.

Yes, folks, it’s a good idea to understand fire extinguishers.

30 JJ January 29, 2013 at 10:30 am

This is a quick legal thing to add.

A few years ago, a dorm at the college I was attending, had a fire break out. The guys on the floor quickly grabbed the fire extinguisher that was on the floor, as well as another floor, and tried to put out the fire. The fire department arrived and did quell the flame.
Once the fire was out and the guys who used the extinguishers were being questioned, and they were informed that it was actually illegal to use more than one extinguisher on a fire.
The logic being, that if it takes you more than one extinguisher to put out a fire, it is really beyond your control to contain it and you need to just get out of there. I’m not sure if this is a city ordinance, or if it goes to the state level. Just be aware of any legal repercussions for trying to play fireman when you are not one.

31 Chris January 30, 2013 at 8:40 am

I was a firefighter (fulltime and parttime) for about ten years, and this is a great article for people. The biggest thing I would add is to resist the urge to “test” your fire extinguisher’s function by shooting a quick blast. Doing so will bust the seal, and the propellent will slowly leak out, leaving you with a useless paperweight when you actually NEED to use it. Turning it upside down to keep the powder from caking is good though, as has been pointed out.

32 Eric January 30, 2013 at 12:33 pm

Last week we got a few in for our office, and when I was placing them around the office, I barely noticed that there was a small plastic tie (the kind that lock) holding the pin in place. Obviously, you don’t want to be looking for scissors to cut off the plastic tie that you forgot to take off when you bought it. So you might want to take a second look at your extinguisher and make sure there’s no plastic surprise still attached.

33 Brian January 31, 2013 at 9:16 am

One other thing that I was taught about fire extinguishers is that you can shoot a cloud of powder between you and the fire to reflect some of the heat. This might allow you to better attack the base, or allow a safer retreat.

34 Nick February 1, 2013 at 1:22 am

Good article. As others have stated, if you have a flaming liquid, or even a loose solid (hay was my most recent), the pressure from the stream could spread it.

Remember to call 911 before or while you’re putting the fire out. The fire department needs to check for extension to make sure it doesn’t flare up again.

Fires are destructive, firefighters may seem to be just as destructive. We try to be as low impact as possible, but tearing back sheet rock is kind of messy, but still cheaper than rebuilding a house.

35 Leia February 9, 2013 at 2:13 am

I’m a trained Electrician’s Mate in the United States Navy and also was highly trained in the Navy’s version of firefighting. We classify the oil/grease fires in the deep fat fryers aboard ships under the Class Bravo (or B as you civvies call it) and we fight it with a chemical called Aqueous Potassium Carbonate (APC). As far as electrical fires, they send us Electricians (or “Sparkies”, as the other Engineering rates like to call us) to go kill the power to whatever source is feeding the fire before the firefighting party puts it out with either water or Carbon Dioxide (CO2) extinguishers. For Class D (or “Delta”) fires, which involve aircraft (I’m stationed on an aircraft carrier in San Diego), the flight deck firefighting party is taught to push the aircraft over the side. Interesting tidbits for you fellow AoM readers out there….

36 Yeknath Poudel July 11, 2013 at 1:59 am

why can’t use water or other extinguisher on metel fire (D) fire ?
Why only allowed Dry powder?

37 Garrett July 19, 2013 at 8:29 pm

I got to douse a fire in my neighbor’s backyard before. It was VERY scary because my mother was visiting and she started screaming. I looked out the window and the tree line not 150 yards form by back door was on fire. I grabbed the garden hose and attached the there extra hoses in the rack. I ran out there and was met by my neighbor’s son who was at home alone. He is in 4-H and had goat pens with OSB shelters for them.

38 Paul P August 26, 2013 at 11:04 am

Great article and so important to get the word out. Placement is also crucial as is having a plan on using an extinguisher. I always use the ones on my boat that are disposable for practice before discarding. Best to dump the pressure anyway before throwing away.

You have a nice selection guide, try our placement guide here.

http://www.gatewayfiresupply.com/Fire-Extinguisher-Type-Selection-Guide_ep_41.html

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