Statistics released in the fall of 2000 indicate that there is a fire, in Canada or the United States every 8 minutes. More disturbing than the vast number of fires, are the associated fatalities. On an average of every 20 hours, every day, a person will die from a fire event, either directly or indirectly. Acrid and deadly smoke accounts for most of the fire fatalities.
As our society uses more and more of synthetics and plastics not only is the smoke becoming more toxic but the fires are burning faster and hotter.
There is good news though. Even the most spectacular fires save a few, started out small. Most could have been quickly extinguished by the correct use of a portable fire extinguisher.
Many adults when asked if they know how to use a portable fire extinguisher will answer “Yes, of course” Some will know, either from previous portable fire extinguisher training or actual fire experience. In reality according to statistics approximately 1 in 10 persons have had training in the proper use of a portable fire extinguisher. If we are going to reduce the number of serious fires and the associated fire fatalities it is imperative that everyone learn how to properly use a portable fire extinguisher.
Not everyone will or should fight a fire. The portable fire extinguisher training will enable people to make a decision that will assure their safety and the safety of others.
Portable fire extinguishers are essentially first aid devices, usually provided close to the potential hazard they protect so as to be immediately available when needed. They are designed to cope with fires in their undeveloped or incipient state. Fire extinguishers could be compared to a band-aid and a small cut. Generally speaking the smaller the portable fire extinguisher, the smaller the fire it is able to extinguish.
Each type of extinguisher is of value, but is not equally effective at controlling different classes of fire.
For this reason, it is necessary that the fundamentals of fire extinguishment and classification be understood to grasp the significance of the individual ratings. A comprehensive knowledge of the physical properties of each type of extinguisher so that they can be used properly, is essential, for the safety of the operator.
|P: Pull and Twist The Pin||A: Aim At The Base Of The Fire|
|S: Squeeze The Handle||S: Sweep Side To Side|
|1. Fire requires fuel, oxygen and heat for ignition to occur. Take one away and fire cannot continue.|
|2. Fire needs an atmosphere of 21 percent oxygen - the same as the air we breathe - to sustain ignition.|
|3. Class A fires are fuelled by ordinary combustible or fibrous material, such as wood, paper or cloth|
|4. Class B fires include flammable or combustible liquids, greases and gases, such as gasoline, oil based paint and propane.|
|5. Class C fires include electrical equipment, such as motors and heaters that are not energized or plugged into a power source.|
|6. Class D fires can be extinguished with water.|
|7. Keeping the work area free of litter is one way to help prevent Class A fires|
|8. Gasoline-powered equipment can be refuelled while hot if refuelling is done in a well-ventilated area.|
|9. Unusual odours from electrical equipment can be the first sign of a potential fire.|
|10. If the fire you are fighting begins to spread, leave the area and call for help.|
|11. Do not use water extinguishers on energized electrical equipment.|
|12. The last person to evacuate a room should lock the door to prevent vandalism or theft of equipment.|
|13. You should occasionally pull the pin and briefly squirt all fire extinguishers to ensure they are properly charged and in good working order.|
|14. As soon as you evacuate a burning building, go home. No need to hang around.|
|15. Dry chemical portable fire extinguishers extinguish fires by cooling and removing the heat.|
|16. It is not necessary to check portable fire extinguishers monthly, annually is often enough|
1 - T
2 - F
3 - T
4 - T
5 - F
6 - F
7 - T
8 - F
9 - T
10 - T
11 - T
12 - F
13 - F
14 - F
15 - F
16 - F