Choosing and Using a Fire Extinguisher
Most fires start small, and it is at this stage that if a fire extinguisher is handy, it could put out the fire, or keep it from spreading. You should attempt to fight a fire with an extinguisher only when it is small and in its early stage. If your exit could be potentially blocked by fire, do not attempt to fight the fire. Instead, get out of the building.
The Mansfield Fire Department offers the following hints on purchasing and using a fire extinguisher:
Most fire extinguishers operate this way:
Pull the locking pin.
Aim at the base of the flames.
Squeeze the handle.
Sweep back and forth over the burning area
This method is referred to as the P.A.S.S. method.
The contents of most extinguishers last less than 30-60 seconds. Aim carefully at the base of the flame.
Fire extinguishers are meant to fight only small fires - no bigger than a trash can. Fighting too large a fire can be dangerous.
Whenever a fire occurs, get everyone out first and call the fire department (911). Then use your extinguisher if the fire is still small enough.
All fire extinguishers are NOT alike. They are marked with the letter(s) indicating the type of fire they can put out:
"A" = ordinary fuels, such as wood, cloth, paper, rubber or plastics.
"B" = flammable liquids like gasoline, kerosene, oil, paint, kitchen grease.
"C" = energized electrical equipment.
"D" = combustible metals such as magnesium or sodium.
Purchase a multi-purpose extinguisher with a "BC" or "ABC" label for typical home use.
Install extinguishers nearby to potential problem areas.
Check the pressure gauge on your extinguisher periodically to see if it needs re-charging. Look in the phone book for professionals to fill and re-charge extinguishers. The Mansfield Fire Department does NOT fill or re-charge extinguishers.
ALWAYS refill a used extinguisher immediately. NEVER put it back empty. An empty extinguisher is dangerous for someone else to use.
If you have additional questions, please feel to contact the Administration Department at