Fire Prevention Month: Fire Extinguishers at Work
Fire extinguishers are one of the first lines of defense against workplace fires. When choosing a fire extinguisher, it’s important to know what types of combustible material you have in your facility. Fire extinguishers are categorized into classes based on the materials they extinguish:

Class A – Ordinary combustibles: wood, paper, rubber, fabrics, and many plastics
Class B – Flammable liquids & gases: gasoline, oils, paint, lacquer, and tar
Class C – Fires involving live electrical equipment
Class D – Combustible metals or combustible metal alloys
Class K – Fires in cooking appliances that involve combustible cooking materials: vegetable or animal oils and fats

When using a fire extinguisher, stand 6 to 8 feet away from the fire and follow the four-step PASS procedure recommended by the National Fire Protection Association:

P – Pull the pin and hold the extinguisher with the nozzle pointing away from you
A – Aim low at the base of the fire
S – Squeeze the lever slowly and evenly to discharge the extinguishing agent. (When the agent first hits the fire, the fire may briefly flare up. This should be expected.)
S – Sweep the nozzle from side to side, moving carefully toward the fire. Keep the extinguisher aimed at the base of the fire.
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