Do you own or operate a business? Make sure your team members know how to use a fire extinguisher today. Between 2006 and 2016, Fire and Emergency New Zealand dealt with an average of 20,000 fires each year. You can reduce the number of serious incidents in your area by using a fire extinguisher to manage a flame before it gets out of control. 

At Jim’s Fire Safety, we care about fire safety and awareness in our local communities. That’s why we offer fire extinguisher inspection services to businesses across New Zealand. If you believe your extinguisher needs some maintenance, or if you have recently used it, please contact us immediately for an inspection. We also supply and install fire safety equipment so get in touch with us if you are in need of new extinguishers. 

Luckily, there’s an easy acronym to help you remember is the PASS system during an emergency. (Fire and Emergency New Zealand have added a T to make the acronym PTASS for added safety, but the most commonly referred to acronym is the PASS system)

It is important to note that this guide is not a sufficient training method and you should always seek professional advice when training your employees in the operation of hand-held firefighting equipment. 

Check out the following pass fire safety acronym for a basic usage guide: 

Pull the pin in the handle at the top of your extinguisher then test it to make sure it is working properly

Aim the nozzle at the base of the fire (always from a safe distance) 

Squeeze the lever slowly to release the extinguishing agent

Sweep the contents of the extinguisher from side to side until you have completely put out the fire 

After you are sure that it is safe to approach the site of the fire, inspect the area to make sure the flame is completely out. If you aren’t confident with an extinguisher or you think the flame might be out of your control, call Fire and Emergency New Zealand on 111. 

It is important to make sure all of your extinguishers are maintained regularly. Imagine approaching a fire, only to find that your extinguisher isn’t working properly – avoid putting yourself in harm’s way with a piece of equipment that hasn’t been inspected. 

You can check when your extinguisher was last inspected by looking at the service tag attached to the device. As a general rule, your extinguisher should be inspected every 6 months. If you’d like to know more about the frequency of tests, please take a look at our website or get in touch with us for a chat. 

Types of  Extinguishers 

One of the most important steps in knowing how it works is choosing the right equipment to use on the different types of fire. In New Zealand, we use a range of different extinguishers for different fires. These extinguishers can be identified by a colored band at the top of the device. 

Check out the following guide before you use one : 

White: Contains dry powder – multi-use extinguisher can be used on most fires depending on your model.  

Black: Contains C02 – for use on electrical fires, fuel, and flammable liquids. 

Oatmeal: Contains wet chemical – for use on cooking oils and fats. 

Blue: Contains foam – for use on flammable and combustible liquids. 

Red: Contains water – for use on paper, timber, and textile fires.

Always check the signage on the sign of your extinguisher for usage to make sure you have the correct device. 

When it comes to fire safety, you need to be proactive. Put in the effort now to save lives in the future.