In most cases, the best thing to do in a home fire is to get everyone out of the home immediately and call the fire department from outside:
- Make sure working smoke alarms are installed on every storey of the home and outside all sleeping areas.
- Everyone in the home should practice a home fire escape plan so everyone knows what to do BEFORE a fire occurs.
Many people who decide to purchase a fire extinguisher might not know how or when to use them.
Fire extinguishers should be used only by people who have been trained to use them. People are encouraged to contact their local fire department if they would like fire extinguisher training or have any questions.
The following tips can help people who are thinking about buying a fire extinguisher for their home:
- Consider purchasing a fire extinguisher that has an ABC rating. This type can be used for most types of fires.
- Choose a fire extinguisher that has the logo of an independent, accredited product safety testing agency such as ULC.
- Follow the manufacturer’s instructions regarding where the extinguisher should be placed in the home.
- Inspect the fire extinguisher once a month and have it serviced by a certified technician every year.
- Fire extinguishers should be used only on small, contained fires. Never let the fire get between you and the exit.
- To operate a fire extinguisher, remember the acronym PASS:
- Pull the pin;
- Aim the nozzle at the base of the fire;
- Squeeze the trigger;
- Sweep the extinguisher from side to side until the extinguisher is empty.
- Know when to go. If the fire does not go out after using one fire extinguisher, back out of the area, close the door if possible, and safely get outside and call 9-1-1.
- Remember that many stovetop fires can be safely extinguished without the use of a fire extinguisher. If a pot on the stove starts on fire, slide a lid over the pot to smother the flames and turn off the stove. Leave the pot in place until it has cooled completely.