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Fire Extinguishers

Man using Fire ExtinguisherFire is a chemical reaction called combustion. Fire needs fuel, oxygen and heat in order to burn. Fire extinguishers apply an agent that will cool burning heat, smother fuel or remove oxygen so the fire cannot continue to burn. Small fires can be quickly controlled by a portable fire extinguisher if the individual has been properly trained.

Fire extinguishers are located throughout every building on campus. To properly use an extinguisher, you must first be familiar with the type of fire each extinguisher is rated for and how it operates.

Fire Classifications

Fire Class A

Fires involving the ordinary combustible materials such as wood, cloth, paper, plastics etc.

Fire Class B

Fires involving combustible or flammable liquids such as gasoline, kerosene and oils.

Fire Class C

Fires involving energized electrical equipment such as appliances of all kinds, motors, computers etc.

Fire Class D

Fires involving combustible metals such as sodium, lithium, titanium, magnesium.

How to Use a Portable Fire Extinguisher

The easiest way to remember how to use a portable fire extinguisher is to use the acronym.


Safety PinPull the safety pin

SqueezeAim the extinguisher nozzle at the base of the flames

Squeeze the trigger while holding the extinguisher upright

Sweep ExtinguisherSweep the extinguisher from side to side, covering all areas of the fire with extinguishing agent

REMEMBER: All fires regardless of size and damage must be reported to University Police by dialing 911.  Even though it appears to be extinguished, a Fire Marshall still needs to respond to verify it's out as well as accomplish a report.

Do You Know Which Extinguisher To Use?

2½ Gallon Pressurized Water
Extinguisher use on Class A FiresUSE ON CLASS Class AFIRES

Carbon Dioxide (CO2)
Extinguisher on Class B and CUSE ON CLASS Class B and CFIRES

Multi-Purpose Dry Chemical
Extinguisher on Class A, B, and C Class FiresUSE ON CLASS Class A, B, and CFIRES


  • Always know the location of the nearest extinguisher, that it's in operable condition and how to use it
  • Before using the fire extinguisher, evacuate the building by pulling the manual fire alarm pull station to alert other occupants of the facility. (Located near exits and stairs)
  • If a fire alarm pull station is not available, yell or scream out loud “fire, fire, fire”
  • Call 9-1-1 for University Police or have someone else call
  • Only attempt to extinguish small fires- if one extinguisher doesn't do it, evacuate the area immediately
  • While fighting the fire, don't allow your escape route to become blocked by fire
  • Position yourself between the exit and the fire
  • After an extinguisher is used, contact EH&S to have it serviced or replaced.
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