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WesternU / Environmental Health & Safety / Programs & Services / Environmental Health & Safety: Fire Extinguisher Types, Maintenance, and Usage

Environmental Health & Safety: Fire Extinguisher Types, Maintenance, and Usage

Fire Extinguisher Types & Maintenance

EH&S manages over 300 portable fire extinguishers at WesternU. Portable fire extinguishers are intended as a first line of defense to cope with fire of limited sizes. The presence of a fire extinguisher can save you from a catastrophic event.

Services include:

  • Fire extinguisher annual inspections
  • Fire extinguisher installs and removals
  • Fire extinguisher hands on training
  • Monthly inspections (done by security)
  • Plan review for new construction and remodeling projects

Types of Fire Extinguishers

ABC Dry Chemical

  • Extinguishing agent: 5-20 pounds of mono-ammonium phosphate
  • Use: Class A, B and C fires
  • Range: 15 feet
  • Found in hallway and occasionally in laboratories
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How to Use a Fire Extinguisher

When fighting a small fire, maintain an unobstructed exit route at your back and stand six to eight feet away from the fire. Follow PASS to properly use the fire extinguisher.
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P is for PULL– Pull the pin, breaking the tamper seal

A is for AIM – Aim the nozzle or hose low at the base of the fire

S is for SQUEEZE – Squeeze the lever above the handle to expel the extinguisher agent. To stop, release the lever

S is for SWEEP – Sweep the nozzle or hose side to side at the base of the fire until the fire is put out

Continue to monitor the area. If the fire reignites repeat Aim —> Squeeze —> Sweep

The Five Classes of Fire

There are five classes of fire. Each extinguisher is labeled with standard symbols or letters to indicate which class of fire it can be used on.

Class A
Class B
Class C
Class D
Class K

Fire Extinguisher Training

If you are interested in attending a fire extinguisher training class or would like to schedule one for your team, please contact EH&S at

Training Resources

If you have any questions regarding fire extinguishers, please contact Selina Rivera at ext 8231.