Residential Fires: 4 Circumstances Under Which You Should Avoid Using a Fire Extinguisher

18 October 2016
 Categories: , Blog

Many homeowners have portable fire extinguishers that can help to put out a fire that may break out. However, some homeowners may not know the circumstances under which they should never attempt to use a fire extinguisher during a fire outbreak. This article discusses some situations when it would be advisable for you to leave quickly instead of trying to use your fire extinguisher to put out a fire on your residential property.

When the Fire Is Spreading

Fire extinguishers are most effective during the initial stages of a fire. This is because the fire-fighting substances, such as dry chemicals, inside the fire extinguisher are limited in quantity. The fire extinguisher is therefore most likely to run out of its contents in a few seconds. It is unwise to try to put out a fire that is past its incipient stage. Just get out quickly and call the fire department as soon as you can.

When There Is Thick Smoke

You should also avoid trying to use your fire extinguisher if the fire has caused thick smoke to accumulate quickly. Two key reasons explain why it isn't wise to fight such a fire. First, the smoke is likely to prevent you from pinpointing the base of the fire. The extinguisher is likely to be ineffective if you cannot direct its nozzle towards the base of the fire due to the thick smoke that has limited visibility around the location. Secondly, the smoke can be fatal if you inhale it as you attempt to put out the fire. Avoid taking unnecessary risks. Get out and let the professionals handle the blaze.

When the Wind Is Blowing Towards You

You should only try to use a fire extinguisher if the wind is coming from behind you. For instance, a fire may have started as you were using a stove outdoors. Don't use a fire extinguisher if the wind on your property is blowing from the stove towards you. The fire is likely to spread rapidly towards you. Any smoke generated will also be blown in your direction. It is therefore safest for you to leave the scene quickly.

When the Exit Is Far

Never try to put out a fire if you don't have a clear exit near you. Your fire-fighting attempt may be futile and the fire could spread rapidly. It would then be hard for you to leave the building if the exit is far away. The smoke and heat can quickly overcome you in such a situation. Only use a fire extinguisher if an escape route is close to your back.

Use the information above to make an informed decision about when it would be prudent to use the fire extinguisher or get out as fast as you can. Contact fire extinguisher service professionals for additional help in ensuring that your fire-fighting equipment is in good working condition for those situations when you need to use it. Click for more information here.