In the Event of a Fire:
The first priority is to start evacuation of the home or building. If possible, contain the fire by closing a door and alert everyone there is a fire. Use a portable fire extinguisher when the fire is confined to a small area, such as a wastebasket, and is not growing; everyone has exited the building; the fire department has been called or is being called; and the room is not filled with smoke.
Only Use a Fire Extinguisher If:
The fire is confined to a small area, such as a wastebasket, and is not growing
Everyone has exited the building
The fire department has been called or is being called
The room is not filled with smoke
How to Use a Fire Extinguisher:
- P - A - S - S is an easy way to help you remember how to use a fire extinguisher.
- Stand about 5 to 10 feet away from the fire, and walk towards it while spraying the extinguishing agent at the base of the fire.
- Keep your back to a clear exit when you use the device so you can make an easy escape if the fire cannot be controlled. If the room fills with smoke, leave immediately
- After the fire is extinguished, watch to make sure the fire doesn't flare up again.
- Always make sure to report any fire to the fire department by calling 9-1-1.
Fire extinguisher training
Live fire extinguisher training (for groups of 10 or more) can be arranged by calling the Punta Gorda Fire Department, 941/575-5529, between 8:00AM – 4:30PM M – F.
Purchasing a Fire Extinguisher
For the home, select a multi-purpose ABC extinguisher (can be used on all types of home fires) that is large enough to put out a small fire, but not so heavy as to be difficult to handle. The Fire Department recommends a 2A:10BC minimum size fire extinguisher. This extinguisher weighs about 5-10 pounds. The rating is found on the label. This extinguisher will provide approximately eight to 30 seconds of extinguishing agent, and has a 5 to 10 foot extinguishing range. Extinguishers can be purchased through fire extinguisher companies or at local hardware and department stores.
Extinguishers should be located both in the home and in the garage. Make sure they are easily accessible and will not become blocked by storage or other items. Also put extinguishers in motor and recreational vehicles, such as motor homes, campers, trailers and boats.
Fire Extinguisher Maintenance
Once a fire extinguisher has been used, it cannot be used again unless it is serviced by a fire extinguisher company. Many service companies will not service and recharge extinguishers with plastic fittings because they may leak after. They will service extinguishers with metal fittings. Check the websites below for information on your specific model. The gauge on the extinguisher should always be in the green area. Examine extinguishers once a month. To loosen up the powder, hold the extinguisher at an angle and tap on the bottom with your hand. Then rotate the extinguisher back and forth so the chemical moves through the vessel.
Fire extinguishers can also simply be replaced, especially if they are at the end of the manufacturer’s recommended life expectancy.
Some Common Fire Extinguisher Manufacturers
First Alert www.firstalert.com
How Do I Dispose of My Extinguisher
For fire extinguishers that have been partially or fully discharged, contact a local fire extinguisher company for recharge or disposal information. Many companies offer free or low-cost disposal.
If you are replacing your extinguisher and it has NEVER BEEN DISCHARGED, please bring it to any City of Punta Gorda Fire Department station.