Install fire extinguishers close to an exit and 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. Know when to go. Fire extinguishers are just one element of a fire response plan, but the primary element is safe escape. Everyone should have a fire escape plan.
Use a portable fire extinguisher when:
- The fire is confined to a small area, such as a wastebasket
- The fire 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.
Select a multi-purpose extinguisher (can be used on all types of fires) that is large enough to put out a small fire, but not so heavy as to be difficult to handle. Read the instructions that come with the fire extinguisher and become familiar with its parts and operation before a fire breaks out.