University of Rochester
Currents--University of Rochester newspaper

Keep fire safety in mind

Fire extinguishers are the first line of defense against fire. Virtually all fires start small and might be contained or extinguished if the proper type and amount of extinguishing agent are applied and if the extinguisher is used correctly.

Extinguishers come in three classes, and matching the right class to the fire type is important. Class A (labeled A or ABC) can be used to fight fire involving solids such as wood, paper, or cloth. Class B (labeled BC or ABC) is effective against fires involving flammable or combustible liquids. And Class C (labeled BC or ABC) should be used for fires involving electrical equipment.

Even when extinguishing a small fire, faculty and staff should always notify University Security Services by calling "13" as soon as a fire is discovered. Notification should never be delayed in the hope that the extinguisher will be sufficient.

Remember, fire spreads quickly. If the fire cannot be extinguished in 30 seconds, it's time to get out.

The following guidelines provide tips for correctly operating extinguishers.

  • Keep a clear exit to the rear and let the extinguishing agent put the fire out.

  • Stand six to eight feet away from the fire and remember the acronym PASS:

    Pull the pin to activate the handle.
    Aim the nozzle at the base of the fire.
    Squeeze the handle.
    Sweep the agent from side to side and discharge the entire contents of the extinguisher and evacuate to safety.

  • Once the fire is out, carefully back away. Never turn away from a fire, even if it appears to be out, in case a flare up occurs.

For additional information or to schedule extinguisher training, call the Fire Marshal's Office at x5-3243.

Maintained by University Public Relations
Please send your comments and suggestions to:
Public Relations.