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How To Use a Fire Extinguisher

Table of Contents

You’ve passed one many times in many places but if you were faced with a small fire, would you know how to tackle it?

A recent UK fire association survey found that 93% of fires were extinguished without the aid of the professionals, many of which were down to the humble extinguisher.  Tackling a small fire can prevent loss of life, possessions and possibly jobs.

So, here is the Onguard Guide to using an extinguisher…

  1. Make sure you are always between the fire and your escape.
  2. Never tackle any fire bigger than a domestic bin.
  3. Select the correct type of extinguisher (covered in our which extinguisher blog).
  4. Check again your exit route.


  • Pull out the pin, twisting at the same time to break the seal.
  • Aim the horn or nozzle at the base of the fire.
  • Squeeze the levers together firmly.
  • Sweep the hose or horn from side to side.


  • Empty the full content even if the fire seems out.
  • Familiarise yourself with the equipment
  • Undertake training provided by Onguard


  • Use a water or foam extinguisher on ANY electrical equipment.
  • Hold the horn. You WILL get a freeze burn.
  • Be ashamed to say No and get out, it’s your call.  If you don’t feel comfortable fighting the fire.
  • DON’T Use a Co2 or Powder in confined spaces, there is a risk of suffocation.

If you have any questions on fire extinguishers, fire safety tips or regulations, don’t hesitate to contact us directly using our contact form or call 0800 061 4234