We see them at work, we usually have them under the sink at home, and they can be found in most public spaces; but have you ever actually used a fire extinguisher? Could you use one if you had to? If you have a fire extinguisher at home, keep in mind that you should check it regularly to make sure the pin is still in place and the pressure gauge reads in the “ready” zone – if not, you need to replace it or have it serviced.
The mechanics of a fire extinguisher are fairly simple. First, pull the pin, stand 6 feet away from the fire and aim the nozzle or hose at the base of the fire. Squeeze the lever to spray – most extinguishers have about ten seconds of spraying time, so you need to be fast and precise. Sweep the nozzle side to side until it is fully out, and then watch closely for re-ignition. Your local fire department can help you recharge or recycle a used fire extinguisher. Find full instructions on the Earth Sense podcast page at South Carolina Public Radio dot org.