Once flames start leaping out of a fire, it can grow very quickly. But you can still put it out if it hasn’t gone out of control. When you see a fire starting anywhere in your house, the first thing you should do is try to extinguish it with whatever resources you have at your disposal. Here are 4 ways you can extinguish a fire without having to call for help.
Using a fire extinguisher
As soon as you see a fire breaking out, get the fire extinguisher and spray directly on the fire. If you have never used one before (which is the case with most people), read the directions printed on the cylinder carefully. Since fire extinguishers are designed to be used in an emergency, they are not complicated to use.
Fire extinguishers are classified as A, B, C, D, K and A:B:C.
- Class A: This class of fire extinguishers is for ordinary combustibles such as paper, cloth, wood, plastic and trash.
- Class B: This class of fire extinguishers is for flammable liquids such as petroleum, gasoline and paint. They do not, however, include cooking oils and grease.
- Class C: This class of fire extinguishers is for flammable gases.
- Class D: This class of fire extinguishers is for combustible metals such as aluminium, sodium, potassium and magnesium.
- Class F: This class of fire extinguishers is for cooking oils, greases, vegetable fats and animal fats.
- Class A:B:C: If you see Class A:B:C printed on your fire extinguisher, it means that it’s an all-purpose fire extinguisher. This is the type of fire extinguishers most homes and condos have. It may not be very effective where a specific class of fire extinguisher is required, but it works if the fire is in its initial stage.
Using a fire blanket
Fire blankets can be quite effective in putting out small fires. These blankets are made of chemically treated wool, which is a good insulator of electricity. To use the blanket, retrieve it from its packing, unfold it, and drape it over the fire. The blanket should not be thrown over the fire. You should grip it firmly with your hand, taking care to shield your body. If done properly, a fire blanket prevents collateral damage. If it is an electrical fire, turn off the source of power first.