Notes and Precautions

Small fires can be extinguished without evacuation. If the fire is contained in a small vessel, suffocate the fire by covering the vessel. Do not pick up the vessel. Do not cover with dry towels or cloths. Remove nearby flammable materials to avoid spread of fire. However, an immediate readiness to evacuate is essential in the event the fire cannot be quickly and simply controlled. Only trained personnel should use fire extinguishers. Never enter a room that is smoke filled. Never enter a room containing a fire without a backup person. Never enter a room if the top half of the door is warm to touch. Report the occurrence of fires to RMS if the fire causes injury, property damage, or requires the use of a fire extinguisher.

Life Safety and Confinement

  • If the fire is burning over an area too large for the fire to be suffocated quickly and simply, immediately, evacuate the area.
  • Shut doors behind you to confine the fire and smoke.
  • Do not delay your evacuation to retrieve any materials, personal possessions, etc., before evacuating.

Notification and Evacuation

  • Pull the nearest fire alarm to evacuate the building and alert emergency personnel.
  • Immediately leave the building via the stairs.
  • Do not use the elevators!
  • Go to your pre-determined gathering point or remain at a distance of at least 200 feet from the building. Wait for emergency personnel and provide them with any details you may know about the fire.
  • Information regarding Evacuation of Disabled Persons.
  • If you are a supervisor, try to account for your employees and report any missing persons to the emergency personnel at the scene.
  • Do not re-enter the building until directed to do so by emergency response personnel.


  • After others building occupants have been notified to evacuate, you may stay and attempt to extinguish small fires from a position from which you can escape provided you have been trained in the proper use of fire extinguishers and you are confident that you will be successful. RMS periodically conducts hands-on fire extinguisher training classes. Call 621-1790 for more information.
  • Do not risk your life to fight a fire! Toxic gases, smoke and oxygen deficiency may be present during a fire.

This is How Most Fire Extinguishers Work

  • Pull the pin. Some units require the releasing of a lock latch, pressing a puncture lever, or other motion.
  • Aim the extinguisher nozzle, horn or hose at the base of the fire.
  • Squeeze or press the handle.
  • Sweep from side to side at the base of the fire until it goes out. Shut off the extinguisher. Watch for reignition and reactivate the extinguisher if necessary.

Fire Extinguishers – Type

  • "A" Effective on fires composed of burning wood, paper, plastics, and fabrics.
  • "B" Effective on fires fueled by flammable liquids or grease.
  • "C" Effective on fires involving electric current.
  • "D" Effective on fires fueled by combustible metals such as magnesium and sodium, and other finely divided metal particles.
  • "K" Effective on fires in cooking appliances that use large quantities of combustible cooking oils.