For your safety and the safety of others at the University of Michigan (U-M), it is a good practice to know when to fight a fire, which fire extinguisher to use, and how to put out a fire. The first decision you must make when a fire occurs is to only fight a fire if:
- The fire is small and contained
- You are safe from toxic smoke
- You have a means of escape
- Your instincts tell you it is OK
If at any time one of these criteria changes, SOUND THE ALARM and evacuate the area immediately.
|FIRE EXTINGUISHER RATING||MATERIAL IT WILL EXTINGUISH||NUMERICAL RATING REFERENCE||NOTES|
||Flammable liquids, such as:
||The approximate number of square feet of a flammable liquid fire that a non-expert person can expect to extinguish||NA|
||NA||The presence of the letter C indicates that the extinguishing agent is non-conductive|
|Class D||Flammable metals (are often specific for the type of metal in question)||NA||They are not given a multi-purpose rating for use on other types of fires|
|Multi-Class||Many extinguishers available today can be used on different types of fires and will be labeled with more than one designator (A-B, B-C, or A-B-C).|
Using a Fire Extinguisher
Even though extinguishers come in a number of shapes and sizes, they all operate in a similar manner. An easy acronym for fire extinguisher use is PASS: Pull, Aim, Squeeze, Sweep.
- PULL the pin at the top of the extinguisher that keeps the handle from being accidentally pressed.
- AIM the nozzle toward the base of the fire.
- Stand approximately 8 feet away from the fire and SQUEEZE the handle to discharge the extinguisher. If you release the handle, the discharge will stop.
- SWEEP the nozzle back and forth at the base of the fire. After the fire appears to be out, watch carefully because it may re-ignite.
“Special Hazards” fire extinguishing systems are used in U-M buildings that include:
- Certain fire hazards that standard automatic sprinklers systems cannot effectively control or extinguish
- Equipment or operations that upon the application of water may cause excessive collateral damage or an interruption of critical operations
For some of these locations, a special hazards fire extinguishing system may be employed using one of the following fire suppression agents:
- A non-water, “clean agent” (e.g., a halocarbon (halon) agent or an inert gas agent (a blend of one or more gases of helium, neon, argon, or nitrogen)
- Carbon dioxide (CO2)
- Dry chemical
U-M departments that have a special hazard fire extinguishing system installed must ensure:
- The special hazard fire extinguishing system is in proper operating condition
- That affected building occupants have been provided pertinent health and safety information
For information about special hazards fire extinguishing systems, contact Fire Safety Services at (734) 615-6764.
For more information about the health and safety of the fire suppression agent used in special hazard fire extinguishing system, call EH&S at (734) 647-1142.