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How to Use a Fire Extinguisher

Follow these instructions for using a portable fire extinguisher.

Training takes the mystery and fear out of when and how to use an extinguisher.

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1. Sound the alarm.

  • Activate the fire alarm and call for help.
    • Campus phones: call 911
    • Other phones: dial (858) 534-4357
    • UCSD Medical Center: call Security at 6111
  • Alert people in the area to evacuate.

2. Determine if it is safe to use a fire extinguisher.

  • Use a fire extinguisher only if:
    • The fire is small (trash can size).
    • You know how to use a fire extinguisher.
    • You have a clear exit path behind you.

3. Use the P-A-S-S procedure.

  • Pull the pin in the extinguisher's handle.
    Pull the pin
  • Aim the nozzle at the base of the flames, holding the extinguisher within 6 feet of the fire.
    Aim
  • Squeeze (or press) the handles together.
    Squeeze the handles together
  • Sweep from side to side at the base of the fire until it is out.
    Sweep from side to side

4. Follow up, as needed.

  • Report used extinguishers immediately.
    • Campus:
      Facilities Management Referral Desk, (858) 534-2930
    • UCSD Medical Center-Hillcrest:
      Facilities Engineering Help Desk, (619) 543-6454
    • UCSD Medical Center-Thornton:
      Facilities Engineering Help Desk, (858) 657-6400
  • If injuries or damage occurred, notify the Risk Management Office, (858) 534-3820.

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Notice: In case of fire, your first responsibility is to escape unharmed and sound the alarm. Use a fire extinguisher only if you have been trained to use one and you have a clear exit path behind you.