Application of Portable Fire Extinguishers

Given a selection of portable extinguishers, full personal protective equipment, and a controlled instructional environment, the student will be able to demonstrate the proper techniques of inspecting, selecting, and using portable extinguishers...

• Procedure shall include thorough examination to determine the condition of the three basic elements of an extinguisher

• Mechanical parts

• Container or pressure vessel

• Other components


• Extinguishing agent

• Proper amount

• Condition


• Expelling means

• Amount of leakage of gas

• Condition of pump


• Record date of inspection or testing


VIII. General Rules (1-8)

• It is important to practice operating a variety of extinguishers

• Wear PPE/SCBA when necessary

• Select proper extinguisher

• Use compatible agents

• Know application techniques

• Work in pairs

• Work systematically

• Apply at the proper range so the agent reaches but does not disturb the fuel source

• Apply from upwind position

• Back away when extinguishment is accomplished

IX. Practical Use of Fire Extinguishers (1-9)

Notes: Show the video, Portable Fire Extinguishers at this point, prior to the practical portion as a recap of lesson content.

• Assign consecutive numbers to trainees

• Set up fireground area

Notes: Use the steps and procedures outline in IFSTA, pp. 140-144 as a guide for this section.

• Group extinguishers according to type

• Class A water extinguishers near the Class A fire area

• Carbon dioxide extinguishers near the Class B fire area

• Dry chemical extinguishers near the Class B fire area, but not with the carbon dioxide extinguishers

• If an electrical motor prop is available with a propane or flammable liquid fuel source, simulate a Class C fire scenario with dry chemical


• Arrange Class A material into piles for burning

• Fill pan or drum halves with Class B liquid and water


• Practical use of extinguishers

Instructor tasks: Ignite materials or liquid. Demonstrate activation, use, and attack procedures. Trainee tasks:#1 and #2 will demonstrate the activation, use, and attack procedures. (Although extinguisher may have already been activated, trainees will demonstrate how this is done.) #1 and #2 will move to a nearby area established by the field instructor where they can observe subsequent attacks by class members. #3 and #4 will follow the same procedure as above, and so on by twos until all have had a chance to use this extinguisher type. Notes: The instructor in charge will demonstrate that neither water nor dry chemical will extinguish the fire.

• Pressurized water or pump tank types for Class A material


• Carbon dioxide type for Class B material


• Dry chemical type for Class B material


• AFFF type


• Combustible metals for igniting magnesium shavings

• Critique

• Clean up

• Dismiss class




Application of Portable Fire Extinguishers

• Purpose of Portable Fire Extinguishers

• NFPA Classification and Characteristics of Fuels

• Types of Agents

• Ratings of Extinguishers

• Types of Extinguishers

• Limitations of Extinguishers

• Care and Maintenance

• General Rules

• Practical Use of Fire Extinguishers

Oral Review: Under each review point, recall and list three features from the discussion or list steps or safety features of each skill.

Other Evaluation: The student will be evaluated through the homework assignments, mid-term, and final written exams, which the student must successfully complete; will complete all the skill card checkoffs with sign-off by the instructor; and will complete the in-station skill sheets with company officer sign-off.


Assignment: Complete the assignments listed below. Have a company officer print and sign one=s name stating that the assignment was correctly completed.

Part I

Conduct an apparatus (all) inventory of the number(s) and types(s) of portable fire extinguishers carried on the apparatus in your company or station. This includes medical units, brush, tankers, aerials and towers, squads (light or heavy), and pumpers.