When a fire starts, every second counts. Fire extinguishers can help save lives when used quickly and effectively. Yet an astonishing 70% of fire extinguisher owners say they would not be comfortable using an extinguisher in the event of a fire according to recent research. For this reason, First Alert and the National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC) have developed a new fire extinguisher training course for volunteer fire departments nationwide, supplemented by an extinguisher donation program for community outreach initiatives.
Called “Home Fire Preparedness: Fire Extinguisher Best Practices,” the course educates volunteer fire department personnel about the role fire extinguishers can play in fire safety, and how proper extinguisher placement and maintenance can help reduce the risk of severe fire incidents. Cooking fires are the leading cause of home fires, with ranges or cooktops accounting for 63% of home fire incidents according to the National Fire Protection Association. Many small kitchen fires could likely be resolved with a fire extinguisher if caught early.
home safety plan
The training provides insight about the different types of fire extinguishers and when and how to use them
However, research revealed 50% of fire extinguisher owners have never operated one, while 60% of respondents stated they would very likely use one in the event of a fire. “Operating a fire extinguisher can make people feel uneasy, which is why First Alert provides tools to help educate the community through local fire departments,” said Tarsila Wey, director of marketing for First Alert, a trusted brand in home safety. “Fire extinguishers are an integral part of a home safety plan, along with smoke and carbon monoxide (CO) alarms and having – and practicing – an escape plan.”
The training provides insight about the different types of fire extinguishers, when and how to use them, and detailed information on proper maintenance and appropriate placement of fire extinguishers. Participants will also learn the importance of knowing when not to use an extinguisher, but to instead call 911 and exit the home safely. This training will enable volunteer firefighters to educate their community on how to properly and safely use this important line of defense.
In the home, a simple way to remember how to operate a fire extinguisher is with the acronym PASS:
- Pull the pin on the extinguisher
- Aim the nozzle low toward the base of the fire
- Squeeze the trigger
- Sweep the nozzle from side-to-side
CO alarm installations
To complement the training, First Alert donated 500 rechargeable 1-A:10-B:C fire extinguishers to volunteer fire departments to help them make an immediate impact in their communities. Departments that receive the extinguishers are part of the NVFC’s Fire Corps program, which utilizes community volunteers to assist resource-constrained fire departments with non-operational tasks such as community education and smoke and CO alarm installations. “The education provided in this fire extinguisher course, combined with First Alert’s donation, helps our volunteer departments keep communities safe,” said NVFC Chair Steve Hirsch.
“We are thankful for the commitment our volunteer firefighters make to keep their own neighbors safe from threats of fire and carbon monoxide.” The “Home Fire Preparedness: Fire Extinguisher Best Practices” course is now available in the NVFC Virtual Classroom. The course will be free for the first 500 participants, compliments of First Alert.