Using fire equipment

Fire extinguishers

  • Select the appropriate fire extinguisher for the class of fire (see Portable Fire Extinguisher Guide, pdf, 327kb, 1p).
  • Attack the fire with a fire extinguisher if the fire is NOT large (NO larger than approximately 1m3)
  • Position so that you keep your back to the exit route and DO NOT position yourself with limited access to an escape route.
  • Leave the room when smoke or heat is no longer tenable.
  • If possible work in pairs for added safety.
  • It is always preferable to have received training in the use of an extinguisher.

Download the Portable Fire Extinguisher Guide (pdf, 327kb, 1p) for more information.

PASS method

There are four (4) basic steps for using modern portable fire extinguishers. The acronym PASS is used to describe these.

Pull (Pin)

  • Pull the pin at the top of the extinguisher, breaking the seal. (When in place, the pin keeps the handle from being pressed and accidentally operating the extinguisher).
  • Immediately test the extinguisher to ensure the extinguisher works and also shows the operator how far the stream travels (Aiming away from the operator).


  • Approach the fire standing at a safe distance. Aim the nozzle or outlet towards the base of the fire.


  • Squeeze the handle to discharge the extinguishing agent inside the extinguisher. To stop discharge, release the handles.


  • Sweep the nozzle from side to side as you approach the fire, directing the extinguishing agent at the base of the flames.
  • After an A Class fire is extinguished, probe for smouldering hot spots that could reignite the fuel.

Fire hose reels

  • Turn on the stop valve to release the nozzle.
  • Run out the length of the hose as required.
  • Test the hose reel by turning on the water at the nozzle to ensure the there is water flowing.
  • Approach the fire standing at a safe distance. Turn on the water at the nozzle and direct the stream at base of fire.
  • Ensure you leave a clear egress path between you and the nearest exit door/ egress route.

Used or damaged fire equipment