Identify the best places for portable fire extinguishers in your home and follow directions in this section for proper use and maintenance.

It is important to be able to put out a fire as soon as it starts. This keeps the fire from spreading, and things can get back to normal as quickly as possible. Portable fire extinguishers provide occupants with an effective tool for fighting small fires. As a very general guideline, in common areas of a residential building, you should be able to reach a portable fire extinguisher within a distance of 22m (75 feet). It is mandatory to have one or more portable extinguisher in the building.

Use and maintenance

Portable fire extinguishers are only useful if people know how to use them. Directions are printed on the extinguisher. Generally, in an emergency, you should grasp the extinguisher by the handle and carefully approach the flames. Place the extinguisher on the floor to remove the safety valve. Lift the extinguisher and direct the nozzle to the base of the flames. Press on the handle to release the extinguishing product. It is important, when spraying the product, to move the nozzle in a side-to-side sweeping motion to make sure it is sprayed evenly across the combustible surface. 

A specialist should come once a year to inspect your portable extinguishers. He or she will be able to make sure your extinguishers are working properly. As an occupant of the building, you share responsibility for making sure the extinguisher works correctly. It is essential to your safety. It's easy to take a look at it once a day when you pass by to make sure it is on its stand, undamaged and that manometre pressure is correct.