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The PASS System for extinguishing fires

The PASS System for extinguishing fires

When you feel it is safe to do so, and you feel there is a chance of stopping a small fire, you are encouraged to tackle them with a fire extinguisher. There are a whole host of different fire extinguishers which can be used to tackle specific types of fires, and while it is important to select the right one, knowing how to use an extinguisher correctly is also vital.

With this in mind, this month we’d like to highlight the PASS System to help you remember that the main stages of the process. By following this system you could help to prevent small fires turning into something much worse.

a fireman putting out a large fire with extinguisher

PASS System

Since acronyms are easier to recall, most people refer to the correct operation of an extinguisher as the PASS System. Here is a breakdown of the stages:

P – Pull the pin – The first thing you need to do is pull the pin on the extinguisher you have chosen. This will then allow you to activate the extinguisher, releasing the locking mechanism.

A – Aim – Now the pin has released the locking mechanism, you should aim the nozzle of the extinguisher at the bottom of the fire – not at the flames. By targeting the base you are tackling the fuel source of the fire and putting the extinguishing effect in the right place.

S – Squeeze the level – You’ve got your aim and the extinguisher is unlocked, now you simply need to squeeze the lever to begin releasing the extinguishing agent. There is a limited amount of the agent inside every extinguisher, so use it wisely and squeeze only to get a controlled amount.

S – Sweep – You should be a good distance away from the fire itself when using the extinguisher. Keep aiming at the base of the fire and sweep back and forth to cover as much of the base of the fire as possible. If the fire begins to recede, adjust your position and continue to spray as long as the extinguisher allows.

It’s possible that once you have put the fire out, it finds a way to reignite. To avoid this, we suggest staying close by for a short period in order to monitor the remains of the fire, ready to tackle the flames should they try to take hold again.

It should go without saying that, should the fire roar back to life in an aggressive manner, you should leave immediately and let the emergency services tackle the fire. Never take on extinguishing a fire unless you are certain you can handle it.

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About Scutum South East

Scutum South East is a leading expert in fire safety and security solutions for businesses and organisations located across South East England, including London and Surrey.

From fire alarms, fire extinguishers and fire risk assessments to access control, CCTV and intruder alarm systems – and a lot more besides – we offer a comprehensive range of products and services designed to keep you, your business and your staff and visitors safe.

With decades of industry experience to call on, we’re proud to hold accreditations from leading trade associations and bodies such as British Approvals for Fire Equipment (BAFE), the British Fire Consortium, the Fire Industry Association (FIA) and Security Systems and Alarms Inspection Board (SSAIB).

If you’d like to find out more about Scutum South East, get in touch with our friendly team or explore our products and services on our site.


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