Fire extinguisher recall update: How to use a fire extinguisher

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

The recent recall of nearly forty million Kidde fire extinguishers means many households may find themselves without suitable fire extinguishers. So if you’re in the market for a new fire extinguisher, Consumer Reports says you should take this chance to familiarize yourself with it, and how to use it.

Consumer Reports and fire safety experts recommend keeping multipurpose fire extinguishers for your home. You want to have the most common type of fire extinguisher which will be an A-B- C fire extinguisher that will extinguish the three types of common fires, which is wood and paper which is a class A, Class B which is flammable liquids, and a Class C is going to be electrical fires.

Along with owning a working fire extinguisher, it’s essential that you know how to use it in an emergency. When you bring home your new fire extinguisher, take the time to read the owner’s manual and be sure to register it with the manufacturer.

It's important to first look at the pressure gauge to make sure the fire extinguisher is fully charged. Then
follow the PASS method:

  • PULL the pin to break the seal.
  • AIM the nozzle at the base of the fire while standing about 8 feet from it.
  • SQUEEZE the handle slowly and evenly.
  • Then SWEEP from side to side until the fire is completely extinguished.

Keep a fire extinguisher no more than 10 feet from the kitchen, in the laundry room and garage. Mount the extinguisher in its bracket—in a convenient location and in plain sight—3.5 to 5 feet above the ground to prevent damage to it and so it’s out of the reach of small children.

To learn more about buying a fire extinguisher, click HERE.

All Consumer Reports material Copyright 2017 Consumer Reports, Inc. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Consumer Reports is a not-for-profit organization which accepts no advertising. It has no commercial relationship with any advertiser or sponsor on this site. For more information visit