Fire Safety

Fire Extinguishers

USFA recommends that only those trained in the proper use and maintenance of fire extinguishers consider using them when appropriate. The use of a fire extinguisher in the hands of a trained adult can be a life and property saving tool. However, a majority of adults have not had fire extinguisher training and may not know how and when to use them. Fire extinguisher use requires a sound decision making process and training on their proper use and maintenance.

What type of fire extinguisher is needed?

Different types of fires require different types of extinguishers. For example, a grease fire and an electrical fire require the use of different extinguishing agents to be effective and safely put the fire out. Basically, there are five different types of extinguishing agents. Most fire extinguishers display symbols to show the kind of fire on which they are to be used.

There are also multi-purpose fire extinguishers - such as those labeled "B-C" or "A-B-C" - that can be used on two or more of the above type fires.

Is the fire at a point where it might still be controlled by a fire extinguisher?

Portable fire extinguishers are valuable for immediate use on small fires. They contain a limited amount of extinguishing material and need to be properly used so that this material is not wasted. For example, when a pan initially catches fire, it may be safe to turn off the burner, place a lid on the pan, and use an extinguisher. By the time the fire has spread, however, these actions will not be adequate. Only trained firefighters can safely extinguish such fires.

Use a fire extinguisher only if:

If all of these conditions are not present, you should NOT try to use a fire extinguisher. Alert other occupants, leave the building following your home escape plan go to the agreed upon meeting place, and call the fire department from a cell phone or a neighbor's home.

Am I physically capable of using the extinguisher?

Some people have physical limitations that might diminish or eliminate their ability to properly use a fire extinguisher. People with disabilities, older adults, or children may find that an extinguisher is too heavy to handle or it may be too difficult for them to exert the necessary pressure to operate the extinguisher.


Fire extinguishers need to be regularly checked to ensure that:

Sound Decision Making. Training. Maintenance.

All are required to safely control a fire with an extinguisher. For this reason, USFA recommends that only those trained in the proper use and maintenance of fire extinguishers consider using them when appropriate. Contact your local fire department for information on training in your area.

Tips for Safe Debris Burning

Do you use a trash barrel to burn?
Don't let this happen to you!

They wanted to burn some paper and ender up burning 1 acre of grass, the corner of their shed and several hundred square feet of woodland.

Open Burning

You are responsible for any damages and costs if your fire get out of control. This includes damage to the forest.

Pleural Mesothelioma

Malignant pleural mesothelioma is a rare, aggressive cancer that develops in the thin layer of tissue surrounding the lungs known as the pleura. The disease is caused primarily by the inhalation of microscopic asbestos fibers. Once these fibers are inhaled, they can become lodged in the lining around the lungs. The fibers accumulate in the body, and cause cellular and genetic damage that can ultimately lead to cancer.

It's the most common of the four types of mesothelioma, accounting for about 75 percent of all cases diagnosed annually in the U.S. More than 2,000 people are diagnosed with this pleural cancer each year.

A majority of these cases are traced to occupational exposure to asbestos, which put factory workers, shipyard workers, mechanics and construction workers at the highest risk. Keep in mind, it can take anywhere from 10 to 50 years after exposure for the cancer to develop.

For more information on Pleural Mesothelioma, visit the Pleural Mesothelioma Center or the Mesothelioma Fund and for information on occupations at risk to asbestos exposure, click here.

If diagnosed with Pleural Mesothelioma, you can call the Pleural Mesothelioma Center at 855-688-9653.