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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
Contact your local fire department in advance to confirm that burning is allowed and to find out whether a permit is required to burn debris.
Weather fluctuations, such as sudden gusts of wind, could make debris burning spark a wildfire. Call your local fire department the day you plan to burn debris to finalize that the weather is safe enough to burn.
A safe site will be far away from power lines, overhanging limbs, buildings, automobiles, and equipment. It will have vertical clearance at least three times the height of the pile, as heat from the fire extends far past the actual flames that you see. It will have horizontal clearance twice the height of the debris pile.
The ground around the burn site should be surrounded by gravel or mineral soil (dirt) for at least ten feet in all directions. Keep the surrounding area watered down during the burn.
Burn Barrels must be made of all-metal construction in good condition (no rust on the sides or bottom) and properly ventilated with three evenly-spaced, three-inch square vents spaced evenly around the rim near ground level. Each vent must be backed by a metal screen. A Burn Barrel must have a metal top screen with mesh size of one-fourth inch or finer to keep sparks from escaping and potentially sparking a wildfire. When burning, layer the different types of debris and stir often. Be careful of sparks escaping the barrel when you stir it.
Stay with your fire until it is completely out. To ensure the fire has been completely extinguished, drown the fire with water, turn over the ashes with a shovel and drown it again. Repeat several times. Check the burn area regularly over the next several days and up to several weeks following the burn, especially if the weather is warm, dry, and windy.
It is illegal to burn plastic, tires, and most other waste products not from a tree or shrub.
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.
You are responsible for any damages and costs if your fire get out of control. This includes damage to the forest.