How to use a fire extinguisher

Knowing how to use a fire extinguisher can be a critical piece of knowledge in the event of an emergency.

They are one of the most common and readily available pieces of fire fighting equipment. They can be found in most public and workplaces to use in the event of a fire breakout.

In the event of a breakout, they can be the difference between safety and catastrophe. When used safely they can completely put out or reduce the blaze and limit its effects.

But how do you use one safely? When should they be used and who should use them? 

When should a fire extinguisher be used? 

Before using an extinguisher to tackle a fire it is important that a fire alarm has been sounded and an evacuation procedure and safe evacuation route is in place. Small fires can be put out quite easily with extinguishers. However, fires should only be tackled in their early stages. Furthermore, it is important to assess whether you are capable of extinguishing the fire without further risk to the safety of yourself and those in the building. 

Who should use a fire extinguisher? 

An extinguisher should only be used by someone who is trained in its use. It is important that someone in each workplace has undertaken a fire safety training course and has experience of how to use one. 

Individuals who have not been trained should not attempt to operate them. 

1st Attendance provides a range of Fire Safety Training Courses which teach correct use. 

Using the right type.

When using one, It is important to ensure that you are using the right type of extinguisher. Each type is designed for fighting different classes of fire and use of the wrong extinguisher can result in making the fire worse. For example, using a water extinguisher on an electrical fire can result in electrocution due to water conducting the electrical current. 

Read our guide on types of extinguishers for more information

How to use a fire extinguisher.

When you are sure you have selected the correct one and it is safe to tackle the fire, it is time to use the extinguisher. Again, they should only be used by individuals who are trained in using them. 

The PASS Method

Safe use of a fire extinguisher can be remembered using the 4 step PASS method: 

  1. PULL – Within a safe distance of the fire, Pull the pin to break the seal
  2. AIM – Point the nozzle towards the base of the fire, aiming low. (if you are using a CO2 extinguisher make sure to avoid touching the nozzle as this become cold and cause damage to the skin)
  3. SQUEEZE – Squeeze the handle to release the extinguishing agent
  4. SWEEP – Sweep the extinguisher sideways back and forth at the base of the fire until it is empty and/or the fire is fully extinguished with no possibility of reignition.

How to use a fire extinguisher infographic

What if the fire hasn’t been extinguished? 

If, after use of an extinguisher, the fire is still not out it is time to evacuate the area and allow emergency services to take over in tackling the fire. 

Evacuate the premises using your planned evacuation route. Also ensure that all doors are closed to prevent the fire from spreading further. 

How Often Should Fire Safety Training be refreshed?

Fire Safety Training in the workplace is extremely important to the health and safety of both staff and customers. But how often should fire training course be taken? 

Our guide explains what the course is about, why it is so important to the workplace and how often your staff should be refreshing their training.

Find out more about Fire Safety in the workplace

What is Fire Safety Training?

Fire Safety courses are held to educate on the risks and causes of fire as well as teaching how to best react and respond in the event of a fire and how to help extinguish the fire safely. The courses include a mix of both practical and theoretical learning and can be taught in various group sizes.

There are a range of different courses available including:




What will you learn at a Fire Safety Course?

Elements of the course can include (but are not limited to):

  • The chemistry and behaviours of fire
  • Fire classifications
  • The dangers of fire
  • Fire prevention
  • Alarm raising procedures
  • Fire evacuation procedures
  • Extinguisher classification
  • Extinguisher training
  • Fire Blanket training 
  • First Aid Fire Fighting

Fire Safety Training Course

Why is Fire Safety Training so important?

Having staff trained in fire safety and fire awareness is a great asset to your business and the safety and well being of your staff and customers. Fires in the workplace can have a significant impact on businesses with companies potentially losing significant amounts of money, work and business as well as posing a risk of health problems, injury or even fatality to staff and customers. With trained staff and the correct knowledge, both the risk and consequences of a fire can be greatly minimised.

How often should Fire Safety Training be refreshed?

It is crucial that all staff in the workplace have Fire Safety Training as part of each staff member’s induction.

We recommend this training is refreshed annually to ensure staff have refreshed awareness of fire safety and procedures.

This is particularly important in workplaces where there is a high turnover of staff, high risk of fire or several guests/customers that the staff are responsible for. 

More regular training may be required for those with particular responsibilities in the event of fire such as department heads, fire marshals and those who look after vulnerable people such as carers. 


We provide an insightful and accredited service for all types of businesses. To find out more, don’t hesitate to contact us or read our blog.

How to Use a Fire Blanket

How to Use a Fire Blanket

Fire blankets are an important piece of equipment that everyone should own in case of an emergency. But how do you use a fire blanket? And how do fire blankets work? Lucky for you, at First Attendance we have put together a short video perfectly instructing you on how to safely and effectively use a fire blanket in case of emergency. You can find the video below.

Who Should Own A Fire Blanket?

Simply put; everyone! The use of a fire blanket could potentially save lives and stop a full force fire from breaking out.

Where Should I Keep a Fire Blanket?

When you purchase a fire blanket and get home, make sure you put it in the correct place and make sure to fit it to a solid surface. Don’t put it too close to the area of risk and you also don’t want it to close to your cooker/oven because if there is a fire you don’t want to be walking around it or leaning over to actually get to the piece of equipment.

When should I use a Fire Blanket?

Blankets can be used to extinguish small fires (our definition would be around the size of an office bin) They are most used for Kitchen based fires and a method for putting out a fire before it gets too big or out of control. In the event of a larger fire, call the emergency services. 

How Does a Fire Blanket Work?

As oxygen is one of the elements needed for fire, a fire blanket works by smothering the fire and cutting off the oxygen supply.

How to Use a Fire Blanket

Step 1:  You’ll normally find tabs at the top or bottom of the box. To release the blanket in an emergency give those tabs a pull. 

Step 2: Before you actually attempt to tackle the fire, try and turn off the gas or electric because that will reduce the heat element within the fire triangle. 

Step 3: When you use a fire blanket you need to make sure you protect yourself. The easiest way to protect yourself is to hold the tabs so they face you, backs of your hands against the blanket and then fold it in. That’s going to protect you from the radiated heat as you attempt to approach the fire. 

Don’t hold the blanket too high where you can’t see where the risk is or too low that you’re going to trip over. You just want to put arms out straight. Move your weight on to your back foot, move nice and slowly towards the fire and then just place it physically over the top. Don’t attempt to throw the blanket on incase you miss. When you get to this sort of stage and you’re close, don’t pull away because the flames may stick to the blanket and this could actually spread the fire. It has to be just a very quick, swift motion, one step at a time, from there, straight over the top. 

Step 4. Leave the blanket for around 30 minutes or so. Don’t take it off too quickly as, by reintroducing oxygen, there is a chance of re-ignition. Leave the actual pan in situ for at least an hour.

Step 5. If there is any doubt at all that it is still not a safe environment, please pick up the phone, phone the fire service brigade, evacuate the area and get them there as quick as you can.  


1. Release the blanket by pulling quickly on the two tabs
2. Turn off the heat source
3. Protect yourself – move slowly, keeping your weight on your back foot and hold the blanket in front to protect yourself
4. Tackle the fire by placing the blanket on top in a quick, swift motion
5. Leave the blanket for 30 minutes before removing 

6. Call the fire brigade – if there are any problems or doubts.

How to use a fire Blanket Infographic


If you work in an office then it is important to know exactly where the fire blanket is kept at all times and you should also inform your employees as well. You should provide a training session to all employees on how to use a fire blanket and we hope that the above video will help you in doing so. If you’d like us to come to your place of work to properly demonstrate the correct procedure, please contact us and we’ll get something put in the diary.

Top Tips on Preventing Fires in the Workplace

4 Top Tips For Preventing Fires & Keeping Staff Safe

The Importance of Fire Safety in the Workplace

Employers should be invested in the safety of their staff, especially in the case of fire prevention. There over 22,000 fires breaking out in workplaces annually, this alarming figure is why preventing fires in a workplace is essential. Every workplace must have a fire evacuation procedure in place in the case of a fire but what better way to protect your staff and customers from a fire than prevent it in the first place? Here are some top tips on preventing fires in the workplace. The best thing you can do is prevent fire before it becomes a risk. The government website offers further advice on how fire safety will affect you.

Designated Smoking Area

Fire Prevention - SmokingBy making a few simple changes in your workplace you can drastically improve safety in the workplace. Introducing a smoker’s area in the workplace can be the answer to preventing a huge fire breakout in the workplace. Over a third of the death in UK fires in 2018-2019 were due to smokers’ paraphernalia. Something as simple as not putting out a cigarette properly can be the cause of a fatal fire accident.

Introducing a smoker’s area won’t make all your workplace fire hazard problems go away. It’s important that the smokers’ area is located far away from any flammable substances or materials. Smokers should be able to dispose of cigarettes safely by using an ashtray or using sand-filled can to collect hot ashes.

House Keeping

Keeping the workplace neat and tidy in general is a really good way of preventing a workplace fire. Keeping the kitchen tidy is very important because this area of the workplace is usually the most hazardous due to all the equipment and substances in this area. Cooking appliances caused almost half of all accidental fires in the UK in 2018/2019.

Any flammable substances like oil should be kept away from any electric sockets. Gas and electric cookers should be switched off after usage. Putting away flammable materials such as paper, card etc. is a huge step forward in preventing a fire. Disposing of these materials is also an important step because improper disposal of flammables can cause an ignition or even an explosion. Since fire exits are not used very often, they are often used for storage. Making sure all passageways are clear from any equipment is vital in the case of a fire.


Training Staff in Preventing Fires

Fire Safety Training CourseInforming your staff on how to prevent a fire is another way to protect your staff and customers in the case of a fire. It is essential that your staff understand the fire evacuation and safety procedures. It is the responsibility of the employer or business owner to educate and train their staff in preventing fires. It is a legal obligation for the employer to carry out a fire safety risk assessment to protect their staff and customers. Shockingly, most employees don’t know how to use a fire extinguisher nor how to prevent a fire. Using fire safety labels throughout your workplace can educate your staff on fire prevention but providing in-depth training will assure that your fire evacuation procedures run smoothly.

Carrying out regular fire drills will help your employees understand their role in the case of a fire thus prevent any fatalities and can minimise the damages that it may cause.


It is unfortunate that over 49% of deaths in the workplace are due to arson. Arson is the biggest fire threat because of how difficult it is to control. Employers can introduce better security in their business by installing CCTV cameras. Not only could this deter arsonists but it could also aid in the investigation of discovering the cause of a fire and allow you to provide relevant safety procedures to avoid this in the future. 

Employing security staff can also help you prevent fire due to arson. It is important that all security staff also understand how to prevent a fire. Training your employees on spotting anyone suspicious lurking around the building or in the building. It’s important that the work area isn’t easily accessible to anyone who isn’t an employee of the business.

It’s easy to forget or ignore some of these fire safety tips but understanding how to prevent a fire in the workplace to protect your staff and customers can save your business from folding. You can reduce the risk of your business becoming another fire statistic by simply following these tips.