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Fire extinguishers

If there is a fire, sound the alarm, get everybody out, and call the fire department from a safe location. Only then should you attempt to extinguish a small fire.

Classes of Fire All fire extinguishers are labeled using standard symbols for the class of fire they can put out. They should be installed in escape routes, near exits, and always in plain view. Keep extinguishers away from hazards.

Class A Includes ordinary combustibles such as wood, cloth and paper.

Class B Includes flammable liquids such as gasoline, oil and oil-based paint.

Class C Includes energized electrical equipment such as wiring, circuit breakers, and appliances.

How to use your extinguisher

If you operate an extinguisher it must be inspected and recharged by a qualified technician. Yearly maintenance is required whether or not it is used. Check your local yellow pages under "Firefighting Appliances" for qualified technicians.

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Pull the Pin

This unlocks the operating lever and allows you to discharge the extinguisher.


​Aim low

​Point the extinguisher nozzle or hose at the base of the flame.


​Squeeze the lever

This discharges the extinguishing agent Releasing the lever will stop the discharge.


​​Sweep from side to side

Moving carefully toward the fire keep the extinguisher aimed at the base of the flame and sweep back and forth until the flames appear to be out.

Important points to remember

  • Always test the extinguisher first to ensure it works before you approach a fire.
  • Most extinguishers discharge completely in as few as eight to 30 seconds.
  • The operator must have a clear escape route - never put a fire between yourself and your exit.
  • Only buy an extinguisher that has been approved by a recognized testing laboratory such as U.L.C. or C.S.A.

Disposing of fire extinguishers

Fire extinguishers need to be disposed of safely and properly. They are accepted at specific locations around Calgary as part of the Household Hazardous Waste Program. Learn more about the proper disposal of fire extinguishers.​​​​​​​​