The Knowledge Exchange – Know Your Fire Extinguisher



♪ Come with us on a journey, a journey to a place where
information is unlocked, knowledge is gained, and the exchange
of experiences is welcome. This is The Knowledge Exchange, presented by
Lakeland Community College. The goal of today is not
to make your firefighters. Firefighters go into
highly risky situations in a calculated way with
lots of training, all right? What we're trying to do
is make you comfortable with a fire extinguisher
because the fire grows in size at a geometric rate,
you know that, and if you can catch
it when it's small, you sure can do a lot of
property conservation there. But our first goal
always is life safety. So we want to
make you comfortable with a fire extinguisher because we want
to keep you guys safe. So hopefully the
way we approach this, you guys–
if it ever happens, you'll be able to
approach a fire safely and be able to leave with
all your fingers and toes and everything with
the skin still on it. One of the things is if you ever
have a fire in your house, however small, even if you use
a fire extinguisher to put out, please, please, activate 911. The reason is is because
that little grease fire that's on your
kitchen–on your stove, you know,
"Hey, I got it out 'cause I went
to Lakeland and I took a little fire
extinguisher class." Meanwhile it kind of
caught the curtains on fire, but you got those, too, but it's
smoldering behind the cabinet and all of a sudden
the whole house is on fire 'cause we didn't call. So your first thing, of course,
is you've got to call 911 'cause we want to come. We want to come and help in case the fire
isn't completely out. We also want to help if
there's smoke in the house, we can get the smoke
out of the house. And we love to break windows,
you know that– no, I'm just kidding. Property conservation is
all part of returning you back to the life
that you like. And if that means conveniencing
you by helping remove the smoke, and helping you through this
little incident that you had, that's what we want to do. The place to keep
your fire extinguisher– and if you look
around public buildings, you'll always notice they're
near exit doors, okay? The whole idea about where you
put your fire extinguishers– so many people put them
under the kitchen cabinet, don't they, and there's the sink
and there's the stove and it's way too close. The place you put
a fire extinguisher– we'll pretend Reed is a door–
is by the door. Because when I grab
the fire extinguisher and I turn around
and look at that fire, if it's past my comfort zone, I still have the choice of
leaving out the door, okay? So that's why we always actually
put the fire extinguishers in an avenue of egress
or near the exit. So you always
have that choice. Even if you guys
look in the kitchen, even those pull stations
for the dump systems, you'll see there's always
a pull handle near the exit because we want you
to go towards the exit, pull that handle–yeah,
I'm out of here, okay? We don't want you have to go
deeper into the building to pull that handle and then, oops the fire's
between me and the exit. So I'm glad
you brought that up. And anyone that has any
questions to keep me on track. I'm OCD, ADHD,
I'm a whole alphabet soup. So I'll be all
over the place. I talk fast, but hopefully
throughout this whole day, we'll get all the information
you need to get out. There is not a life span on a
fire extinguisher necessarily. The key point, and I'm
glad you brought that up… There is powder inside of here and you have to look at–
and we'll talk about fire extinguishers
extensively– but this one is an
ABC fire extinguisher. That means it's good for A. A fires are ordinary
combustibles. The way remember A is ash. Anything that
will leave an ash, paper, wood, that's an A,
an ordinary combustible. This fire extinguisher's
good for it, water's good for it, too,
and water's a lot cheaper. B is for chemicals and
combustible liquids and things like that. They don't leave an ash, it's
just fuel fires kind of thing. C is electrical,
energized electrical. Energized electrical
is a C fire. If you take away the energy,
it becomes an A fire, because the insulation and stuff
on the wires leaves ash, right? But what makes it a C
is energized electrical. This is safe
for all three, okay, it's rated for all three. But you have to make sure that
your fire extinguisher is. Now what's inside
this fire extinguisher is pancake batter, okay. The consistency
of pancake batter. It's actually
something else, all right, it's an extinguishing agent. But if you leave
it sit all the time, it'll cake, it'll become–
not crusty, 'cause there's
no moisture in here, but it'll just
become packed, okay? The worst place
is in vehicles. People leave them in a vehicle
and they hit the road all day and they just pack. So the way that you freshen up
your fire extinguisher, and what you pay
Gene Ptacek and Son to come in every year to
do at Lakeland is, he goes like this. Alright, and all
he's doing is fluffing the
pancake batter, okay? Now it's ready to go again
for the next year, okay? So as long as you purchase
a fire extinguisher with one of
these gauges on it and you're
needle's in the green, and you fluff
your pancake batter about once a year, it's good indefinitely. Unless you see signs of
corrosion or anything else that might, you know,
cause concern. But they don't have an
expiration date on them. That's the best
way to say it. This extinguisher
doesn't come apart but if it did, we would
just screw the top off and it just has a tube
that goes down to the bottom. Pressurized air
in here or nitrogen and then there's the pancake
batter in there and that's it. The way they rate these is… there's ratings on
the fire extinguishers, and what they do is they put,
and it sounds funny, but they take a certain kind
of wood at a certain density at a certain moisture level and they put it
in a specified grid and they light it on fire,
and different amounts of wood makes the different–they're
by pound and stuff like that. So, different ones. This is a nice size here. You'll be able to
do pretty much anything that you should be
doing with this. I mean, we don't give you really
really big fire extinguishers 'cause we don't want you in the products of combustion
that long, all right? And the thing is, even if
you go in and you shoot some and you don't get
the fire out but it's like, "Ah, I don't like it
in here anymore," that's fine. You've still done something. Just a little review on fire, and I mean this isn't–
you guys aren't all gonna be fire fighters when it's over. But they have
the fire triangle, or they call it a tetrahedron. Basically, it takes
four things for a fire. Heat, fuel–what's
the other one? Oxygen and then an
uninterrupted chemical reaction. And the leg that
we're working on today is the uninterrupted
chemical reaction, okay? What this does is it disrupts
the chemical reaction of fire. It doesn't take away the heat. It doesn't take away
the smoke or the oxygen. It just disrupts
that chemical reaction. Well, the thing is,
products of combustion, especially in today's world
of everything is synthetic, that stuff's really bad. So this doesn't
take away any of that so you don't get to stay there
very long and play. A fire at its incipient stage, which means it's
just still burning and it's got plenty of
oxygen and fuel and heat, that's what you're
taking care of here. Um, you're gonna
want to stay low, and again,
I'm skipping around here, but when you actually
approach the fire, if you're the fire,
okay, as I get closer, I'm getting lower, okay, because all those
products of combustion, all that stuff that's
really bad to breathe, is above your head, okay? But you get, you could get
like 45 seconds out of this, and 45 seconds of
shooting this is a lot. Alrighty, just a review, everyone remember
the acronym, PASS? When it comes to the fire
extinguishers, PASS is pull–well this one
already has a pin out. There we go. Alrighty, you're gonna be
our fire for right now, okay, 'cause that's back
there somewhere. Anyways, the whole deal
is at a safe distance when you're approaching
this small fire. You pull, aim,
spray, and sweep– I think is what is is,
is that what it is, Keith? -Squeeze.
-Squeeze, yeah squeeze, spray. And sweep, sorry,
it's been two years since I've given the class. I'll give you all
the information, it's just not as organized. Anyways, squeeze it is. One of the things that–
and you guys'll see this today, is you're in no danger of
making the fire extinguisher go holding this handle. Because the handle
you're holding, the weight on,
isn't what makes it go. It's actually pushing down
this handle that makes it go. So, you know, when you
pull the pin, you're like, "Oh, now what do I…" But the deal is as long as
you don't push down on this, it doesn't go, okay? So I can do anything
I want to holding this, okay? And I can even have
my thumb on here. It's when I push down is when
the agent comes out, okay? So it's–oh, and the thing
about pulling the pin is, okay, don't worry about the pin. They make pins by the dozens,
by the thousands, okay? We'll get another pin, okay? So today,
when you get the pin, I literally want you
to pull it in one motion and just let go of it, okay? The pin is not
our concern at all. We don't need to
put it in our pocket, we don't need
to save it for later. You got to practice
it the way you're gonna do it in a real emergency, okay? So the pin is not
a concern, trust me. That five cent pin doesn't
mean anything to anybody. So we're gonna
pull the pin, this one happens
to be connected, okay. But basically, when you pull
the pin there's a little seal on there and it's gonna
be a little bit tough. You kind of have to,
you might have to go like this, but when you pull it,
just let go, okay? Get your hose out. Aim and then squeeze. And what you're gonna do is
you're gonna sweep the fire. And the thing is, again,
this is comfort zone and this is one of the things
you're gonna work on today. I don't care if you go, "Okay, I'm gonna aim,
I'm gonna squeeze." I don't know how far this
thing's gonna shoot. I'm startin' here, okay? And you go like that
and you realize you're still five feet away. Let off the trigger,
get a little closer, and then start
your sweeping motion and kind of move in, okay? It's okay to
start too far away. I'd rather have you
start too far away than be right on top of it and have something splash back
on you or something like that. Is everything clear
as mud so far? Okay, we went over what kind
of extinguishers there are, A, B, and C–always
keep in your mindset that if anything doesn't
go exactly as planned, we're leaving now, okay? You have your
avenue of escape. Again, that needle should
be in the green spot. And if you buy a fire
extinguisher for home, make sure it has one
of these gauges on. There are
extinguishers out there that don't have
gauges on them. The other thing you look
for if you're purchasing an extinguisher for home
is UL listing. It's right here,
Underwriter's Laboratory doesn't work for fire
extinguisher companies, they don't work
for fire departments. They're a third party that
says that this extinguisher is built to a standard. So UL or factory
neutral certified is what you
have to look for. And the reason I say that
is every once in a while you'll see some
interesting things. And Tim Clapp
is a fire inspector up in Mentor, he's retired. But he used to make it a
hobby of if he was at Target and he saw a fire extinguisher
in a can, he'd buy one. Literally it looked
like Aqua Net spray, you know, hair spray, and
it was a fire extinguisher. And he's like, "Holy cow." And then he'd go to
Mentor and say, "Hey, you know, get
this off the shelves, this isn't gonna be,
you know, for anybody." There's other things
that you might see is somebody made a little decorator
ornament for Christmas trees that was supposed to be
an automatic extinguisher that would go
off automatically if your Christmas
tree started on fire. And I don't remember whether
that was UL approved or not. But basically the thing
that I'm telling you, the take home message
here is look for a regulated fire extinguisher. And of course with everything,
there's forgeries out there. I know it sounds funny,
but there's– China is doing
it to us again. They're making
extinguishers that look just like this nice one, but they don't
have the UL approval. They'll look everything like
they're supposed to look like, but they're not
regulated by a third party saying that they're good. Without further ado,
let's light a fire, okay, 'cause that's
what we like to do. All right? Basically the
thing about this is, sometimes a hose
is latched in like that, and this'll be
in here like this. For the people
who haven't touched a fire extinguisher before, remember you're not gonna be
a fireman when we're done here, but you're gonna have fun. Basically what you would do
is you just pull this, okay? Make sure that's out,
and then squeeze down. Play with that before you're
touching an actual one and you spray
yourself with powder. There we go, anyone? Remember, family, friends,
and yourself is way more important than
the fire or property. Hopefully we
all have insurance. Does anybody have home
sprinklers in their house? 'Cause they're awesome and
they're not that expensive. If you're ever
building a new house, consider home sprinklers. They're cheaper
than your landscaping and they save lives. That's diesel fuel. The difference between
gasoline and diesel fuel is gasoline is flammable which means it has a very
low ignition point. And diesel fuel is
a combustible liquid it means it has to be
higher than 100 degrees even to get vapor
to start a fire. That's why the fireman
is having a hard time starting the fuel because we're
using a very safer alternative which is diesel fuel, and it's just a
combustible liquid. And so what we're gonna do,
we're gonna get that started and we're actually
gonna let it burn and heat up all
the fluid in the pan so that it doesn't take this
long to start every time. If we just start that
and let you go shoot it, it'll take that long
to start it every time, especially because we're putting
extinguishing agent on it. And that's the other
thing about the fire, again, you're gonna be my fire–
I'm so glad you came. The thing is, and you've
heard this since you were Girl Scouts
and Boy Scouts, okay. Don't ever turn
your back on a fire. Just because we
came in and we swept and we did our thing, okay, and we interrupted
that chemical reaction, it doesn't mean that
that's a static situation. It's highly heated stuff,
it may find another way. Fire likes
to find another way. So the deal is, do what
you're gonna do, okay, and then back away, okay? Or you know, just make
sure you keep yourself in the right position. Don't, "Oh, I got it,"
and walk away. And next thing you know,
it's flaring up. Be aware of
what's going on. This extinguishing
agent's only so good, but it doesn't
cool the material, so the material may still stay
heated and actually reignite in an area that didn't get some of the extinguishing
agent on it. Alright, who's
our first victim? Why don't we start
out with someone that has actually
done this before and is feeling comfortable
about it anyway just so that the
other people can watch. And let's get closer–
can we see what they do? Let me–I'll do
a dry run, okay? Basically I'm not gonna pull
the pin 'cause that's your fun. This is sealed, okay, you're gonna have to
break that seal, okay? Pull this out,
you're gonna come up, and start sweeping
and get closer and closer. You're gonna feel
heat from the fire. Okay, it's all you,
there you go. Remember, just throw
the pin on the ground. You're up. Sweep, sweep. A little cl–okay, stop. Go light it again, please. The only benefit you don't
get is breaking the seal, but that's okay. Oh, it is heavy. Okay. Alright, well hurry up if you're
gonna start that far back. Stay low, sweep low,
base of the fire, stay low. Okay, that's good. Don't, don't turn
your back on the fire. Hey, um, let's
keep moving here, and this extinguisher may
run out so you may end up with that situation
where it wasn't enough. Wasn't it you
that asked about that? Yeah, come up and
run out of some stuff. Stay low, guys, as far as
the seed of the fire is what we're aiming for–
go ahead. Oh, here. If somebody breaks the seal
on your fire extinguisher and you haven't used it,
the pin's fallen out, you can always put
a wire tie on there– I don't like his advice. Guess who ran out of flu– grab another
extinguisher please. Okay, let's back up–don't
turn your back on it, okay? Look you get to break off
another pin. Take the pin out and throw
it out, there you go. And how you have an idea
of how close you have to get to be effective, don't you? Okay, stay low. Go ahead. Okay, that's good,
just an easy sweep. I liked your invigoration there,
but just a nice steady sweep back and forth. Yep, next. Ooh, it is heavy. So if this thing is already out,
it's no good then? Right, yeah, let's
go ahead and do this. Let's get your hose out. Throw the pin away,
why are you keeping the pin? Okay, sweep side to side
at the base of the fire. Go ahead, let's
get a little closer. Go to the base of the fire,
base of the fire. Farther down, lower,
there you go, you got it. Stop. The deal is, you've got
to get that base of the fire. You got to go low and it's
just a slow sweep, okay? Just low, the flames really
aren't what's the damage, it's down at the fuel. Okay. -It may just be me.
-There you go, there you go. Grab the hose. Start spraying
a little farther away and work your way in, okay? Go ahead. You got it, alright
just keep an eye on it. Keep an eye on it, okay,
back away. It's a disadvantage
to start with a lesser than full extinguisher because
it doesn't have the power. This has been
The Knowledge Exchange, a Lakeland Community
College production. ♪

20 thoughts on “The Knowledge Exchange – Know Your Fire Extinguisher”

  1. Actually the best place for dry powder is in a vehicle, the constant shaking of the extinguisher as the vehicle moves prevents caking.

  2. Sure we can have fire, and we can have the knowledge of fire, but with that comes the knowledge of everything……

  3. Many counterfeit extinguishers might all have the same serial number. Even the label on the counterfeit units will counterfeit the UL or ULC mark. They get shipped in in large cases that have Made in China on the case, but the extinguisher inside says made in the United States.

  4. Extinguishers DO HAVE AN EXPIRE DATE. Based on the contents the requirement for internal maintenance varies. 1 year, 3 years, 5 years, 6 years. Some are listed for only 12 years and are disposable.

  5. Pressurized extinguishers containing dry chemical SHOULD NOT BE INVERTED in order to fluff the chemical. Such action can plug the gauge opening. Each particle of chemical is already pressurized and will move out of the extinguisher as soon as the valve is opened by squeezing the lever and handle together.

  6. I'm actually looking forward to becoming a firefighter, I'm only 16 so I'm starting to learn the basics now.. Without the need of a school.

  7. The instructor said he didn't like a student's advice/ suggestion, but never expanded on what the problem was. I guess there's a fine line between calling someone out or appearing to be an A-hole, so simply saying he didn't like the suggest, the point got across.

  8. Great video, interesting to see.
    I think its important to tell people about the fire triangle,
    and why you slowly sweep, as in your smothering the fire.
    That way your empowering people to use their brains, ie if you dont have an extinguisher but have a truckload of dirt, dump the dirt on the fire.
    I know this isnt necessarily relevant to America, but
    Here we have colour coded banded extinguishers with basic signage. So all you have to look for is the white band to know that its an abe type. The signage that has to accompany extinguishers here has pictures showing what you can and cant use it for, clearly and simply along with the colour coding.
    Our abc types are called abe for a class b class and e for electrical, but they are also suitable for c class here which is combustible gasses
    They have and continue to save lives because no matter where you go in its the same colour banding.
    also Diesel …..Safer fuel, why dont you guys use a lpg gas water bath? so much safer.

  9. The Fire Sprinkler Automatic Extinguisher a must in any room…provides consumers fire protection 24/7 even when you're not there!  www.thefiresprinklerco.com

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