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If You Discover a Fire | Using a Fire Extinguisher | Once Alarm is Activated | If Trapped in a Room | If Caught in Smoke | If Forced to Advance through Flames | Summary

Employees should learn how to use a fire extinguisher and take the time to locate the extinguisher closest to their work area before a fire emergency occurs.

See Evacuation section of this guide.

If You Discover a Fire

  1. Manually activate the fire alarm system
  2. Determine if it is safe for you to attempt to extinguish the fire (see fire extinguisher instructions below)
  3. Immediately exit the building, using the stairs and closing doors behind you.  Do not use elevators
  4. Call 911 to provide more details about the fire

Using a Fire Extinguisher

If you have been trained and it is safe to do so, you may fight small, contained fires with a fire extinguisher.

Fire Extinguisher Instructions

P   Pull safety pin from handle.
A   Aim at base of fire.
S   Squeeze the trigger handle.
S   Sweep from side to side at base of fire.

Once Alarm Is Activated

  1. Walk to the nearest exit closing doors between you and the fire
  2. Assist people who have special needs.  Contact the Department of Public Safety for assistance, 6-6666
  3. Notify fire personnel if you suspect someone is trapped inside the building
  4. Gather at designated building assembly area.  Do not attempt to reenter the building until instructed to do so by the Department of Public Safety, your fire department personnel, or your building manager

If Trapped in a Room

  1. Wet and place cloth material around or under the door to prevent smoke from entering the room
  2. Close as many doors as possible between you and the fire
  3. Be prepared to signal to someone outside

If Caught in Smoke

  1. Drop to hands and knees and crawl toward exit
  2. Stay low, as smoke will rise to ceiling level
  3. Hold your breath as much as possible
  4. Breathe shallowly through nose, and use a filter such as a shirt or towel

If Forced to Advance through Flames

  1. Hold your breath
  2. Move quickly
  3. Cover your head and hair
  4. Keep your head down and your eyes closed as much as possible


Prepare yourself in advance; know where to go and how to get there.  If your work station is located in an office, know exactly how many doors you have to pass along your evacuation before you reach the nearest exit door.  This tip is very helpful if you encounter heavy smoke.  When heavy smoke is present, the exit signs above the doors may be obscured by the smoke.  If you know how many doors you have to pass, you can crawl or crouch low with your head thirty to thirty-six inches from the floor (watching the base of the wall) and count out the number of doors you pass.  This way you will know when you reach the exit door, even if you can't see that it is the exit.

Your own common sense is the finest safety decide ever developed.  Above all use your head.