of average individuals can properly use a fire extinguisher

the average untrained person can use a fire extinguisher safely and effectively to help save lives and protect property


of the time fire extinguishers effectively extinguish fires


of individuals studied used a fire extinguisher safely

371,000 residential fires are extinguished by fire extinguishers yearly

Fire Extinguishers
Save Lives

See It – Grab It – Use It

Fond du Lac, WI — Residents in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin prevented injury and further damage to their home when they called 911 and used a portable fire extinguisher to fight a porch fire. Firefighters from Fond du Lac Fire Rescue helped extinguish the remainder of the smoldering fire after arriving. Officials confirmed that no one was injured, and the portable fire extinguisher was key in preventing the fire from spreading and saving the home.

FOX 11 News (Green Bay, Wisconsin)

Eyota, MN — In Eyota, Minnesota, a 24-year-old babysitter saved the lives of five children when he used a portable fire extinguisher to put out the flames of an electrical fire. The babysitter heard popping sounds coming from the basement of the home and witnessed an electrical panel catch fire. He grabbed a portable fire extinguisher to control the flames, evacuated the children from the home, and called 911. Captain Parkin of Olmsted County Sheriff’s Office credited the babysitter’s quick thinking for preventing injury and further damage.

KROC-AM News (Rochester, Minnesota)

Hoquiam, WA — An air fryer in a home in Hoquiam, Washington exploded into flames causing a duplex to catch on fire. The Fire Chief stated that the resident’s use of a portable fire extinguisher helped to prevent injuries and stop the fire from spreading to the next-door unit. The unit where the fire started sustained extensive damage though the neighbors did not have to vacate their unit thanks to the use of the portable extinguisher.

The Daily World (Aberdeen, Washington)

Columbus, Ohio – The Ohio Supreme Court has ruled that a missing fire extinguisher in a school laboratory is a “physical defect” even if it wasn’t legally required. The ruling allows students burned by an exploding bottle of alcohol in 2020 to sue their school district. The question of whether missing fire safety equipment can be a “physical defect” has divided Ohio courts for years.

Legal Newsline

Grand Forks, ND – Grand Forks, North Dakota firefighters were recently called to respond to a report of smoke and flames coming from an apartment. A fan in the bathroom overheated and started a ceiling fire. Before responders arrived, the apartment tenant successfully used a portable fire extinguisher to suppress the flames. By using the fire extinguisher, the tenant was able to put out the fire and limit the amount of damage.

KVLY (Fargo, ND)

Danbury, CT – A staff member at a pharmaceutical company in Danbury, Connecticut successfully used a portable fire extinguisher when equipment inside the company’s building caught fire. Although employees had to evacuate the building, no one was seriously injured. The employee’s swift actions limited the amount of damage to the equipment and the impacts could have been considerably worse if they did not suppress the fire before responders arrived.

i95 WRKI – WRKIFM (Brookfield, CT)

Lincoln, NE – In Hebron, Nebraska, a farmer sprang into action to prevent a fire, which started in the engine area of his tractor, from spreading. The farmer used the portable fire extinguisher that he carries with him while working the fields to knock down the flames until first responders arrived. On their Facebook page, the Hebron Fire Department posted that the farmer’s actions are a “great example” of how carrying a portable fire extinguisher can prevent major damage, particularly in high wind and drought conditions.

KLKN-TV (Lincoln, NE)

Medford, OR – In O’Brien, Oregon, the owners of McGrew’s Restaurant were opening for the day when they noticed smoke coming from the restaurant’s kitchen. The owners called 911 and used a portable fire extinguisher to successfully contain the fire until responders arrived. Upon arrival, the Illinois Valley Fire District, the Oregon Department of Forestry, and the Rural Metro Fire Rescue extinguished the remaining flames in the dining area, and no one was injured.

KTVL (Medford, OR)

Victorville, CA – In Cajon Pass, California, a CalTrans employee stopped on the I-15 freeway to respond to a bush fire in the center divider of the highway. The employee used a portable fire extinguisher to prevent the flames from spreading and to mitigate potential further damage that could have occurred due to the strong winds. The acre-and-a-half fire was contained to the center divider. However, firefighters and the US Forest Service requested the California Highway Patrol to close a portion of the highway while they suppressed the last of the flames and cleaned up the area.

Victor Valley News (Victorville, CA)

Spokane, Washington – In Spokane, Washington, an individual witnessed a fire erupt at his neighbor’s home. The individual ran to his neighbor’s home when he heard a propane tank explode, although officials are unsure what started the fire. The neighbor used a portable fire extinguisher to contain the fire to the exterior of the home and to extinguish most of the fire prior to responders arriving to the scene. The neighbor’s heroic actions not only prevented damage to the interior of the home but allowed the eight people inside at the time to evacuate safely.

KHQ Local News (Spokane, WA)

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See It, Grab It, Use It infographic

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Types of Fire Extinguishers Infographic

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Fire Safety Map

Are You Safe? Does your building require fire extinguishers throughout?
Every state has a State Fire Code with a section on fire extinguisher requirements. To get an overview of what state fire codes are based on and if states have made enhancements to fire codes visit the Interactive Fire Safety Map.

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