Information from NFPA 10

Many fires are small at origin and can be extinguished by the use of portable fire extinguisher. Notification of the fire department as soon as a fire is discovered is strongly recommended. This alarm should not be delayed by awaiting results of the application of portable fire extinguishers.

Fire extinguishers can represent an important segment of any overall fire protection program. However their successful functioning depends upon the following conditions having been met.

  1. The fire extinguisher is located in accordance with the requirements and is in working order.
  2. The fire extinguisher is the correct type for the fire that can occur.
  3. The fire is discovered while still small enough for the fire extinguisher to be effective.
  4. The fire is discovered by a person ready, willing and able to use the fire extinguisher.

The owner or occupant of a property in which a fire extinguisher is located, has an obligation for the care and use of these extinguishers at all times.

The extinguisher inspection is intended to give a reasonable assurance that the fire extinguisher is fully charged.