|Risk assessment question
||Characteristics of fires that can be extinguished with portable fire extinguishers
||Characteristics of fires that should not be fought with a fire extinguisher - evacuate immediately
|Is the fire too big?
||The fire is limited to the original material ignited, it is contained (such as in a waste basket) and has not spread to other materials. The flames are no higher than the firefighter's head.
||The fire involves flammable solvents, has spread over more than 60 square feet, is partially hidden behind a wall or ceiling, or can not be reached from a standing position.
|Is the air safe to breathe?
||The fire has not depleted the oxygen in the room and is producing only small quantities of toxic gases.
||Due to smoke and products of combustion, the fire can not be fought.
|Is the environment too hot or smoky?
||Heat is being generated, but the room temperature is only slightly increased. Smoke may be accumulating on the ceiling, but visibility is good.
||The radiated heat is easily felt on exposed skin making it difficult to approach within 10-15 feet of the fire (or the effective range of the extinguisher). One must crawl on the floor due to heat or smoke. Smoke is quickly filling the room, decreasing visibility.
|Is there a safe evacuation path?
||There is a clear evacuation path that is behind you as you fight the fire.
||The fire is not contained, and fire, heat, or smoke may block the evacuation path.