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What does PASS stand for in fire safety?

Fire extinguishers are essential to save lives, protect premises and comply with regulations. However, using a fire extinguisher can be extremely dangerous if the user is not familiar with the correct method. This is why the acronym ‘PASS’ is so important. It offers an easy-to-remember guide for the steps that must be taken if you ever need to use a fire extinguisher.

Here, we discuss PASS fire safety and explain why the safe use of CO2 fire extinguishers requires a slightly different approach.

What is the PASS fire extinguisher method?

PASS stands for Pull, Aim, Squeeze, Sweep, and refers to the correct and safest way to use a fire extinguisher. It acts as a useful device for remembering each step in extinguishing a fire. Below, we discuss each aspect of PASS in more detail.


If you need to use a fire extinguisher, the first thing you need to do is pull out the safety pin, enabling movement in the handle.


Next, you would need to aim the nozzle at the base of the fire. If the fire extinguisher is aimed high into the flames, the source of the fire may be less affected and continue to burn.


Thirdly, you should squeeze the handle, activating the fire extinguisher and discharging its contents. It is vital the correct type of fire extinguisher is used for the class of fire that is taking place.


For effective results, you need to sweep the nozzle from side to side, covering the base of the fire and fully extinguishing the flames.

How to use a CO2 fire extinguisher

There is an important difference you need to be aware of when using a CO2 fire extinguisher. Due to the nature of the fire extinguisher’s contents, the nozzle must not be touched during discharge, as the extremely cold temperatures can burn the user’s hand.

To learn more about the correct uses of fire extinguishers, discover and download our detailed guide to the different types of fire extinguishers and what classes of fire they can and cannot be used on.

The content of the CheckFire blog is for general information purposes only. While we make every effort to ensure accuracy at the time of publication, under no circumstances should it be considered professional advice. Any reliance you place on the information is at your own risk. Always seek the advice of a fire professional for your particular circumstances and requirements.
  • by Amy Moseley

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