How to Use Fire Safety Equipment


Commonly used fire safety equipment includes:
1. Smoke alarms
2. Portable fire extinguishers


A smoke alarm senses smoke and can alert you to a fire to give you time to escape.
There are two main types of smoke alarms for your home, photoelectric and ionisation. While both types of alarms are effective for detecting flaming fires, the photoelectric smoke alarm is more effective for detecting smoke from smouldering fires.

Installing a smoke alarm

The location of the smoke alarm is important.

Smoke alarms should be installed on the ceiling. If it is not possible to fit the smoke alarm on the ceiling, Check the manufacturer’s instructions to ensure it is suitable for wall mounting.

Avoid placing a smoke alarm near an air conditioning or heating unit. The air flow coming out of the unit may blow the smoke away from the smoke alarm and fail to alert you to a fire.

It is important to have a working Smoke Alarm
1. Test your smoke alarm weekly.
2. Clean your smoke alarm and the ceiling around it each month with a vacuum cleaner.
3. Change the battery at least once a year with the battery specified by the alarm manufacturer.


Portable fire extinguishers can put out or contain fires that may start in your home. It is important to know which extinguisher to use for a particular fire and how to use an extinguisher correctly. Your local fire service can help you with specific training and advice. The information here is provided as a general guide on the range of portable fire extinguishers available, and how to use them in an emergency situation.

Selecting a portable fire extinguisher

There are a number of types of portable fire extinguishers available. Each type of extinguisher may be rated for one or more classes of fire. Some extinguishers can be extremely dangerous to use on certain classes of fire and can increase the fire and threaten your safety. Some extinguishers are also considered ineffective against certain classes of fire. There are six classes of fire, A, B, C, D, E and F shown in the table below.




Know when and how to use a portable fire extinguisher
Before you use an extinguisher to fight a fire, make sure that you have a clear view of the fire and that you can approach the fire safely. Do not attempt to fight the fire if it is too hot or fierce. Fires can block your escape path when out of control, so be sure that your back is to an exit and you have a clear path of escape. If it is not safe, escape from the fire and call the fire service.

Cooking oil and fat fires

Never use water to extinguish a cooking oil or fat fire. A powder BE-rated portable fi re extinguisher is recommended to put out cooking oil and fat fires in the kitchen. It is best to place the extinguisher near to the normally used path you take to leave the kitchen, such as near the kitchen door.

When using a powder extinguisher on burning cooking oil or fat, it is recommended that you stand about two metres from the fire and aim over the pan. Do not aim the extinguisher directly into the pan that contains burning cooking oil or fat, as you may spread the fire around the kitchen.

Flammable liquids and gas fires

For the garage, a powder ABE-rated portable fire extinguisher is recommended to extinguish flammable liquids and gases.



This information was obtained from Eureka Forbes