Fire Extinguishers

The vast majority of extinguishers on campus are 5 pound ABC dry chemical. In some sensitive areas such as computer server rooms we have installed Halotron type extinguishers that are a clean agent extinguisher which do not leave any residue. Learn more about “ABC type” fire extinguisher.

Monthly visual inspections on fire extinguishers are conducted by various groups across campus:

  • In mechanical areas - Physical Resources Building mechanics
  • In electrical areas - Physical Resources electricians
  • In laboratory areas - Supervisor to ensure monthly checks are completed
  • In residence - Residence Life Staff Assistants
  • In other areas - Fire Wardens

The annual inspections are completed by Fire Safety and any service or maintenance required on the fire extinguisher will be arranged through Fire Safety.

MSDS (Material Safety Data Sheet) - ABC extinguisher (PDF)

MSDS (Material Safety Data Sheet) - Halotron extinguisher (PDF)

How to operate an extinguisher

  1. Pull the Pin - Hold the extinguisher by the carrying handle and pull/twist the pin out.  You do not want to place you hand on the trigger because this will make it impossible to pull the pin out.
  2. Aim at the base of the fire - Aim at the leading edge of the fire, if you aim at the flames you will never put it out.
  3. Squeeze  the trigger - Fully depress the trigger with the palm of your hand and expel the entire extinguisher onto the fire. 
  4. Sweep back and forth - Sweep the extinguisher back and forth, ensure that you extend beyond the edges of the fire to ensure you completely cover the base of the fire.

Tips to remember when using an extinguisher

  • Call 52000 and ensure that help is on the way and activate the fire alarm before trying to put out the fire
  • If you are outside keep the wind to your back, if the wind changes direction move around the fire
  • If it is a liquid that is on fire do not expel the extinguisher into the middle of the fire as this will cause it to spread, spray the edges in a sweeping motion
  • Be conscious of where you are standing and ensure that you are not standing in the contents which is on fire
  • Always have an exit behind you, if the fire does not go out you will be able to safely exit without having to go around the fire
  • Start expelling the extinguisher at a comfortable distance, it is easier to advance on the fire than it is to retreat from it
  • Never turn you back on a fire even if you think it is out
  • Your safety is paramount, if it is unsafe or you are uncomfortable trying to put the fire out, don’t.  Ensure help is on the way, close the door, activate the fire alarm and exit the building


There is a symbol on each extinguisher to notify the user as to what types of fire that particular extinguisher will work on.  If the extinguisher only has water in it, it will put out a class ‘A’ fire. That same extinguisher will not put out a class ‘B’ fire, therefore there will only be the picture that coincides with class ‘A’ fires.  The extinguishers on campus are mostly ABC classed and therefore will potentially put out a class ‘A’, ‘B’, or ‘C’ fire. 

Type A

“Ordinary Combustibles” are considered Class ‘A’ fires. This category includes but is not limited to items such as: wood, cloth and paper.

Type B

“Flammable Liquids” are considered Class ‘B’ fires. This category includes but is not limited to items such as: oils, greases, paint and gasoline.

Type C

“Live electrical equipments” are considered Class ‘C’ fires. This category includes but is not limited to items such as: computer, motors and appliances.

Type D

“Combustible metals” are considered Class ‘D’ fires.  This category includes but is not limited to items such as: magnesium, sodium and potassium. This class of fire requires a special extinguishing agent.

Type K

“Cooking Oils” are considered Class ‘K’ fires. This category is specific to commercial cooking equipment.

More information can be found on the Amerex website.

Fire Emergency?


 x2000 or 519-840-5000

Non-emergency: x52071

Report a Fire Hazard