PASS Technique

Using Fire Extinguishers – The PASS Technique

In the event of a fire emergency, having a well-thought-out plan and the right tools can make the difference between a manageable incident and a catastrophic disaster. Fire extinguishers are essential firefighting tools that can be the first line of defence when a small fire breaks out. However, knowing how to use a fire extinguisher correctly is crucial for effective fire suppression. One widely recognised method for using fire extinguishers is the PASS technique, an acronym that stands for Pull, Aim, Squeeze, and Sweep. In this guide, we’ll delve into the details of the PASS technique to empower you with the knowledge and skills necessary to confidently handle fire extinguishers in emergency situations.

Understanding the PASS Technique


The first step in employing the PASS technique is to pull the pin on the fire extinguisher. This action is essential to unlocking the operating mechanism, allowing you to discharge the extinguishing agent. The pin is typically located at the top of the extinguisher, and pulling it out is a straightforward process.


After pulling the pin, the next step is to aim the nozzle or hose of the fire extinguisher at the base of the fire. This is crucial because the extinguishing agent needs to make contact with the source of the flames to be effective. Always aim for the base of the fire rather than the flames themselves, as targeting the fuel source helps cut off the fire’s oxygen supply.


With the nozzle aimed at the base of the fire, squeeze the handle or lever to discharge the extinguishing agent. This action releases the pressurised contents of the extinguisher, allowing it to combat the fire. Maintaining a firm grip on the handle is important to ensure a continuous and controlled flow of the extinguishing agent.


The final step in the PASS technique is to sweep the nozzle or hose from side to side across the base of the fire. This sweeping motion helps cover a larger area and ensures that the extinguishing agent is distributed evenly, suppressing the flames effectively. Continue sweeping until the fire is completely extinguished.

Other Factors

PASS is only one small part of using fire extinguishers. It’s important to understand all aspects of using different types of fire extinguishers. There are also many other factors that contribute to properly using a fire extinguisher.

Choosing the Right Type of Fire Extinguisher

While the PASS technique is a universal approach, it’s important to use the right type of fire extinguisher for the specific class of fire. There are different classes of fires (Class A, B, C, D, Electrical and F), each requiring a specific type of extinguishing agent. To learn more about different classes of fire CLICK HERE. Make sure to familiarise yourself with the classes and choose the appropriate fire extinguisher for the situation.

Training and Familiarisation

Mastering the PASS technique requires practice and familiarity with the specific fire extinguisher you have on hand. Consider participating in fire safety training programs that simulate real-life scenarios, allowing you to hone your skills in a controlled environment. Familiarise yourself with the location of fire extinguishers in your workplace or home, ensuring quick and easy access during an emergency.

Regular Maintenance and Inspection

Fire extinguishers should be regularly inspected and maintained to ensure their functionality. Check the pressure gauge, inspect the nozzle and hose for damage, and make sure the pin is intact. If you notice any issues, report them immediately and replace or recharge the extinguisher as necessary.


The PASS technique is a fundamental method for using fire extinguishers effectively and safely. By understanding and practising these steps, you can play a crucial role in preventing the escalation of small fires and protecting lives and property. Remember that fire safety is a collective responsibility, and being prepared with the right knowledge and tools can make a significant difference in emergency situations. Stay informed, stay safe, and empower yourself to be a proactive participant in fire safety measures.

fire extinguishers in films

Fire Extinguishers in Films

fire extinguishers in films

Fire Extinguishers in Films

Fire Extinguishers in films are a pretty popular prop, so here are 5 popular encounters with the big red cannisters in famous movies.

1. Gravity (2013)

This film features a notorious scene where Sandra Bullock’s character Dr. Ryan Stone ejects herself from her Soyuz spacecraft and propels herself towards Tiagong. To do this she uses a fire extinguisher as a makeshift thruster to travel to the rapidly deorbiting spacecraft. The fire extinguisher is shown to push Dr. Stone through space and is used to project her towards the passing spacecraft. This scene was actually busted on MythBusters Jr. where they attempted to see if it would actually work. They found that the fire extinguisher lacked enough force to fully change the direction of the user and just didn’t have enough force like it was shown to have in the movie.


2. Irréversible (2002)

This psychological thriller starts off with a horrific and graphic scene featuring a man getting his face smashed in by a fire extinguisher. This comes from Vincent Cassel’s character Marcus thinks he has found the man that killed his girlfriend. The fight then starts in a gay bar in Paris. With the potential murderer getting the advantage in the fight, Marcus’ friend steps in and beats the potential murderer’s face using a fire extinguisher. This scene then gets very graphic and disturbing to watch as the man beats the potential murderer’s face to a pulp, using the fire extinguisher. This film plays in a reverse order of the scenes creating an interesting look on the events that happened on that Paris night.

3. WALL-E (2008)

This fantastic childhood staple film is an absolute classic. The scene near the end of the film shows WALL-E launched into space in a space shuttle in an attempt to retrieve the plant. EVE then projects herself out to save WALL-E but then sees the spacecraft explode. WALL-E bursts past EVE using a fire extinguisher as a thruster in space to project himself through space. The scene then follows on with EVE and WALL-E shooting through space around the giant ship (The Axiom). WALL-E uses his fire extinguisher to propel him around with EVE in celebration of saving the plant. This film tells an amazing story and was selected for preservation in the United States Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant”. 

extinguishers in films
fire extinguishers

4. Salt (2010)

This American action-thriller film is about the woman Evelyn Salt being accused of being a Russian sleeper agent. She then goes on the run in an attempt to clear her name. The scene depicts Salt stuck in a room with armed police closing on her location. Salt then creates a weapon using chemicals and a fire extinguisher to then shoot at the police when they get into the room to allow for her escape. This then works with her shooting the fire extinguisher at them as they are about to enter. This then leaves them unconscious on the floor, allowing for Salt to steal a gun and escape the complex. In her escape she shoots at security cameras to restrict the over watchers vision on her location.

5. Nightmare at the Museum (2006)

The fantastic fantasy film depicts a museum night guard played by Ben Stiller. His simple job quickly turns into something else when the exhibits come to life after dark. In the scene where the cavemen are depicted ‘discovering fire’, the fire spreads and Ben Stiller’s character Larry quickly puts out the fire with his foam fire extinguisher. This quickly turns into the cavemen tasting the foam and throwing it at Larry’s face. Then follows Larry’s famous quote “Why?”, which erupts the cavemen into laughter. The scene continues with Larry having foam on his face and around his mouth. This then leads to the infamous slapping the monkey scene. Larry and a monkey continuously slap each other over a set of keys to the museum. 

fire extinguishers in films