Fire extinguisher training caps ‘Fire Safety Month’

ASHEVILLE – In recognition of Fire Safety Month and fire dangers associated with the fall and winter seasons – wood burning stoves, Christmas trees, etc. – the City of Asheville’s Risk Management Division and the Asheville Fire Department this week hosted portable fire extinguisher training for staff.

The training focused on the general principles of portable fire extinguisher use and appropriate small fire control measures. (The timing of the training also served as a reminder to check batteries in home smoke alarms, as we prepare to “fall back” one hour starting this weekend, ending Daylight Saving Time.)

Training was led by Assistant Fire Marshal Kelly Hinz and Public Information Officer Kelley Webb.

Webb explained the different types of extinguishers: All household extinguishers are classified A, B, or C (or a combination of these) on the label to indicate which types of fires — ordinary combustibles, flammable liquids, or electrical—you can use them on. (See more photos of the training here.)

Homeowners should buy the type classified A:B:C, which fights all three types of fires, Webb said.

She cautioned that fire extinguishers are meant for small fires that can be put out quickly, such as fires on the stove.

“I often tell people that you don’t see firefighters rushing into a burning building carrying fire extinguishers,” she said. “That’s not what they’re meant for.”

Members of the city’s City Hall Evacuation Team and the Safety Steering Team attended the training. The Safety Steering Team’s mission is to “provide support to the City of Asheville Safety and Health Program in protecting lives, property, business and community in the event of emergency,” said Pat McAfee, safety and claims administrator.

The class served as “a refresher and as a prelude to additional training,” she said.

Here’s a video on proper portable fire extinguisher use: