First aid firefighting is an important skill

If you select the correct first aid firefighting equipment and act decisively, even a threatening fire may only result in minor damage and ‘nothing but a scare’. You should prepare for a fire by buying first-aid firefighting equipment of the correct type and, most importantly, practise using them. Participate in safety training or similar, in which you can learn these skills and get to practise them.

First aid firefighting is like learning to swim.

You should learn it before you are up against a real situation...

What kind of first aid firefighting equipment should you use when...

Fat, oil or stearin catches fire

If fat or oil catches fire in a saucepan, smother the fire with a lid or fire blanket. You can also use a class F portable fire extinguisher to put out a grease fire. You should do this carefully, however, as the extinguishing agent comes out of the bottle at a high pressure. Turn off the extractor fan if possible. You can also use a fire blanket or portable extinguisher to put out a stearin fire. 

Flammable liquids catch fire 

If a flammable substance (petrol, oil, varnish, paint, liquefied petroleum gas or similar) catches fire, use a portable extinguisher to put it out. You should do this carefully, however, as the extinguishing agent comes out of the bottle at pressure. If the fire is close to a flammable substance, you can use a portable extinguisher or water to put it out. 

An electrical device is on fire

Unplug the device first if you can. Then use a fire blanket or portable extinguisher to put out the fire. Water should not be used to put out a fire in high-voltage electrical equipment, however. Water can be used to put out a fire in small electrical appliances in your home if you turn the appliance off first.

Furniture (solid material) catches fire

The best way to put out burning wood, paper, plastic and fabric is a liquid or powder extinguisher. You can also use a fire blanket to suffocate a fire in furniture/solid materials.

Your clothes catch fire

Protect your face, throw yourself onto the ground and roll around. If possible, wrap yourself in a fire blanket, rug or similar. If someone else's clothes catch fire, tell them to protect their face and throw themselves onto the ground. Use a fire blanket (or similar) to smother the fire starting from the head and working down towards the feet.

Always make an attempt at first aid firefighting.

It is always worth trying. If this is not possible, leave the room immediately. Close all doors and windows as you leave – this will slow down the fire. When you have reached a safe place, call 112 for help.

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