For more information contact:
Facilities Services, Operations
WSU Fire Marshal
Fire extinguishers are available campus-wide to put out small fires in University buildings. Do not attempt to put out a larger fire with a fire extinguisher (see SPPM 8.20). Report all fires to the local area fire department at 911.
Ratings of Fire Extinguishers and Fires
Look on the front of a fire extinguisher to determine what sort of fire the extinguisher will put out. Usually, extinguishers are labeled with the letters A, B, C, or D. Each letter signifies a class of fires the extinguisher will suppress.
An extinguisher marked A, B, or C will put out fires involving ordinary combustibles (e.g., paper and wood), flammable liquids, and electrical equipment.
IMPORTANT: Do not use an inappropriate extinguisher on a given fire. Such a practice can make the fire worse and/or cause injury to the user. A common error is the use of a water extinguisher (A) on a grease or electrical fire (B or C).
The higher the numerical classification rating on the extinguisher, the more fire it will put out.
A: Ordinary Combustibles
Fires in paper, wood, drapes, and upholstery require an extinguisher labeled A.
B: Flammable Liquids
Fires in fuel oil, gasoline, paint, grease in a frying pan, solvents, and other flammable liquids require an extinguisher labeled B.
C: Electrical Equipment
Fires started in wiring, overheated fuse boxes, conductors, and other electrical sources require an extinguisher labeled C.
Certain metals, such as magnesium and sodium, require special dry powder extinguishants labeled D.
Using a Fire Extinguisher
To operate most fire extinguishers, perform the following steps:
- Pull the pin. Some units require the releasing of a lock latch, pushing a puncture lever, inverting or other motion.
- Aim the extinguisher nozzle (horn, or hose) at the base of the fire.
- Squeeze or press the handle.
- Shoot the retardant at the base of the fire, sweeping from side to side.
Watch for re-flash. Do not discharge the total contents of the extinguisher unless necessary. If necessary, send another person for additional extinguishers in case of re-flash.
Although the above instructions apply to most extinguishers, there are exceptions, e.g., foam and water extinguishers require slightly different actions. Read the instructions on all extinguishers in or near the work area.
Before attempting to fight an electrical fire, turn off the power to the involved electrical device. Turn off the circuit breaker or switch, or unplug the device.
Employees are encouraged to obtain training in fire extinguisher use. Employees may not obtain enough information from reading the labeled instructions on the fire extinguishers to properly use the extinguishers in an emergency.
The WSU Fire Marshal arranges training in the proper use of fire extinguishers upon request. Departments contact the WSU Fire Marshal to schedule training sessions; telephone 509-335-8548.
Requesting a Fire Extinguisher
Equipment changes, vehicular needs, or remodeling may result in a need for additional fire extinguishers.
Pullman campus departments submit an approval request in writing to Facilities Services, Operations. Facilities Services, Operations forwards a copy of the request to the WSU Fire Marshal.
The WSU Fire Marshal contacts and meets with requesting departments to determine justification for approval and recommendations regarding extinguisher type and placement.
- Fire Services
Upon approval, the WSU Fire Marshal signs the approval request and returns it to Facilities Services, Operations. The WSU Fire Marshal also sends a copy of the signed approval request to the requesting department.
- Facilities Services, Operations
Upon approval, Facilities Services, Operations provides a work order for the fire extinguisher installation and lists it on the maintenance schedule.
Facilities Services, Operations installs and maintains all approved fire extinguishers.
Facilities Services, Operations pays for the purchase of approved fire extinguishers for all Pullman campus units with the following exceptions:
- Housing Services
- USDA facilities
- Student Recreation Center (SRC)
- Compton Union Building (CUB)
- All other WSU entities that are not state-funded
- Laboratories or other spaces where extinguishers are desired but not required under the International Fire Code
Non-Pullman location units submit an approval request in writing to the campus maintenance department.
The campus maintenance department contacts and meets with requesting departments to determine justification for approval and recommendations regarding extinguisher type and placement.
Upon approval, the campus maintenance department provides a work order for the fire extinguisher installation and lists it on the maintenance schedule.
The campus maintenance department purchases, installs, and maintains all approved fire extinguishers for non-Pullman location units.
Report lost, damaged, or stolen extinguishers to Facilities Services, Operations or the campus maintenance department immediately.
Facilities Services, Operations pays for the purchase of replacements for lost, damaged, or stolen extinguishers for all Pullman campus units, except for Housing Services, CUB, SRC, USDA units, or all other WSU entities that are not state-funded. NOTE: No WSU department directly purchases departmental fire extinguishers.
Facilities Services, Operations or campus maintenance department personnel provide all fire extinguisher maintenance for WSU.
Pullman campus units contact Facilities Services, Operations to request maintenance; telephone 509-335-9000.
Non-Pullman location units contact the campus maintenance department to request extinguisher maintenance.