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Forum topic by CaptnA posted 03-11-2008 02:36 PM 1191 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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116 posts in 3837 days

03-11-2008 02:36 PM

Hello all
This site is great. I truly enjoy it. YOU, the members make this site what it is ( not discounting the super staff and technicians). Thank you to each of you.
I see where lots of us read the post 2 questions about your shop, and I was truly impressed by the replies. And, by the number of people that did reply.
You have a fire extinguisher and a first aid kit. You know where they are. Here’s the question….


I know there are a number of us that are or were fire/ems. Kinda goes without saying for us. We’d BETTER know and be prepared for their use. What about the rest of us?

I can never forget an industrial fire we had. The next day we were investigating – 2 employees came up to us and as serious as could be were complaining that the fire extinguishers had not worked. They told us they had pulled the pins and thrown them into the fire and nothing happened.
Okay for those who may not know these are NOT hand grenades… Bless their hearts! We found over 15 extinguishers IN the fire area. Melted but still full of agent.
That first aid kit is great but unless you know what to do with your hands, the kit is of little help.

Tools DON’T make us adequate woodworkers- or prepare us for emergencies. Tools only assist us in what our minds and hands know to do. Equipment does very little without basic training. Consider taking a first aid class. Contact your local fire department and ask if there is help/trainiing available in fire extisguisher use and or first aid. If your local department can’t help, think of the Red Cross – Community Colleges – AHA – and others of course.
Local woodworking clubs, civic clubs, churches, and private groups can join forces and arrange a 1 or 2 day class (or more) for CPR – basic first aid. Not to make you all emergency responders, but to help you learn to deal with personal events in your own lives and shops.

-- CaptnA - "When someone hurts you, write it in the sand so the winds of forgiveness will scatter the memory... "

6 replies so far

View rikkor's profile


11295 posts in 3898 days

#1 posted 03-11-2008 04:09 PM

I get CPR training bi-annually at work. I learned how to use fire extinguishers in the Navy. But, if you haven’t had the training you really should get it.

View dennis mitchell's profile

dennis mitchell

3994 posts in 4338 days

#2 posted 03-11-2008 04:13 PM

...something about pointing the thing at the base of the fire not the flames…

View HallTree's profile


5664 posts in 3791 days

#3 posted 03-11-2008 11:00 PM

Good comment! That part about pulling the pin and throwing the fire-extinguishers is sad but funny. We all should make it a high priority to know how to use our safety equipment as well as how to use of shop equipment.

-- "Hold on to instruction, do not let it go; guard it well, for it is your life" Solomon

View teenagewoodworker's profile


2727 posts in 3792 days

#4 posted 03-11-2008 11:36 PM

ya thats a good point. i try to take as much safety precautions as possible so those things don’t happen in the first place. but if they do I’m prepared!

View Blake's profile


3443 posts in 3898 days

#5 posted 03-12-2008 12:49 AM

It turns out that I am about half a semester away (June) from finishing a bachelor’s degree in Fire Protection Administration and Prevention from CSULA. And this subject is my specialty.

HallTree’s blog inspired me to start a comprehensive blog series on shop safety because I think this information is really important and there are a lot of myths out there. I’m also an EMT, so I plan to cover first aid kits, smoke detectors, fire extinguishers, etc.

So give me some time, and I will be gathering information from some of the papers I have written and compile it for a blog.

In the meantime, here are some quick tips on fire extinguishers:

  • Make sure you have the right kind (it will say what type of materials it is made for and will also have brightly colored symbols)
  • Wood is considered “ordinary combustibles” which requires an “A” rating. So make sure your extinquisher is rated as a Type A or ABC (the three most common types of fires)
  • Make sure your extinguisher is within its usable date
  • Don’t rely on old or second-hand extinguishers
  • Make sure it is by your EXIT
  • STAND BACK!!! Most small extinguishers are made to use from about 10 feet away. Move closer if necessary.
  • Use this mnemonic to help you remember what to do next: P.A.S.S.
  • Pull the pin
  • Aim at the base of the fire
  • Squeeze the lever slowely
  • Sweep from side to side
  • Expel the entire contents of the extinguisher. Don’t stop until it is empty.
  • If someone hasn’t called 911, do this immediately even if the fire is completely out.

-- Happy woodworking!

View Lee A. Jesberger's profile

Lee A. Jesberger

6859 posts in 4003 days

#6 posted 03-12-2008 01:57 AM

Hi Captn A

Welcome to lumberjocks.

This is an eye opener. I’m thinking about the work I’ve been doing with the Federal Government lately. They have inspectors come around for a safety meeting. As part of the meeting all employees are required to sign a form verifying we all know where the fire extinguisher is. We have to show the inspector the location for that, (which is physically attached to our job box), as well as where our first aid kit is.


Crazy huh?


-- by Lee A. Jesberger

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