Using a Fire Extinguisher for Self-Defense

By: | Tags: | Comments: 0 | September 5th, 2016

shutterstock_427688191

Fire extinguishers serve as your first line of defense in fire protection. Whether you’re in a school, hotel, or a laboratory, these red tubes can determine whether your building in San Fernando, CA burns down. But what if you are faced with a different kind of danger? If an armed person were to make his way in with malicious intentions, what can you do if you are unarmed? This is where a fire extinguisher can come into play.

Why is it effective?

The average fire extinguisher weighs five pounds and is made of aluminum. This makes for a hefty object capable of bludgeoning a person and incapacitating him. This will require the element of surprise, however. If the threat is armed, you would be out of luck. Using a fire extinguisher as a blunt weapon would require two hands to have a firm grip on it. This may be an issue because the free hand that allows you to divert the attacker’s weapon away or disarm him would be unavailable.

Even if hitting him over the head won’t knock him out, it could buy you time to run away, take his weapons away, or engage the fire extinguisher to spray the dry chemical.

Most fire extinguishers use dry chemicals that are powder based and douse fires by breaking down fire tetrahedron into its four parts. The chemical reactions that involve combustion (fuel, heat, and oxygen) is halted once the dry chemical encounters the fire.

Whether it is made of monoammonium phosphate for multiple purposes, or potassium bicarbonate for flammable liquids and electrical fires, the smothering agent does just that.

The spray launches a very thick powder that shuts down your attacker by blinding and asphyxiating him, rendering him unable to respond to your counterattack. In most cases spraying the fire extinguisher is the better use because it does not rely on the element of surprise and it is easier than clubbing the cylinder over their heads.

How to Engage a Fire Extinguisher

It is best to have fire safety training done to familiarize yourself with a fire extinguisher before using one for self-defense. But in case you need a review, here is how you use one:

  • Pull the pin
  • Aim low
  • Squeeze the lever slowly and evenly
  • Sweep the nozzle from side to side

Very few people would think to use a fire extinguisher as an improvised weapon of defense. Even fewer think to just leave the hose attached to the body. While removing it does make it easier to aim at a target, your goal is to just incapacitate which does not need precision. Shaving off any steps to engaging the extinguisher is beneficial given the situation. Keeping the hose attached not only saves pockets of time, but also puts you in position to shove the body into the threat’s face, chest or gut. If your threat is far away, you can spray the floor before him to create an oil slick effect, making the floor slippery. This can impede a threat’s advance and leave him open for you to strike him.

Hopefully you will never run into a dangerous situation where you must fight back. The best use for a fire extinguisher is its intended use in putting out fires in an emergency. Mike Green Fire Equipment supplies you with the best value in fire extinguisher services, providing you with an annual service plan in which they will install and perform regular maintenance checks to make sure your fire extinguisher stays up to code and is refilled. For more information, you can call Mike Green Fire Equipment in Los Angeles at (818) 989-3322 or email them at info@mgfire.com.

Leave a Reply