Portable fire extinguishers have limited applications against small fires. When used properly, an extinguisher can save lives and property by putting out a small fire or containing it until firefighters arrive. Fire extinguishers do not replace the need to call Toronto Fire Services. Always call 9-1-1 first when a fire occurs, no matter how small.

Fire extinguishers are not designed for use on large or spreading fires. Even on small fires, they are effective only under the following conditions:

  • The extinguisher must be rated for the type of fire being extinguished.
  • The extinguisher must be large enough for the fire at hand.
  • The extinguisher must be in good working order, fully charged and within easy reach.
  • The operator must be trained in the proper use of the extinguisher.
  • The operator must be physically capable of lifting, handling and operating the extinguisher.