C.O.R.E. 2062 Safety Database
A collection of the industrial safety practices used and supported by FRC team C.O.R.E. 2062

Fire Extinguisher

A fire extinguisher is a must-have for any pit and a required item by UL as outlined in their manual. As uncommon as open fires are, they do occur and when they do, you will be glad to have an extinguisher on hand. Where should you start? Start with picking the right type.

OSHA categorizes fire extinguishers with a lettering system. You must use class A on flammable solids like wood, paper, and fabric. You use Class B extinguishers for flammable liquids such as oil or grease. Then there is Class C which is most effective on electrical fires. You do not want to use the wrong class for the wrong type of fire! It could make the situation much worse. For instance, a plain class A extinguisher contains high amounts of water. Water would be devastating to use on an electrical fire.  For home and FIRST use, you will need an ABC class extinguisher. This class is a combination of all three main categories. Since we deal with all them in FIRST, (wood on the bumpers, lubricants, and electrical on the control systems) it is ideal for use in the pit.


So, Extinguisher-PASSnow that you know what type of extinguisher to choose for your team, there is still one thing  missing; how do you use one? With these steps, you can PASS the test with no problem. We outline the official procedure with the acronym, PASS.

Pull the key/lock out of the handle. This is usually a small piece of plastic inserted in a hole in the handle.

Aim the fire extinguisher at the base of the flame from a few feet away; that way you cut the flame off at the source.

Squeeze the handle to activate the extinguisher and start the final step with haste.

Sweep the nozzle back and forth across the flame to ensure you smother the entire fire. You should do this at a moderate speed. If you sweep too quick, you will not be effective. If you sweep too slow, you will run out of time as standard extinguishers only last for around 15 seconds.

Finally, you need to make sure everyone is aware you posses a fire extinguisher. Proper signage can mean the difference between a robot catching fire to it sweeping through the entire venue. Be sure, if you have a fire extinguisher, to place a visible sign in your pit so in case a nearby team needs one in a hurry, they know who to turn to. Also, be aware of who else has a fire extinguisher around you in case you end up in the same situation or you even just observe a fire.