You are never required to put the fire out, but if you attempt to extinguish a fire then you need to know your fire extinguishers. Only attempt to put a fire out if you have a clear exit from the room. Do not turn your back on a fire and keep your exit from the room open and accessible at all times. Extinguishers will work for approximately 30 seconds; if you have not put the fire out in that time leave the area immediately.
Your safety and the safety of others is more important than fighting the fire!
Training on fire extinguisher use is provided through HSE. Follow the link to begin the online portion of training. You can sign up for the practical portion once you have passed the quiz.
Types of Fires and Extinguishers:
Before fighting a fire you need to know what type of fire it is and which type of fire extinguisher to use. If you use the incorrect fire extinguisher on a fire you may end up spreading it, make it bigger than it originally was, or created an additional hazard that could lead to injury (i.e. using water extinguisher on an electrical fire). If you are ever unsure, do not fight the fire. Immediately evacuate.
The chart below lists all the types of fires and the correct extinguisher to use for that fire. Make sure you have the correct extinguisher in your space for the fires you may encounter. Some extinguishers can be certified for more than one type of fire (i.e. ABC dry chemical or halotron). Fires such as those involving combustible metals or oils and grease require a special extinguisher on site (Metals – D, Oils and Grease – K).