Need to use a fire extinguisher? Just remember 'P.A.S.S.'

They come in different shapes and sizes, but you use the same technique with every fire extinguisher. Just remember the word PASS.

"Pull the Pin, Aim low at the fire, Squeeze the trigger and Sweep that nozzle back and forth at the base of the fire," said John Drengenberg at Underwriters Labs.

Your natural inclination is to shoot at the flames, but you want to aim for the base of the fire because that's where the fire is really coming from.

"There's a limited amount of extinguishing agent in each fire extinguisher," Drengenberg said. "If you aim at the flames that extinguishing agent won't put out the fire and you may run out before the fire is extinguished."

And take it from me, someone who has used a fire extinguisher in a real fire, that extinguisher runs out very quickly.

So if you ever need to use a fire extinguisher, remember PASS :

P: Pull the pin.
A: Aim at the base of the fire.
S: Squeeze the trigger.
S: Sweep side to side.