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Firefighters say knowing how to use an extinguisher is key

SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- This weekend alone, ABC 57 covered three fires that destroyed three different homes.  According to fire fighters, there is something that you can do that might save your home.

Whether you live in a house or an apartment, fire officials say extinguishers are just as important as smoke detectors.

"But even more than just owning one is the importance of knowing the proper way to use it and when to use it," explained Gerard Ellis, Public Education Fire Fighter with South Bend Fire Department.

If used correctly, an extinguisher can put out a small fire before it spreads; saving your home and possibly even your life.

Officers say your first step should always be to call 9-1-1.  While you wait for emergency response teams to arrive, pull the pin out of the extinguisher, stand back about six feet and aim and the base of the fire, squeeze the lever, and then sweep side to side.

Even if you are able to quiet the fire, fire crews say you should still evacuate and wait for them to arrive.  

"That is very important, one thing you don't want to happen is to have that fire rekindle somehow, so it does not hurt to have us come out and check." said Ellis.

Firefighters recommend that you practice this as well as an escape plan with your family at least once a year.

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