MILLBURN, NJ - The Millburn Fire Department has introduced an innovative and informative new training program, using state-of-the-art technology, to train local businesses and residents on the safe and effective use of a fire extinguisher.

"Though fire extinguishers are a regular fixture in businesses and most homes, not everyone understands the proper protocols to follow in a fire emergency," said the Fire Department's Captain Adam Brenner, who is overseeing the program. "It's important that people know exactly what to do both before and after using a fire extinguisher, as well as how to operate the device properly."

The Fire Department has purchased a Live Fire-Extinguisher Training System, which uses propane to create a real, controlled fire. Thanks to patented technology, the fire behaves realistically in response to the system's prop fire extinguishers, which spray water and compressed air.

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"In a true fire situation, the most important step is first safely evacuating the area and calling 911," Captain Brenner explained. "If the fire is small and can be safely contained to minimize its spread, a fire extinguisher can then be used."

However, Captain Brenner emphasized that emergency responders should always be summoned, even if a fire appears to have been extinguished. "It is absolutely essential for the Fire Department to inspect the scene, even if the fire seems to have been put out," he said. "We have technology and training that can detect whether fires are continuing to burn inside walls and other unseen areas."

Participants in the training are taught the "PASS" method of using a fire extinguisher — Pull the pin, Aim the nozzle at the base of the fire, Squeeze the lever, and Sweep from side to side. The training program will also reinforce what actions should be taken before and after the fire is contained.

"Our use of this technology is just one of many ways that we work every day to ensure that residents of our community are educated, proactive, and prepared in the event of a fire," said Millburn Fire Chief Robert Echavarria. "In an emergency situation, being ready and knowing what to do can mean the difference between a positive outcome and disaster."

Businesses and residents who are interested in learning more about the training program can call the Millburn Fire Department, at (973) 564-7035.