Re: Leap Out And Let It Burn
Fire extinguishers are misnamed.
They are to allow safe exit but also, possibly to prevent a fire initiating. They're not to fight a fire - they just don't last long enough, but they might clear the way to the fire door if you're quick.
That said... everything beyond that is at your own risk.
I work in a school. My employers absolutely tell me not to stop to fight a fire. They legally cannot. Press the alarm, get the hell out, drag any kids near you with you.
But, I tell you now, if there is a fire, and there's anyone nearby and I think I can buy those kids an extra few seconds/minutes to get out safely, even at a risk to myself, as an adult cognisant of the risk and not stupid enough to do anything too silly, then that's exactly what I'm going to do. I do stop briefly to check that nearby rooms are empty, too. Kids hiding or just unsure of what to do is common. Hell, we've had parents turn up at the school because they heard the alarm go off, which is just the most stupid thing I can imagine.
If there was a small fire, say in my IT rooms, then yes... I'd go for trying sensibly to extinguish it if I discovered it early enough. The risk of a big fire is huge in such a place.
Similarly if there was an adult colleague on the other side of the fire, or at serious risk, same thing. I'd try what I think I can, without risking being incapacitated myself (I'm no good to anyone dead or unconscious).
We can argue the risk later. I realise that some idiots do indeed cause problems by then forcing fire-fighters to put themselves at risk to come rescue them in some circumstances. I'd be aware of that. But I would attempt something within the realms of safety using everything I knew about fumes, what's in the rooms, and what the extinguisher can do. There's a point up until which it's quite logical to fight the fire - I light bonfires and campfires deliberately, for goodness sake. There's a point where it's not going to be any use to do so... anything very fumy, too near flammables, or with bigger flames than you'd normally use in everyday life.
But I bet you money that if there's a fire near a flammable that I can put out, of have a good enough go before it risks actually going up, I'm gonna have a quick go and flee at the first lack of progress or if the fire brigade turn up.
P.S. If you've never witnessed one, a good school evacuation is the best thing you've ever seen in your life. 500-1000 pupils from 3-18 all out of the building, checked, counted and verified within 2 minutes is not unheard of, even when the children are nursery age, in a classroom with a 15:1 child:adult ratio, spread all over the school doing different things, out of class for toilet use / music lessons / errand-running whatever.
P.P.S. Response times to school fires by the emergency services are incredibly impressive. Especially when they just barge cars parked on "School - Keep Clear" markings out of their way with their appliance. The parents learned a lesson that day that we'd been trying to explain to them for years. It was a real fire, but it was fortunately contained to a kitchen cooker hood (buildup of fat, which ignited) in the dead centre of the school site, and they took no prisoners of parents saying "I'll just move it"... no, we will, it's quicker and you shouldn't be there. Damage? That's okay, we'll explain to your insurers where you'd left it.