Fire extinguishers are extremely helpful for immediate use on small fires. When the proper one is placed near an exit in an easy to grab spot, it can become a lifesaver before first responders arrive.
There are an average of 3,000 deaths a year related to fire accidents. Fires are unpredictable so it is important to arm yourself with the right kind of protection for the situation. It could be the difference between minor repair and total home restoration. The first thing to remember is never put yourself in danger when attempting to put out a fire. If your life is at risk, you should escape the flames and let a professional put out the fire.
There are two kinds of extinguishers: rechargeable, which are heavier but can be reused after service and disposable, which are lighter but have a shorter shelf life; these have to be replaced after the pin is pulled. It is recommend by fire safety officials that you have one extinguisher on every floor and that you purchase one that isn’t too heavy for you to use (although the heavier the better).
Types of Fire Extinguishers
A: For use with ordinary materials like clothe, wood, trash, plastics and paper.
B: For use with combustible and flammable liquids like grease, gasoline; oil and oil-based paints.
C: For use with electrical equipment like appliances, tools, motors, or other equipment that is plugged in.
D: For use with flammable metals such as potassium, sodium, aluminum and magnesium (found in factories).
K: For use with vegetable oils, animal oils and fats in cooking appliances (found in commercial kitchens, restaurants, cafeterias, and catering businesses).
Multi-Purpose: Can be used on multiple types of fires, usually labeled ABC.
What is Inside?
- Air Pressurized Water Extinguishers – use pressurized
water to fight Class A fires only. If used on Class B or C fires they may increase probability of electrical shock or cause the fire to spread.
- Carbon Dioxide Extinguisher (CO2): use non-flammable CO2 gas to fight Class B and C fires.
- Foam: Fight Class A and B and are generally marked with a blue band and vary in size.
- Dry Chemical Extinguishers: Can be labeled ABC or BC to indicate which fires it can be used on. They are filled with monoammonium phosphate and are pressurized using nitrogen. Most household type extinguishers are this kind.
What about Weight?
When deciding what size to get, take into consideration where it will be stored, who might have to use it and the potential fire size in that location.
- Stove Top – Best for mounting on range hood over stove but do not use over deep fryers because released chemical can splash grease and spread flames. Look for magnetic pressurized cans designed to pop open from the heat of flames spraying baking soda.
- 2 Pound – Best for a car. Look for disposable model with mounting hardware to keep it from rolling around in your trunk.
- 5 Pound – Best for quick-grab in the kitchen, mudroom or laundry room. Look for rechargeable model with hose for ease of use.
- 10 Pound – Best for garage or home workshop where a fire might grow in size before being noticed. Look for rechargeable model with hose for ease of use.
Things to Consider
- Always remember to call 911 in the event of a fire.
- Read the label – the higher the number next to the letter means the more effective it is at fighting that kind of fire.
- When in doubt get a multi-purpose extinguisher because fires are unpredictable.
- Don’t get an extinguisher too heavy you can’t lift it. Bigger isn’t always better.
- Aerosol fire spray is no substitute for a fire extinguisher.
- Make sure your pressure indicator displays “full” and the manufacturer’s date is within the last year at the time of purchase.
- Stay up to date on recalls of fire safety products.
Your Family is Our Family
If your home was subject to fire damage, call Reliable Restoration. We provide 24/7/365 disaster recovery services specializing in fire damage restoration, as well as smoke and odor removal. Visit us at: www.choosereliable.com or contact us at: (678) 325-1633.