How To Choose and Use a Fire Extinguisher for Your Home
You hope you never have to face a fire in your home, but taking appropriate precautions is an important way to prepare for emergencies. One of the first things you should do, in addition to installing appropriate fire and smoke alarms, is to put a fire extinguisher in the kitchen,
Types and Classes of Extinguishers
The first step is to identify the appropriate type of extinguisher. There are several options available. These include:
- Water Mist
- AFFF Foam
- Carbon Dioxide
- ABC Powder
- Wet Chemical
It's important to understand which of these is best for your home. Look at the class designations to make this decision, for example water and foam fire extinguishers are only appropriate for class A fires.
- Class A: solid combustible materials, such as paper, coal, and wood
- Class B: flammable liquids, such as paints, alcohol, and paraffin
- Class C: combustion gases, such as propane, methane, and natural gas
- Class D: flammable metals, such as aluminum, sodium, and potassium
- Class K: combustible cooking materials, such as fats and grease
- Electrical: electrical appliances, such as stereos and fuse boxes
Why the Correct Choice Matters
Using the correct extinguisher is vital. For example, if you were to use a water mist extinguisher on a Class F fire, the water may send drops of burning oil or grease around the room, causing fire damage and injuries to your family members. The extinguishers recommended for homes are Class ABC with higher classification numbers, such as a 3-A:40-B:C unit.
How To Use an Extinguisher
Once you've chosen your extinguisher, follow the PASS sequence to put out flames before fire damage becomes too severe.
- PULL the pin.
- Aim at the base of the fire.
- SQUEEZE the lever or button about the handle.
- SWEEP from side to side.
If you already have extinguishers in your home, check the date. Even if you haven't used the devices, they may lose pressure or effectiveness if they are too old.
Keep Your Home and Family Safe
Fire extinguishers are a vital element of home and family safety. If you're not sure where to keep the safety devices or how many you need for your home, contact fire remediation professionals in St. Charles, MO.