You probably know that a fire extinguisher can help you put out a fire before it gets out of control. But do you know what type of fire extinguisher you need? Or what type of maintenance is required? In an emergency, you will not have time to figure these things out, so take a moment to strengthen the basics of fire extinguishers now.
The Different Types of Fire Extinguishers
According to the US Fire Administration (USFA), there are five different types of fire extinguishers, and they are designed to extinguish different types of fires.
- A: Often found in homes and businesses, this type of fire extinguisher can extinguish fires with fabric, wood, paper and other common materials.
- B: This type of fire extinguisher is often found in homes and businesses and can extinguish fires with grease, gasoline, oil, oil-based paints and other flammable or flammable materials.
- C: Often found in homes and businesses, this type of fire extinguisher can extinguish fires with electrical equipment.
- D: Often found in factories, this type of fire extinguisher can extinguish fires with flammable metals.
- K: Often found in commercial kitchens, th is a type of fire extinguisher that can extinguish fires with oils and fats in cooking appliances.
Still not sure what type you need? Do not worry. You can get a universal extinguisher. For example, if you are looking for a fire extinguisher for your home, consider buying a branded "A-B-C."
Where to keep your fire extinguishers
Do not skimp on fire extinguishers. This is an investment that can save your home, your belongings and even your life.
You need a fire extinguisher in your kitchen and you should have at least one of each floor in your house. It is also smart to have one in your garage and a small one in your car.
How to maintain your fire extinguishers
Fire extinguishers do not have an unlimited lifespan. After about five to 15 years, your fire extinguishers need to be replaced. If you do not remember the last time you replaced yours, it may be time. Read the instructions on the fire extinguisher for more information.
You should also inspect your fire extinguishers regularly to make sure they have not been damaged. When inspecting your fire extinguisher, USFA recommends that you check the following:
- Can the fire extinguisher be reached quickly? Make sure nothing is blocking it.
- Is the pressure level correct? Check the meter, if there is one.
- Do the parts work? Check the can, hose and nozzle for damage.
- Is it clean? Removed dust, oil or grease from the outside.
- Anything else? Check the instructions to see if you need to do anything else, such as shake the extinguisher or test the pressure.
How to use your fire extinguisher
Do not wait until there is a fire. Read the instructions on your fire extinguishers now.
NFPA says you remember the word "PASS" to learn how to use a fire extinguisher:
- Pull the pin. Make sure the nozzle is pointing away from you.
- Aim for the bottom of the fire.
- Clamp the lever. Do it slowly and evenly.
- Sweep the nozzle from side to side.
However, if there is a fire, do not try to put it out yourself if you are not sure you can do it safely. According to the NFPA, more than half of the civilians injured in home fires with cooking equipment themselves are injured when they try to put out the fire. Be careful! Go out and call 911 for help.
Last but not least, make sure your homeowners insurance is updated every year. If you have not reviewed your coverage recently, contact us .