Learning about the best way to protect your home, family and business from fire is the first step to ensuring your household is safe. From choosing the best fire extinguisher for the home to knowing your state’s laws, here are some vital lessons about fire extinguishers. So what is the best fire extinguisher for the home? Well, you can be able to make a wise selection once you have the right knowledge.
Choosing a Fire Extinguisher for Your Home
The National Fire Association is also known as “NFPA” shows that an average of 3000 deaths yearly occurring from fire accidents. Arming yourself with the right equipment will ensure you are ready for any fire accidents. Here are some tips on how to choose a suitable extinguisher and how to use it.
Read The Label
Every household extinguisher has a label of either A, B or C. A is for ordinary combustibles such as paper, cloth, and wood. B refers to flammable liquids such as cooking oil or gasoline, and C stands for live electricity.
The class A-B-C gets preceded by numbers such as 3-A: 40: B-C; the extinguisher’s classification rating. The figures show the rate of effectiveness for different types of fires. The higher the number the greater the efficiency. The C designation has no value, it only means the extinguisher’s chemicals will not conduct electricity.
The NFPA sets out the minimum recommendations as follows:
Step 1: Choosing primary extinguishers for the home including the living room and garage.
- Living area – Install a 2A: 10-B: C unit at all levels of your home. They should be no more than 40 feet apart.
- Workshop/Garage – Install a higher rated unit such as 3-A: 40B-C.
Step 2: Choosing supplementary extinguishers for the kitchen and other areas having a higher likelihood of electrical fires.
Kitchen – Protect the kitchen with a 711A extinguisher.
Electrical – Use equipment with a rating of 1-A: 10-B: C.
Steps for Using a Fire Extinguisher
The NFPA recommends the following four steps represented by the acronym P.A.S.S.
- P – Pull the pin as you hold the extinguisher while the nozzle points away from you.
- A – Aim low at the base of the fire.
- S – Squeeze the lever in a slow and even motion to discharge the extinguishing agent (the fire may flare up the first time the chemical hits the flame)
- S – Sweep the nozzle from one side to the other as you keep the extinguisher aimed at the fire.
While carrying out the four steps always ensure you stand five feet away from the fire.
Home fires are mostly unpredictable; you will need a multi-purpose extinguishers on each level of your home and in your garage. Tests done on supplemental models show that heavier extinguishers have more flame retardant and deliver quickly and longer. Models that weigh more than 9 pounds prove to be harder to hold and use. But still, ensure you buy the largest one that you can comfortably handle.
Regardless of which brand of extinguisher you purchase, ensure that its pressure indicator displays “full” and it should be manufacturer’s date is within the last year. The NFPA recommends that the use of dry chemical extinguishers that get discarded after use get disposed of within 12 years of their manufactured date. Always read the full instructions upon purchasing before using a fire extinguisher.