Every home should be equipped with at least one fire extinguisher, and everyone that is old enough should know how to properly use the device. A fire extinguisher can both save your family's lives and prevent severe damage from occurring in your home. The following tips can help you choose the right fire extinguisher and use it properly.
1: Purchase the Correct Amount of Extinguishers
A single extinguisher isn't usually enough for a home. At a bare minimum, you need a fire extinguisher for each floor of the home. It's a good idea to also keep extinguishers in areas that are more prone to fires, such as in the kitchen, garage, and near the electrical panel.
2: Know the Different Classifications
There are three basic classifications for home fire extinguishers -- A, B, and C. An A classification is for combustible materials like wood and paper, B can extinguish fluid fuels like oil or gasoline, and C is for electrical fires. The best option is to choose an extinguisher that is classified for all three scenarios, particularly in areas like the kitchen or garage.
3: Choose the Right Size
The next consideration is size. The largest size usually purchased for home use is a 10 lb extinguisher, but these can be heavy and should be reserved for areas of the home with high fire danger, such as a workshop. A lighter 5 lb model is typically sufficient for the kitchen. Smaller 2 lb extinguisher can be kept in bedrooms or other areas of the home where there is less of fire danger.
4: Learn the P.A.S.S. Technique
As for using the extinguisher, this is simple if you learn the basic P.A.S.S. technique -- Pull, Aim, Squeeze, and Sweep. First, pull the safety pin, then aim the extinguisher at the base of the flame. Stand six feet away so there is no blowback into your face. Then, squeeze the trigger and sweep the spray over the base of the flame until the fire is extinguished. You will also need to replace or recharge the extinguisher after it is used to ensure it is ready if you need it again.
5: Check the Replacement Date
Finally, don't simply buy an extinguisher and forget about it. Every extinguisher has a replacement date listed on it. Many also have gauges on them that allow you to check the charge and pressure. Check extinguishers monthly, and replace any that have reached their replacement date or lost pressure.
A fire extinguisher is a necessary safety device for every home.
For more information, reach out to a fire extinguisher distributor near you.