A fire extinguisher is an important fire protection device to have around the house.
The recommended extinguisher for the home is a 2-1/2 pound Class ABC multi-purpose dry chemical extinguisher. Extinguishers are classified depending on the type of combustible material they are suited to extinguish in a fire. Type A is suited for wood, paper, plastics and other non-metallic solids. Type B is intended for use on burning liquids such as cooking oil, brake fluid, etc. The extinguishing agent used in Type C models does not conduct electricity and therefore is safe to use on electrically charged appliances or outlets. So, a Class ABC extinguisher can be used in any of the above-mentioned scenarios.
Fire extinguishers should be placed within in the kitchen on the exit side of the room, but not within 6 feet of the stove. Having one in the garage that is easily accessible also is recommended.
Fire extinguishers can save property and lives when used correctly. But do not delay calling the fire department first while trying to use the extinguisher.
For an extinguisher to be useful the following factors must be addressed:
- The extinguisher must be maintained in good working order and serviced when necessary.
- It must be accessible (located in a conspicuous or labeled area).
- The user must be able to deploy the agent properly.
Rules for using a portable extinguisher:
- If you have any doubts concerning how to use the fire extinguisher or whether you should try to fight the fire, DO NOT fight the fire. Get out of the room and close the door.
- Be sure everyone else is out, or in the process of getting out, of the house before you begin fighting the fire.
- Extinguishers should only be used when the fire has not extended beyond the initial fuel that was ignited.
- Do not try to fight a large fire. Call the fire department immediately.
- Always have an escape route planned prior to using an extinguisher.
- Apply the extinguisher agent from several feet away.
- Remember PASS
P - Pull the pinA - Aim at the base of the fireS - Squeeze the handle and maintain the pressureS - Sweep from side-to-side and from front to rear