Happy 2015! With the new year, it’s a great time to reevaluate your home fire safety needs—especially your fire extinguisher.
Four simple things to think about when purchasing a fire extinguisher for your home:
First, determine where you will be placing the extinguisher. Will you have one in the kitchen? Garage/work bench area? General location? This can help you figure out what size and type of extinguisher you will need.
Once you have an idea of where it will go, you will need to think about what type of fires you may encounter in these locations. The United States has 5 classifications:
Class A – Ordinary combustibles like paper, wood, clothes, etc.
Class B – Flammable liquids such as gasoline or paint thinners
Class C – Electrical fires
Class D – Combustible metals, such as magnesium
Class K – Oil and grease fires, typically in the kitchen
Note: extinguishers have multiple classifications, and the most common extinguisher used in homes has a classification of ABC. Here is a link that helps depict what certain extinguishers look like, and what fires they are suited for.
Third, you need to determine what size extinguisher you need. Where will you store your extinguisher? Do you have little ones in the house that need to be able to use it in an emergency? Remember think about the potential size of a fire in that location, as well.
Once you have worked through the first 3 steps, make sure to store your extinguisher in an accessible location for everyone in the house.
Always remember to make sure you know how to use and maintain your extinguishers. Like everything else in your home, fire extinguishers need to be maintained to ensure that it will be in working order should you ever need to use it.