A portable home fire extinguisher could potentially save your life or the life of a loved one in the unfortunate event a small fire started in your home. Most house fires start out small and if you catch them early you might be able to prevent further loss of damage to your home and in extreme cases, avert loss of life.
As part of creating a safe home for your baby or child you should consider placing a fire extinguisher on every level of your home and to be even more effective, in places where fires occur commonly such as the kitchen or garage. They are not required by law but are a relatively easy way to provide extra safety for your family as well as peace of mind.
The kitchen is the most common place for fires to start in the home and are usually started from grease or fat that combusts rapidly while cooking. Kitchen fires should not be put out with water as this will most likely cause the fire to spread. A home fire extinguisher rated for flammable liquids that contains carbon dioxide or other dry chemical is required.
When purchasing a home fire extinguisher there are two regulating agencies that ensure that the extinguisher conforms with safety regulations. Underwriters Laboratories (UL) or Underwriters Laboratories of Canada (ULC) should be present on an approved extinguisher.
It's important to always keep safety in mind and if the fire is too large, remove yourself and family from the residence and call emergency services or 911 immediately.
We'll talk about the rating scale for fire extinguishers and provide recommendations based on location, rating and ease of use. With a little bit of education and a conveniently placed extinguisher, fires can be stopped before they get out of control.
Fires are rated using the fire class rating system (A,B,C,D,K) to indicate what type of fuel is burning. It's important to understand the different types of firesbecause using the wrong extinguisher in your home can actually cause a fire to accelerate or cause injury instead of suppressing it.
Class A fires include common combustibles such as: paper, wood, cloth and garbage.
Class B fires include all flammable liquids such as; grease, oils, gasoline and paint.
Class C are electrical fires and include any live electricity.
Class D fires involve metals and are often found in industrial settings.
Class K applies to all fires that include commercial cooking equipment and oils.
The most common type of fire extinguisher for use in homes in North America will have a rating that looks similar to this:
This simplified code found on most multi purpose fire extinguishers gives the consumer information so you know what type of fires it is approved for and effective against.
If you break it down the 1A indicates how much water the extinguisher is equivalent to holding in gallons multiplied by 1.25. A 1A rating means it holds the equivalent of 1.25 gallons of water. 2A holds the equivalent of 2.5 gallons and 3A 3.75 gallons of water respectively.
The 10 before BC indicates the square footage of a fire that a non-expert should be able to suppress. A 10BC extinguisher is approved for type B and C fires up to 10 square feet.
You may see a code only such as ABC. This is a simplified rating system stating that the extinguisher is approved for all 3 classes of fires.
The most common home fire extinguisher adequate for most residential households is a multi purpose fire extinguisher. This style is designed and adequate for fires that you would encounter around most homes including the kitchen where most fires start.
There are few distinct features to look for in a home fire extinguisher:
A disposable extinguisher is designed for one use and should be disposed of after being used. A rechargeable extinguisher can be recharged by a professional for repeated uses and will be indicated on the extinguisher.
The Kidde FA110 Multi Purpose Fire Extinguisher is rated as 1A10BC and ideal for the kitchen or anywhere in the home.
This disposable extinguisher features and easy to read pressure gauge and is USCG - Coast Guard approved. This is our top pick based on reliability, ease of use and overall customer satisfaction.
The Amerex B500 ABC Multi Purpose Fire Extinguisher is a great unit that balances light weight with the ability to put out a kitchen fire if necessary.
This is a rechargeable unit that comes full charged when purchased. At 10 pounds it can be easily used in the event of an emergency by home owners.
The First Alert KFE2S5 5-B:C Kitchen Fire Extinguisher is specifically made for the kitchen with convenience and usability in mind.
It features an easy to push trigger and it's lightweight allows for quick responsive handling in the event of a fire.
The Fire Gone 2 Pack is an incredibly lightweight portable and disposable fire extinguisher rated for types A,B and C fires so you can be sure it works in your home.
They are easy to use and will stop a small fire fast. They are ideal for household applications but are limited to small fires.
We hope you never need to use your home fire extinguisher but in the unfortunate occurrence you have a small fire they may save your life or prevent costly damage to your home and property.
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