Fire extinguishers are critical safety devices that every home and property should have. If used properly, these devices can save lives and prevent property damage. However, it’s important to know that there are multiple types of fire extinguishers. Each is appropriate for different areas in a home, as well as types of fires. Here are essential tips to choosing a fire extinguisher for homes or properties:
- There are 5 main types of fire extinguishers:
- Class A is for use with ordinary burnable materials, such as wood, paper or cloth.
- Class B is for use with flammable liquids like oil, oil-based paints, grease or gasoline.
- Class C is for extinguishing electrical fires caused by tools or equipment that are plugged in.
- Class D is for use with flammable metals, such as magnesium.
- Class K extinguishers are best used for putting out fires caused by fats, vegetable or animal oils in cooking appliances.
- Note: Class A, B and C extinguishers are commonly found in homes and businesses, whereas Class D extinguishers are often found in factories, and Class K extinguishers are most appropriate for commercial kitchens.
- Most fire extinguishers can handle multiple types of fires and are labeled with multiple letters, such as B-C or A-B-C.
- Many fire extinguishers also have numbers before the letters. These numbers determine the effectiveness of the extinguisher — the bigger the number, the bigger the fire it can handle.
- There are different sizes, as well:
- 5-kilogram fire extinguishers are best for areas like the garage where a fire is more difficult to notice.
- 2-kilogram extinguishers are best for the kitchen or laundry room, where most home fires occur.
- 1-kilogram models are best for cars and vehicles, in which fires are typically small in size.
- Stovetop extinguishers can be mounted on the range hood and can be easily grabbed when needed.
Choosing a fire extinguisher depends on the place (e.g. kitchen) and the type of fire that is likely to occur. A-B-C extinguishers can be used as general purpose fire extinguishers, although they may not be as effective as specialized extinguishers.
In addition, you must be very careful when attempting to put out a fire with a fire extinguisher. Tips to safely use a fire extinguisher are available here.
The PuroClean team stands ready to provide professional restoration services to any property affected by fire, water or mould damage.