Fire extinguishers are a convenient way to protect your home or business from the threat of a fire. They are typically located near the exit door of your house or workplace, allowing you to reach them quickly if needed.
They are sturdy metal cylinders that contain water or a smothering material that is released by high pressure when the handle or trigger is squeezed. They come in different sizes, based on their capacity to extinguish the kind of fire they are designed to deal with.
The most common are water-based extinguishers that cool the flames by soaking them in water. The other types are powder-based and carbon dioxide-based.
Dry Chemical / Foam Fire Extinguishers
A fire extinguisher that contains dry chemicals, like sodium bicarbonate or ammonium dihydrogen phosphate, is an effective way to fight Class B fires involving flammable liquids such as greases and oils. They are usually rated for use on fires of this kind and are used in most commercial applications.
They are also available in pre-mix models where the foam concentrate is mixed with water. The discharge of this mixture is done by a nozzle that creates a fine spray.
AFFF & FFFP
The aqueous film-forming foam and film-forming fluoroprotein (AFFF and FFFP) fire extinguishers are rated for both Class A and Class B fires, and are most commonly found in schools, hospitals, industrial facilities and commercial kitchens. These extinguishers have a hose that directs a spray of a foam-like substance into a burning area.
These extinguishers are not suitable for freezing weather and should be inspected regularly to ensure they are working properly. The nozzles should be free from debris and not damaged, dented or rusted.
It is important to remember that it is a good idea to have more than one fire extinguisher per room, especially if you live in a large house. In fact, it is a federal law that requires homes with more than one bedroom to have at least one extinguisher in every bedroom.
A fire extinguisher is the most useful way to deal with a small fire and should be located in an accessible location where everyone can reach it in case of an emergency. Make sure that everyone in your household understands how to operate the extinguisher and is familiar with its maintenance requirements.
You should never use a fire extinguisher if it is broken or in poor condition. This could make the extinguisher useless, and you may be in danger of putting yourself or others in harm’s way.
Check the extinguisher’s rating code before you buy and don’t forget to inspect it on a regular basis. If you don’t, the extinguisher may not be able to put out the fire when you need it most and you may be wasting your money.
Consider purchasing tagged fire extinguishers that are inspected and labeled. These are designed to meet the NFPA 10 fire safety codes and usually display tags that are valid for 12 months from the date of inspection.