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Home Fire Extinguishers
Each year in the US there are around 350,000 house fires, resulting in the loss of lives and devastation of homes. It is important to have the right fire safety equipment in your home to help protect your life and the lives of those around you. Even if you do not have an open or wood burning fire, there are many other fire hazards in any house that may require a fire extinguisher.
Commercial fire extinguisher manufacturers classify their products into the following groups:
- Use: Fires involving wood, paper, trash, rags, or cloth.
- Action: Controls the fire by wetting and cooling down the flames.
- Use: Fires involving gases or flammable liquids.
- Action: Cuts off oxygen and reduces flames.
- Use: Fires involving electrical equipment and wiring.
- Action: Contains CO2 or a dry chemical, since water conducts electricity.
- Use: Fires involving combustible metal such as aluminum, sodium, magnesium, or zinc.
- Action: These are usually industrial fires and not found in a normal household
Some insurance companies require fire extinguishers and alarms in a home as part of their policy, and others will calculate the annual premiums based on homes having these safety devices. This may help reduce your premium. Having several fire extinguishers in the right places in your home could save money and lives.
Here is a quick guide to help you choose the right fire extinguisher for the right part of your home. If you have any questions, contact your local fire station for more help and information.
This type of extinguisher can be used on the widest range of fires in a home. It is ideal for use on cloth, wood, flammable liquids, and electrical fires. It cannot be used on fires caused by cooking fats or oils. This is a good extinguisher for living rooms and garages. Kitchens require a different kind of extinguisher such as a fire blanket.
Water fire extinguishers are ideal for putting out fires on furniture and carpets, but are dangerous when used on flammable liquids or cooking fats. Water fire extinguishers are best kept and used in bedrooms and living rooms.
Foam extinguishers are most effective on woods and flammable liquids, gasoline, and alcohol, but are not suitable for electrical fires. This type of extinguisher is best kept in the garage or shed where these kinds of products can usually be found.
A fire blanket is ideally located on a wall in an easy-to-reach place in the kitchen. It can stop small pan fires from spreading. They can also be used to smother flames when clothing catches fire.