Every home should have a fire extinguisher, and most homeowners keep one somewhere in their house. Few homeowners, however, have ever needed to use the fire extinguisher in their home. Here's how to properly set up and use a fire extinguisher in your home.
Step 1: Choose the Right Type of Fire Extinguisher
Before you can use a fire extinguisher correctly, you must first set up your home with the right type of fire extinguisher. Fire extinguishers are rated into three different classes:
- Class A extinguishers are for fires involving organic combustible materials and various plastics.
- Class B extinguishers are for fires involving oil, grease, gasoline, and similar substances.
- Class C extinguishers are for electrical fires involving appliances, circuits, and similar items.
To make sure all of your bases are covered, select a fire extinguisher that's rated as Class A-B-C. This is the most comprehensive type of extinguisher and will work on all types of fires noted here.
Step 2: Place the Fire Extinguisher in a Convenient Location
Once you have a fire extinguisher chosen, make sure to keep the extinguisher in an easily accessible location.
In a home setting, it's often wise to keep a fire extinguisher in the kitchen, because this is where many house fires start. You might want to put the extinguisher in a childproof cabinet under the kitchen sink or mounted in a discrete place on the wall.
In certain situations, you might also want a second (or even third) extinguisher elsewhere in your home. If your bedroom has limited exit paths, keeping one in your bedroom could help you escape during a nighttime fire. If you work with flammable materials when doing a hobby, you may also want an extinguisher wherever you work on that hobby.
Step 3: Get People Out and Identify an Exit Path
Should you ever have occasion to use a fire extinguisher, don't first reach for the extinguisher immediately when you notice a fire. It's far more important to get people out than to fight a fire with a fire extinguisher. First, make sure everyone else in the house is safely outside. Second, make sure you have a clear exit path. Only then, should you get the extinguisher and use it.
Step 4: Know How to Use the Fire Extinguisher
When you go to use the fire extinguisher, pull the pin in the extinguisher and aim the extinguisher low at the fire's base. Steadily pull the trigger as you direct the nozzle in a sweeping motion to cover the area that's on fire.
For more information on fire extinguishers, reach out to a company like County Fire Inc.