It is important to have fire extinguishers in every home. These devices, when used properly, can put out household fires and prevent disasters. In fact, you may be able to lower your homeowner’s insurance by simply owning an extinguisher. However, responsible owners will not only be able to choose the right product, but they will also learn how to use one.
These small devices should be part of your fire safety plan that will also include smoke detectors and an evacuation plan. When you are looking to purchase one, there are three classes for homeowners. Class A is for ordinary combustibles such as wood, cloth or trash, Class B is for flammable liquids like cooking oil and gases, and Class C is for everything in A and B, except it is used for fires caused by an electrical current. So how do you pick the right one? You can find extinguishers that are ABC-rated, which means you can use them in any of the mentioned situations.
Size will also be a factor, and most residential extinguishers range from 2 to 10 pounds. It may be a good idea to purchase one that is highly rated yet still light enough for any adult in the house to be able to handle. There are also disposable and rechargeable units. Disposables will last about 12 years before they need to be discarded if they haven’t been used during that time. Rechargeable ones, which are more expensive, can be refilled after use. However, they will require a yearly check-up to ensure they are still in proper working order.
Whichever you decide on, ensure all adults in the house know how to use it properly. Fire extinguishers are an important part of your safety plan, but they are only good if you know how to use them.