Fire extinguishers seem simple, but there’s quite a bit to know when it comes to choosing the best model for your home. Here are four things to keep in mind:

1. Fire extinguishers are made for different purposes.
Each fire is different, and so is every fire extinguisher. That’s why extinguishers are divided into five main classes:

  • Class A extinguishers are best for fighting wood or cloth-based fires.
  • Class B are best used for flammable liquids such as gasoline, grease, or oil.
  • Class C can be used against electrical fires that originate at outlets or in appliances.
  • Class D extinguishers suppress metal fires and are more likely to be found in factories. 
  • Class K are used in commercial kitchens for cooking oil and animal fat fires.

2. You also need to choose the right extinguishing agent.
A common assumption with fire extinguishers is that they all produce a white chemical cloud to subdue flames. In fact, there are six types of extinguishing agents, and each reacts a different way. You can choose from ABC power, wet chemical, CO2, water mist, clean agent, and foam varieties. 

3. Place extinguishers around your home.
It is crucial to strategically place extinguishers throughout your space. Keep an extinguisher on each level, and be sure to place extinguishers in the kitchen, the garage, and the mechanical room, along with a smoke alarm.

4. Plan and practice fire extinguisher safety.
Before a fire starts, you and your family need to be prepared. Create both a fire prevention plan and an escape plan for when you need to get to safety. As you practice using an extinguisher, always remember the PASS method:

  • Pull the pin 
  • Aim at the base of the fire 
  • Squeeze the handle slowly 
  • Sweep from side to side

Following these best practices for your fire extinguisher will reduce your risk of injury and potentially save your home.

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