Before I start, I would like to tell you more about the benefits of having home security products at your home:
- They protect your family and home from avoidable injury and damage.
- You can get a discount on your insurance. So don’t forget to tell your insurance agent as most offer a discount if you have fire extinguishers.
- They will help you to protect your investment while improving your home.
Here’s what you need to know about fire protection solutions
Please, reach out to your local fire department with questions or concerns regarding this post, or other fire safety concerns. They will have the best information for your location and situation. In my experience, firefighters will always be there to help you and want to keep us all safe. Just ask, and they will help you out.
Every home should be equipped with one or more fire Extinguishers. It could save your life.
If you find yourself inside any building that is on fire, a Fire Extinguisher can be used to put out the fire saving lives and property. But, no matter how small fire is it could spread fast. If you are uncertain of your ability to extinguish the fire, please exit the building and put yourself a safe distance from the burning structure. Then call 911 or your local fire department.
Let’s buy some fire extinguishers
We will start by defining the different types of Fires. This is important. Using the incorrect Class of Fire Extinguisher can actually make the fire become worse.
● Class A – Fires are ordinary materials like burning paper, lumber, cardboard, plastics, etc.
● Class B – Fires involve flammable or combustible liquids such as gasoline, kerosene, and common organic solvents used in the laboratory.
● Class C – Fires involve electrically energized fixtures or equipment.
The above are the most common types of fires that occur in homes. So usually your best choice for home Fire Extinguishers is one that is labeled “ABC” meaning it can extinguish all of the above fires including Class A, Class, B, and Class C.
Other types of extinguishers are available for the following type of fires and conditions:
● Class D – Fires involve combustible metals, such as magnesium, titanium, potassium, and sodium as well as pyrophoric organometallic reagents such as alkyllithium, Grignards, and diethylzinc. These materials burn at high temperatures and will react violently with water, air, and/or other chemicals.
● Class K – Fires are kitchen fires. This class was added to the NFPA portable extinguishers Standard 10 in 1998. Kitchen extinguishers installed before June 30, 1998, are “grandfathered” into the standard.
You should also be aware that the larger the extinguisher, the longer it takes to discharge completely. But be aware that a larger extinguisher will be heavier and will be harder to handle.
Whatever extinguisher you purchase makes sure it is U.L. (Underwriters Laboratories) approved. With larger extinguishers annual maintenance is essential but always follow maintenance instructions that your extinguisher manufacturer recommends.
Okay, you have your fire extinguishers where do you store them?
They need to be accessible, and you should store them near places where a fire is most likely to start.
Most home fires start on the stove, so one near the kitchen and one in the kitchen is an excellent place to start. Other locations include in bedrooms (closets), basement, garage, workshop, near your heating boiler or furnace and water heater, wood stove, gas dryer. Make sure they positioned throughout the home where they are easy to access.
You ought to check out our product Fire Avert. It’s designed to shut off your stove when a fire is detected.
Learn how to operate a fire extinguisher
To operate a fire extinguisher:
- Pull the locking pin from the extinguisher handle.
- Aim the extinguisher nozzle at the base of the fire.
- Squeeze the lever or handle.
- Sweep the spray from side to side at the base of the fire.
Do fire extinguishers expire?
The following information comes from Kidde’s website. Kidde is a large manufacturer of fire extinguishers that are sold in the United States:
● Rechargeable fire extinguishers (these tend to be used in commercial locations)
● According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) standards, rechargeable fire extinguishers must be recharged every 10 years.
● A rechargeable fire extinguisher has a metal head and a gauge that reads Charge Recharge. Check your fire extinguishers gauge monthly to verify that your fire extinguisher is still charged. If the extinguisher’s gauge needle is in the Recharge area, have your fire extinguisher recharged immediately.
● Kidde’s rechargeable fire extinguishers all have a six-year warranty.
● Disposable fire extinguishers (These are what we tend to have in our homes in the United States)
● According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) standards, disposable fire extinguishers must be replaced every 12 years.
● A disposable fire extinguisher has a plastic head and a gauge that reads Full / Empty. Check your fire extinguishers gauge monthly to verify that your fire extinguisher is still full. If the extinguisher’s gauge needle is in the EMPTY area, replace your fire extinguisher immediately.
● Kidde’s disposable fire extinguishers have a 10 to 12-year warranty.
● For more information about your specific fire extinguisher, refer to your user’s manual.
Disposal of old fire extinguishers
- Recycle It: The bodies of most fire extinguishers consist of steel, a recyclable material. If the extinguisher is empty, squeeze the trigger to ensure that the unit holds no pressure and remove the plastic top and trigger. Take the canister to any recycling facility that processes steel. If the extinguisher is full or partly full, your local fire company can safely discharge it for you. After removing the top, take it to a recycling center. Some fire companies even recycle the extinguisher for you.
- Toss It: Check with your local waste management facility to verify that it accepts discharged fire extinguishers with household trash. If it still shows pressure on its gauge, take it outside and gently squeeze the trigger. Let it sit for a day or two to thoroughly discharge before wrapping it inside a trash bag for disposal with household trash.
Water and carbon dioxide extinguishers generally pose no environmental threats during disposal. Some municipalities also allow dry chemical and halon extinguisher disposal with household trash, but only if they are completely empty. Others may consider these types of extinguishers hazardous whether they are full or not. If so, you will have to take them to a local hazardous waste center for disposal.
- A Word of Warning:
Be particularlycareful when handling and disposing of older fire extinguishers. Extinguishers made prior to 1960 are often valued by collectorsbut can be very dangerous. These extinguishers may contain carbontetrachloride. Carbon tetrachloride works extremely well as a fire extinguisherbut is a known carcinogen. Exposure can be fatal if enough of thechemical is inhaled or absorbed through the skin. When heated, carbon tetrachlorideproduces phosgene — more commonly known as nerve gas.
Yikes! Use extreme caution when handling old fire extinguishers and contact your local fire department for guidance on how to transport and dispose of them safely.
See you next time,