Important Tips for Choosing Fire Extinguishers for Home

Posted on: 29 October 2015

Every home should have a fire extinguisher on hand, and it's usually good to have more than one as well. An extinguisher should be located near the kitchen, but it can also be good to have one in the garage. You might also consider one for the living area or in the bedrooms if you smoke, use candles, or otherwise have an increased risk of a home fire. 

Fire extinguishers are not all alike, so you need to choose one according to the type of fire your home might suffer, and also note a few other factors as well so that the extinguisher works for you. Note a few tips to keep in mind.

1. Ensure it's not too heavy to use

It's good to get a fire extinguisher that is large enough to address a grease fire or other such risk to your home, but if it's too heavy to use easily, it may be ineffective. Remember that your children may need to use a fire extinguisher, or if there are elderly persons in the home, they too should be able to use the extinguisher easily. Before you buy any type of extinguisher, note the weight of the canister and consider downgrading to two separate extinguishers. This will ensure you can readily put out a fire but won't have a unit that is too heavy to use. 

2. Consider rechargeable versus disposable

A disposable extinguisher is usually made of plastic and is more lightweight than metal extinguishers, which you can usually recharge. While the plastic disposable model may be cheaper to purchase, remember that you should usually check your extinguishers for needed recharging every year or twice per year to be safe. If you need to constantly replace a plastic extinguisher because it's lost pressure, then this may be more costly overall than a metal, rechargeable extinguisher.

3. Choose a multi-purpose extinguisher

Fire extinguishers will have a classification for the type of fire they address, such as electrical, grease, and other combustibles. Rather than trying to anticipate what type of fire might break out in your home, choose a multi-purpose extinguisher. This is one that typically contains a type of thick foam that can be used on virtually any fire, including an electrical fire and one that starts when you drop a cigarette on the furniture next to you. A multi-purpose extinguisher can mean being able to use it quickly and easily without having to even determine how the fire started in the first place.

For more information, contact a local fire safety equipment supplier.