A fire extinguisher is your second line of defense against fire. However, if the fire is too big, or you feel unsafe, it is better to get out and call 9-1-1 from a safe location.
What type of Fire Extinguisher do I need in my home?
Typically, a 5-lb. 2A:10B:C ULC-rated fire extinguisher is recommended for a home. If you're wondering what the 2A:10B:C actually means, read this:
|Class A||To be used on ordinary combustible materials like wood, cloth, and paper.
Typically, these fires create ashes.
Class A = Ashes
|Class B||To be used on fires fueled by flammable liquids like gasoline, oil, and paints.
Typically, these substances come in barrels.
Class B = Barrels
|Class C||To be used on electrical fires sparked by wiring, appliances, fuse boxes, and all outlets.
Electricity travels in currents.
Class C = Currents
|Class D||To be used on fires involving combustible metals such as magnesium, sodium, or magnesium.|
How do I use a Fire Extinguisher?
Fire extinguishers are relatively easy to use, as long as you remember PASS:
|P||Pull the pin|
|A||Aim the nozzle at the base of the fire|
|S||Squeeze the trigger or leaver|
|S||Sweep the extinguisher from side to side until it empty|
Do Fire Extinguishers Expire?
Technically, fire extinguishers should be removed from service 12 years after the date of manufacture; however, they need recharging and hydrostatic testing to ensure they will properly function in the case of a fire. As part of your monthly testing of smoke and carbon monoxide alarms, invert and shake your fire extinguisher to ensure the dry chemical does not harden and settle in addition to checking the pressure gauge.
In the event that the pressure gauge is reading outside of the green area, it may be time to replace or service your extinguisher. Check around with your local fire extinguisher service shops to see if it is financially suitable to replace the unit, rather than maintaining the preexisting extinguisher.