Do You Have the Right Home Fire Extinguisher?
3 Factors That Will Determine the Effectiveness of a Home Fire Extinguisher
Homeowners should take measures to increase their fire preparedness. These three factors will determine the effectiveness of a home fire extinguisher in the event of an emergency.
1. Check the Class
There are several common extinguisher classes distinguished on the basis of fire suppressant compounds. Class A extinguishers contain monoammonium phosphate for ordinary combustibles. Class B and C extinguishers combine monoammonium phosophate with sodium bicarbonate. Class B is intended for flammable liquids or gases other than cooking oils or grease, while Class C is formulated for electrical fires.
Homeowners may want to obtain multi-class fire extinguishers for all of these risks. It is less likely that they will need a Class D extinguisher for combustible metals or even a Class K extinguisher for cooking oils and grease. Extinguishers may actually spread a cooking fire. It is better to douse a kitchen fire in baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) and salt and smother the flames with a metal lid or another pan.
2. Make Sure the Extinguisher Is Filled and Sealed
A fire extinguisher must be full and sealed to maintain pressure. Refillable extinguishers usually have metal valves and cost more up front, though refills cost less than a new disposable model. Disposable extinguishers are more affordable, but are made for one-time use.
3. Check the Expiration Date
An extinguisher may or may not have an expiration date, but this safety equipment does not last forever. An extinguisher should work for anywhere from five to 15 years. Check the pressure gauge to determine whether safety equipment is ready to use.
A fire extinguisher that has insufficient pressure or one that has been used before and has not been replaced or refilled may not function as intended. If a fire damages building materials or contents at a residence in Cumming, GA, mitigation and restoration professionals can clean up damage and complete a rebuild.