Which fire extinguisher is right for your Michigan home

Michigan fire extinguisherYou should have one or more working fire extinguishers in your home.  It is important to keep one near any potential fire hazards. You should also choose the extinguisher type that best fits your needs.

Generally, there are three standard classes of home fire extinguisher:

Class A – These are for wood and paper fires. This class cools material below its ignition temperature and soaks fibers to prevent re-ignition.

Class B– These devices suppress flammable-liquid and grease fires. They work by removing oxygen from the area sprayed and preventing vapors from reaching the ignition source. Chemical reactions that remove oxygen suffocate a fire.

Class C – These models are for electrical fires. They use an extinguishing agent that is not capable of conducting electricity.

Multi-Class– These chemical extinguishers can be used on different types of fires and have labels with more than one letter – A-B, B-C or A-B-C. (Note: Most multi-class extinguishers contain a corrosive agent that should be cleaned up immediately after use to prevent damage to sprayed surfaces).

Fire extinguisher chart

Important Fire Extinguisher Rules to follow:

Know what is burning. If you don’t know what is burning, you don’t know what type of fire extinguisher to use. Even if you have an ABC extinguisher, there may be something in the fire that is going to explode or produce highly toxic smoke. If uncertain of the cause let the fire department handle it.

The fire is spreading rapidly beyond the spot where it started. The time to use a fire extinguisher is at the beginning stages of a fire. If the fire is already spreading quickly, it is best to evacuate the building, closing doors and windows behind you as you leave.

When not to Use a Fire Extinguisher:

You don’t have adequate or appropriate equipment. If you don’t have the correct type or large enough extinguisher, it is best not to try to fight the fire.

You might inhale toxic smoke. If the fire is producing large amounts of smoke that you would have to breathe to fight it, it is best not to try. Any combustion will provide some amount of carbon monoxide; These gases can be fatal in small amounts.

How to use a Fire Extinguisher remember the Acronym PASS:

  • Pull the pin at the top.
  • Aim at the base of the fire.
  • Squeeze the handle/lever to discharge. (Stand back 6 to 8 feet from the flame.)
  • Sweep the spray back and forth at the base or source of the fire.

Home fire extinguisher along with smoke detectors are important components of your home’s protection. Make sure all are working correctly and maintain according to manufacturers’ instructions.

Fire Safety devices are available at Amazon.com for a reasonable price.

Finally, read about how to choose the right smoke detector and how to prevent electrical surges for added safety to your home.