• How to choose the right fire extinguisher for your Alton, IL home

    March 26, 2019 | Blog
  • Keep your home safe with the right fire extinguisher for your space

    fire extinguisher safety

    No one expects a house fire to occur, but fire departments across the United States respond to over 350,000 of them every year. Prevention is the best defense, but if one does break out, having a fire extinguisher handy can keep a small fire from turning into a home-destroying blaze. Here are some essential things you need to know about choosing a fire extinguisher for your Alton, IL home.

    Understanding the Types

    fire extinguisher classes

    Fire extinguishers are sorted into different categories to let you easily know what kind of fires they’re designed to fight. There are five different classifications, but only the first three are typically found in homes.

    • Type A extinguishers are designed for use on ordinary household materials, such as fabric, paper and wood.
    • Type B extinguishers are for flammable liquids, including cooking oils, grease and oil-based paints.
    • Type C extinguishers are for electrical fires.

    Some fire extinguishers are rated for multiple uses. If you’re only going to keep one fire extinguisher in your home, an ABC extinguisher is the safest option.

    Considering Effectiveness

    If you read the fine print on your fire extinguisher’s label, you may notice numbers attached to the A and B ratings. These numbers tell you how effective the extinguisher is against that type of fire. Higher numbers are better.

    Size and Weight

    fire extinguisher uses

    Bigger extinguishers are usually better, but you have to consider your situation in its entirety. A bigger extinguisher is useless if you have a physical disability that means you can’t operate it correctly. It might also be a good idea to opt for a smaller but more accessible extinguisher in certain rooms. Keeping a five-pound extinguisher in the kitchen cabinet next to your stove is likely to be safer than keeping a ten-pound extinguisher in the garage if a cooking fire breaks out.

    Rechargeable vs. Disposable

    kitchen fire extinguisher

    Rechargeable fire extinguishers are fitted with metal valves and can be refilled by a qualified company after you use them, while disposable extinguishers have plastic valves that cannot be replaced. When it comes to safety, there’s no difference between the two. Rechargeable extinguishers are a little more expensive upfront but will save you money if you have to use it. Both types gradually lose their efficacy over time, so make sure you check the valves periodically and replace them after about 10 years.

    Having a fire extinguisher on each floor of your Alton, IL home is an important defense against fire, but it’s also essential to have a safety plan to ensure that every member of your household knows what to do. However, the right extinguisher can mean the difference between a small amount of smoke damage and a serious house fire.