A fire extinguisher is an active fire protection device used to extinguish or control small fires, often in emergency situations. It is not intended for use on an out-of-control fire, such as one that has reached the ceiling, endangers the user, (i.e. no escape route, smoke, explosion hazard, etc.), or otherwise requires the expertise of a fire department. Please call 9-1-1 if there is a fire that cannot be controlled with a fire extinguisher.
Every home should have at least one fire extinguisher and it is advisable to have one in every room that poses a fire danger (such as the kitchen or garage).
The National Fire Protection Association recommends at least one extinguisher for every 600 square feet of living area.
Mount a fire extinguisher on a wall, 36 to 44 inches off the floor and away from any potential fire hazards. Place it near an exit door or escape route from the room.
What type of fire extinguisher is needed?
Fire extinguishers are divided into three categories:
Class A - Ordinary combustible fires, such as wood, paper or fabric
Class B - Liquid fires, such as grease, gasoline and oil
Class C - Electrically energized fires
The number that precedes the A, B, or C rating on a fire extinguisher determines how large a fire the extinguisher is designed to put out. The larger the number the more capacity the fire extinguisher has to extinguish fires. A typical general purpose residential fire extinguisher would have a rating of "1-A: 10-BC."
The best fire extinguisher for the home is one rated for multiple purpose use. They usually contain a dry chemical that meets the requirements to extinguish A, B and C class fires.
The quick way to remember how to use a fire extinguisher is to use the acronym: PASS
Pull the pin at the top of the extinguisher.
Aim the nozzle toward the base of the fire.
Squeeze the handle to discharge the extinguisher.
Sweep the nozzle back and forth at the base of the fire from approximately eight feet away.