Fire extinguisher is but one of small component of overall fire safety drills and programs yet it plays a vital role in saving life and reducing property damage. The hope of people not to use fire extinguisher, give the fire extinguisher least priority. Though it would be better to never have to use them at all, having it at arm’s reach is essential most especially in fire-prone areas such as kitchen, fireplaces and workshops.
Types of Fire Extinguisher
When buying fire extinguisher, it is important to know what type of fire the extinguisher is expected to snuff out. Not all fires are the same so the type of fire extinguisher to be used must be appropriate. For light materials or common combustibles such as papers and wood, a Class A extinguisher should be used while Class B for flammable liquids such as grease and oil, and Class C for electrical fires. There are also specialized extinguishers such as Class D for metal that are highly combustible and Class K that are designed for commercial kitchens. In addition to these letter designations, extinguishers also carry a numerical rating code. The numbers, assigned by Underwriters Laboratories, indicate the amount of fire the extinguisher can put on regardless of its weight and chemical uses. The higher the number is, the greater the effectiveness (and most likely the higher the price).
The Right Fire Extinguisher for You
Now that you have learned the importance and types of fire extinguisher, you may opt to buy all three types of fire extinguishers from fire protection online. Though the canister adds to the pounds, the weight of the fire extinguisher is based on the amount of the chemical stored inside. Of course, bigger is better in most cases but sometimes bigger extinguishers are hard to maneuver. A 10-pounder is best for kitchens or workshops but a 2-pound canister will do for car.
How to Use the Fire Extinguisher
Regardless of what type of extinguisher is to be used, the basic techniques are the same except for the specialized extinguishers which require professional training. For the non-specialized extinguishers, you need to follow the instructions on the label…P.A.S.S.
Pull the pin
Aim at the base of the fire.
Squeeze the lever slowly.
Sweep the spray from side to side as you approach the shrinking fire.
When to Replace Fire Extinguisher
Though fire extinguisher do not normally expires, you can never be so sure if it will fire away when you have to use it that is why it is required to be inspected annually for leakage, corrosion and other defects. If it has been used, replace it right away.