Everybody has seen fire extinguishers. Many people have them in their car, at home or at work. But not everyone understands them or knows how to work them. We would like for you to have a working knowledge of fire extinguishers. It could save your life or those whom you love.
Fire extinguishers are not designed to fight a large or spreading fire. Even against small fires, they are useful only under the right conditions.
An extinguisher must be large enough for the fire at hand. It must be available and in working order, fully charged. The operator should be familiar with the extinguisher so it won’t be necessary to read directions during an emergency.
Buy Extinguishers Carefully
A fire extinguisher should be “listed” and “labeled” by an independent testing laboratory such as FM (Factory Mutual) or UL (Underwriters Laboratory).
The higher the rating number on an A or B fire extinguisher, the more fire it can put out, but high-rated units are often the heavier models. Make sure you can hold and operate the extinguisher you are buying.
Remember that extinguishers need care and must be recharged after every use. Ask the dealer about the extinguisher and how it should be serviced and inspected. A partially used unit might as well be empty.
You may need more than one extinguisher in your home. For example, you may want an extinguisher in the kitchen as well as one in the garage or workshop. Each extinguisher should be installed in plain view near an escape route and away from potential fire hazards such as heating appliances.