Safeguard Your Residence With Portable Fire Extinguishers For The Home
A fire extinguisher is a device that is used to control or put out small fires. This device is not intended for putting out fire that is out control. It is also known as an extinguisher or a flame extinguisher. A typical portable fire extinguisher consists of a pressurized cylindrical container; the pressurized vessel contains an agent meant to be discharged so as to extinguish the fire. Fire extinguishers are mainly categorized into two groups namely: cart mounted and hand held. The hand held or rather the portable fire extinguishers weigh between 0.5-14 kgs.
If used correctly, these types of fire extinguishers can save property, lives, or even contain fire, thereby, allowing the victims to escape to a safe place. Portable fire extinguishers are normally considered as the first aid device for controlling and extinguishing small fires. They are, however, not suitable for large fires. The main aim of using them is to prevent fire from getting out control, leave alone putting out small fires. In order to safeguard one's family and household, it is essential to have a proper extinguisher, to know how to use the proper fire extinguisher, and to know how the extinguisher should not be used or handled.
The first Rule of firefighting in homes
Whenever an individual encounters fire, it is important to know, and always remember the first rule of fighting fire; save life first, property comes second. Therefore, one should get himself or herself and the family to a safe place before trying to put out the fire or saving any property. One can only proceed to firefighting if his or her safety and that of others is ensured. It is also worth noting that property can be replaced while life cannot.
Types of fires
Selection of the best portable extinguisher for an individual's home is a simple task. The selection criterion depends mainly on the type of fire that is likely to cause an accident. There five classes of fire namely: classes A, B, C, D, and K. Class A fires result from ordinary combustibles such as paper, wood and so on. Class B fires result from flammable liquids such as kerosene, grease, oil and paint. Some of these liquids such as kerosene, cooking oil are used in a household kitchen. Class C fires result from electrical equipment such as cables among others. Class D fires result from combustible metals, while class K fires result from fats and oils.
Types of portable fire extinguishers that are suitable for homes.
There are several types of fire extinguishers that are suitable for homes. Discussed below are the common types.
Multi-purpose Dry Chemical fire extinguisher
These devices are suitable for various types of fires hence the name multipurpose fire extinguisher. They are normally rated for classes C and B fires, but can also be used to put out class A fires. These extinguishers contain nonflammable gas propellant agent that is compressed. They extinguish fire by coating or covering the fuel with a layer of noncombustible powder, thereby separating the fuel from air (oxygen). Covering the fuel by a noncombustible powder suffocates the fire, thereby preventing the release of combustible substances. This process make dry chemical fire extinguishers very effective and suitable for a variety of fires. This extinguisher is normally red in color particularly in United States, but the color can vary depending on the country where it is used. They weigh between 2.27-9 kilograms.
Water Air-pressurized Water Portable Fire Extinguishers (APW)
These types of portable fire extinguishers have water and air that is compressed. They should be used only for class A type of fires only. The class A fires result from paper, rubber, cloth, wood, and some types of plastics. Their vessels are filled with water to about two thirds; they are then pressurized with compressed air. Detergents may also be added so as to form foam. They are normally 0.6-1 meter tall and weigh approximately 11.5 kgs.
It important to note that these types extinguishers are not suitable for class B and C fires. This is because the flammable liquids (sources of class B fires) are usually lighter than water, and hence tend to float on water. This situation will make matters worse by spreading the fire rather than extinguishing it. It is not suitable for class C fires due to the fact that water is a good conductor of electric current. In this case this water may lead to electrocution.
Carbon Dioxide Portable Fire Extinguisher
These types of fire extinguishers are suitable for class B and C fires. They are filled with highly pressurized carbon dioxide, and they extinguish fire by the displacement of oxygen.
It is important to note that these types of extinguishers are not suitable for Class A fires since these fires always smoulder, and may reignite after the dissipation of the carbon dioxide. They should not be used in confined areas while people are present.
The Best Portable fire extinguisher for homes
Before considering purchasing a fire extinguisher, one should consider the place where fire is most likely to start in his or her home. It is also important to consider the type of fire that is most likely in case of fire. The fire extinguisher selected should be handled easily by family members.
Even though portable fire extinguishers weighing about 2.27kgs are recommended for homes, the Multi-purpose dry chemical extinguishers are most recommended for homes. This is due to the fact that they are suitable for Classes A, B and C fires.
How should these Fire extinguishers be located in homes?
It is recommended that fire extinguishers be installed in places where there is a greater risk of fire in homes. For example the multi-purpose dry powder should be installed in laundry, garage, kitchen, workshop, and at the top stairwell in the basement. They should be not more than 23m away from Class A fire hazard, or more than 15m away from class B fire hazard. The fire extinguishers should also be kept out reach of children.
Maintenance of portable fire extinguishers
Fire extinguishers must also be maintained as per manufacturer's specification, in addition to monthly checks and refilling after use.
Where can these extinguishers be found and by how much
An individual wishing to purchase these extinguishers can shop online on www.Amazon.com. Their prices range between $22-300 depending on one's choice. They are also available in various stores approved by United States Fire department.
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