Which Fire Extinguisher is Right For You?
A fire extinguisher can be a life-saving tool when used correctly. The U.S. Fire Administration (USFA) recommends individuals are properly trained in order to use and maintain an extinguisher.
USFA says an extinguisher should only be used if:
- You have alerted other occupants and someone has called the fire department.
- The fire is small and contained to a single object, such as a wastebasket.
- You are safe from the toxic smoke produced by the fire.
- You have a means of escape identified and the fire is not between you and the fire escape route.
- Your instincts tell you that it is safe to use an extinguisher.
Classes of Fire Extinguishers:
Class A: Use on ordinary combustible materials, such as cloth, wood, rubber, paper, and many plastics.
Class B: Use on flammable liquids, such as grease, gasoline and oil.
Class C: Use on appliances, tools, or other equipment that is electrically energized or plugged in.
Class D: Use on flammable metals and are often specific for the type of metal in question. These are typically found only in factories working with these metals.
Class K: Use on vegetable oils, animal oils, or fats in cooking appliances. These are generally found in commercial kitchens, but are suitable for the residential market.
Check out the Fire Equipment Manufacturers Association for more information about fire extinguisher use, type and care.