One way to raise your level of preparedness to manage emergencies is to buy a fire extinguisher and keep it in an easy-to-reach location in your home. However, not every fire extinguisher will be right for you. This article discusses some of the considerations that you should have in mind as you shop for an extinguisher for your home.
The Type of Fire It Is Designed to Fight
Different fire extinguishers are suitable for different kinds of fires. There are four classes of fires. Pick a fire extinguisher that is suitable for the fire risk that you are likely to face at home. For instance, many home fires start in the kitchen. It may therefore be advisable for you to buy a fire extinguisher that can fight class A, B and C fires (ordinary combustibles like wood; liquid fires like burning oil; and electrical fires like a burning power cable). Some fire extinguisher manufacturers go a step further and provide extinguishers with different ratings for extinguishers intended for the same type of fire. For instance, you may see one extinguisher rated as 2A while another is rated as 4A. This may mean that the extinguisher with the higher number is more effective at dealing with that class of fire. Ask the supplier to explain this difference so that you are sure of the difference before you make a buying decision.
The Size of the Extinguisher
In this case, size refers to the volume of liquid or powder inside the extinguisher. A larger volume or size may be better because it can enable you to combat a bigger fire. However, you should balance your need for a bigger extinguisher with your ability to maneuver that fire extinguisher in case a fire breaks out. Thus, pick a size that will not be too large for a member of your family to use when an emergency arises.
Compare Rechargeable and Disposable Extinguishers
Rechargeable fire extinguishers normally have metallic valves, while disposable ones have plastic valves. Contact your supplier of fire extinguishers to confirm how you can tell the difference between those two categories of extinguishers. It may be more cost effective (in the long-term) to buy a rechargeable fire extinguisher instead of buying disposable ones. This is because the cost of refilling a discharged fire extinguisher may be much lower than buying a disposable one.
Go to the supplier armed with the information above, and it will be easier for you to select the most appropriate fire extinguishers for your home.