A primer on fire extinguishers

Fire caused 33.1% of all home insurers’ losses over a three-year period, the highest of any source of loss, according to a report by American Association of Insurance Services.
That statistic leads into a topic that we’ve been planning to introduce: How much do you know about fire extinguishers? If you’re like most people, probably not too much. But using the wrong type of fire extinguisher might be more dangerous than not using any fire extinguisher at all. Paul Caret of MEMIC Safety Blog has a great post on fire extinguishers that includes a chart on various types of fire extinguishers and their ratings, along with links o interactive sites that provide information on anything you might need to know about the selection, use and maintenance of fire extinguishers. We particularly liked the animated and interactive fireextinguisher.com, available in English and Spanish.
The Escondido Fire Department offers a quick one-page summary for fire extinguishers in the home, including where to put them, how to maintain them, and when to use them. But have you ever actually used a fire extinguisher? In this short video, Captain Joe Bruni offers a quick demonstration.

One thought on “A primer on fire extinguishers

  1. We’ve always had fire extinguishers in our home, and fortunately only discharged one once…but once is enough to stick with me for life!
    A couple other thoughts on extinguishers. They’re not as intimidating as people think! They’re inexpensive to buy (Home Depot and Lowe’s have them for less than $20 for a small kitchen ABC extinuisher, and under $50 for the more substantial models).
    They’re easy enough to use; it took me seconds to remember how to use ours when we needed it.
    Don’t store the kitchen extinguisher above the stove. Keep in a place easy to get to if there IS a fire!
    Lastly, if you have old extinguishers, check the age tag or pressure valve to be sure the extinguisher is still fully charged.
    Buy a few for Mother’s Day… or Father’s Day, or for any upcoming birthday or suitable event. The life you save could be theirs.

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