The Importance of Portable Fire Extinguishers

The importance of portable fire extinguishers

Fire extinguishers are an essential component of any building’s safety plan. However, fire extinguishers are only effective if used correctly. Training employees on how to act in case of a fire could save lives and reduce property damage before the fire gets out of hand. This training should not only include the proper operation of a fire extinguisher, but also what steps to take before and after the fire is put out.

There should be at least one fire extinguisher in our homes, but it is not enough to simply keep one under the kitchen sink. If there is a fire, your safety—and the safety of your home—depends on knowing how to properly use that fire extinguisher.
In case your fire extinguisher has been sitting around collecting dust, here is everything you need to know before brushing it off and fighting a fire in your home the right wa

Choosing the appropriate extinguisher

The first thing you need to know is the different classifications of fires. The second thing is knowing the appropriate extinguisher to use for that particular fire type. 

Most household fires fall into one of the following categories:
Class A: Fires fueled by solid combustibles like wood, paper, and cloth.
Class B: Fires fueled by flammable liquids such as oil, petroleum, and gasoline.
Class C: Fires are started or fueled by cooking gases.
Electrical Fires: Fires started or fueled by faulty wiring, fuse boxes, and appliances.
Class F: Fires started or fueled by cooking oils and greases, animal fats, and vegetable fats.

All fire extinguishers are labeled to indicate which classes of fire they are designed to combat. Most household fire extinguishers are considered multipurpose and labeled for use in A, B, and C classes. Fire extinguishers safe for Class F fires are heavier duty and will need to be bought separately.


Fire extinguisher labels also include symbols to indicate which types of fires the extinguisher is designed to fight. If there is a circle and a red slash through any of the symbols, that indicates that the extinguisher cannot be used to fight that type of fire.

The best way to keep your home and family safe in the event of a fire is to be prepared. In our next issue we will discuss the proper way to handle extinguishers for the most optimum fire fighting.

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