What’s the Best Fire Extinguisher for Your Home?

Not many people realize that there’s more than one type of fire extinguisher. In fact, there are five different types of fire extinguishers, including water, foam, CO2, wet chemical and dry powder. While many homes and apartments come with a fire extinguisher, you may end up having to purchase your own. Certain types of businesses also require a specific type of fire extinguisher. In any case, it’s important to know everything you can about the different types of fire extinguishers so you can ensure you’re investing in the right one.

Different types of fires

Before choosing the right fire extinguishers, it’s good to understand the different types of fires. Class A fires, for example, are caused by combustible materials like wood and paper. Gasoline, paint and other flammable liquids cause Class B fires. Class C fires are caused by flammable gases like propane. Flammable metals like lithium and potassium cause Class D fires. Finally, you’ll experience Class F fires most often in the kitchen, as they’re caused by cooking oils.

Foam fire extinguishers

One of the most common types of fire extinguishers, foam extinguishers are effective against Class A, B and electrical fires. You should always avoid using a foam extinguisher on Class C or D fires. You can easily identify foam extinguishers, as they feature a cream-colored label. These types of extinguishers are most commonly found in schools, hospitals, apartments and office buildings.

Water fire extinguishers

Water extinguishers are also very common and use high-pressure water to extinguish fires. They feature a bright red label and are best used against Class A fires. Don’t use these types of extinguishers against fires caused by flammable metal, gas, liquid or electrical equipment. These types of extinguishers can be found in all types of businesses. Common businesses featuring water extinguishers include hospitals, schools, apartments and shops.

CO2 fire extinguishers

CO2 fire extinguishers feature a black label and are best used against Class B and electrical fires. It’s always best to avoid using these extinguishers against Class A, C, D and F fires. These extinguishers utilize CO2 to suffocate the fire and are often used in businesses like technology stores and offices. Any building with a high number of electrical devices would benefit from having a CO2 extinguisher handy.

Wet chemical fire extinguishers

You can use wet chemical fire extinguishers against Class A and F fires. Don’t ever use them against fires caused by flammable liquids, gas or metals. It’s also important to avoid using these extinguishers against electrical fires. You can identify a wet chemical extinguisher by its yellow label.

Dry powder fire extinguisher

Dry powder fire extinguishers can stop Class A, B, C, D and electrical fires. While these extinguishers can stop the largest number of different types of fires, it’s important to avoid using them in enclosed spaces. The powder from these extinguishers is hard to clean and easy to breathe in. You can identify a dry powder extinguisher by its blue label.

The standard for most homes is to have a fire extinguisher that you can use against Class A, B and C fires. Most fire extinguishers will mention the classes of fire they can extinguish on their label. If you’re having trouble looking through the best home fire extinguishers, speak with a fire equipment supply expert.

Contact AAA Fire Protection Resources, Inc. for all your fire equipment supply and inspection needs.

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