Fires usually start from a single ignition source. A conveniently located fire extinguisher can be used to quickly put out the fire while it is still confined to that source. Home fire extinguishers make this kind of rapid response possible. However, merely buying a fire extinguisher isn't enough. The extinguisher must be the right kind and the person must know how to use it. The following tips will discuss this further and provide more information about the effective use of these devices.
Get the Right Fire Extinguisher
Type A-B-C fire extinguishers can put out common home fires. Don't get different specialized types because in an emergency, you want to grab the nearest extinguisher without having to check if it's meant for the fire that has started. There won't be enough time for that.
Place the Fire Extinguishers in the Right Locations
Place a fire extinguisher in plain sight on every floor of the house. Two rooms in particular must have them: the kitchen and the garage. Most home fires start in either of these locations. The kitchen has multiple heat sources, while the garage often has stored solvents and other flammables. Always locate the fire extinguisher near the room's exit so that the act of getting it also places you near an escape route. Always keep the exit at your back when putting out a fire.
Know How to Use a Fire Extinguisher
During a fire, you won't have enough time to read instructions. Do this after right purchasing the extinguisher so you have that knowledge for later. For more instruction, check with your fire department about fire extinguisher training in your locality.
Know When to Use a Fire Extinguisher
Use the extinguisher when the fire is still confined to its ignition source, such as on the stovetop. When fires have spread well beyond their ignition source, you must focus on getting everyone out of the house and alerting the fire department. This also applies when the room is filled with smoke. Smoke blocks your vision, interferes with breathing and is often toxic.
Remember the Mnemonic P.A.S.S.
- Pull the pin.
- Aim low at the fire's base.
- Squeeze the handle to activate the extinguisher.
- Sweep the extinguisher nozzle back and forth at the base of the fire until it's out. Repeat if the fire starts again. Call the fire department, even if you put out the fire.
Get a Fire Extinguisher That's Not Too Heavy
Larger extinguishers have more chemicals for putting out the fire. However, they are difficult to handle when they weigh too much. A five-pound extinguisher is the absolute minimum size.
Using fire extinguishers at the right time can limit the damage caused by a fire. In addition, their presence in your house can reduce your home insurance premiums.
Learn more about protecting your family. Call South Sound Insurance, Inc. at 253-735-6747 for more information on home insurance.