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caloriessa   , 19

from Hyde Park


Selecting and Using Fire Extinguishers For Your Home

Every home should have at least one fire extinguisher, positioned in the kitchen. Better still is to install fire extinguishers on each degree of a house and in each possibly hazardous area, including (besides the kitchen) the garage, furnace room, and course.

Choose fire extinguishers by their size, class, and rating. "Size" refers to the weight of the fire-fighting chemical, or charge, a fire extinguisher contains, and usually is about 50 percent the weight of the fireplace extinguisher itself. For common residential use, extinguishers two and a half to five pounds in size are often adequate; these weigh five to ten pounds.


"Class" refers to the types here of fires an extinguisher can create. Class A extinguishers are for use only on ordinary combustible materials such as wooden, paper, and cloth. Typically, their charge includes carbonated water, which is inexpensive and enough for the task but quite dangerous if used against oil fires (the pressurized drinking water can spread the burning up grease) and electrical fires (the water stream and wetted surfaces may become hot, delivering a possibly dangerous shock). Class B extinguishers are for use on flammable liquids, including grease, oil, gasoline, and other chemicals. Usually their demand involves powdered sodium bicarbonate (baking soda).

Class C extinguishers are for electric fires. Most contain dry out ammonium phosphate. Some Course C extinguishers contain halon gas, but these are no longer created for residential use because of halon's adverse influence on the earth's ozone layer. Halon extinguishers are recommended for use around expensive digital gear such as personal computers and televisions; the gas blankets the fire, suffocating it, and then evaporates without leaving chemical remains that can ruin the equipment. Another good thing about halon is that it grows into hard-to-reach areas and around obstructions, quenching open fire in places other extinguishers cannot touch.

Many open fire extinguishers contain chemicals for putting out blend fire; in fact , extinguishers classed W: C and even ARC are more widely available for home use than extinguishers designed only for person types of fires. Multi-purpose ARC extinguishers usually are the best choice for any household location; nevertheless , B: C extinguishers put out grease fires more effectively (their cost of sodium bicarbonate acts with fats and food preparation oil to form a wet foam that smothers the fire) and so should be the first choice in a kitchen.

"Rating" is a measurement of a fire extinguisher's effectiveness over a given type of open fire. The higher the rating, the more effective the extinguisher is against the class of fire to which the rating is assigned. Really, the rating system is somewhat more complicated: rating numbers assigned to a Class A extinguisher show the approximate gallons of water needed to match the extinguisher's capacity (for example, a 1A rating indicates that the extinguisher functions as well as about a gallon of water), while numbers given to Class B extinguishers indicate the approximate rectangular footage of fireplace that can be extinguished by the average nonprofessional user. Class D extinguishers carry no rankings.

For protection on an entire floor of a house, purchase a relatively large extinguisher; for example , a model rated 3A: 40B: D. These weigh about ten pounds and cost around $50. In a kitchen, choose a 5B: C unit; these weigh around three pounds and cost around $15. For increased kitchen protection, it is probably far better to buy two small extinguishers than a individual larger model. Kitchen fires usually start small and are easily handled by a tiny extinguisher; smaller extinguishers are more manageable than larger ones, especially in limited spaces; and, because even a partly used extinguisher must be recharged to prepare it for further use or replaced, having multiple small extinguishers makes better financial sense.

A 5B: C extinguisher is yet a good choice for protecting a garage, where grease and oil fires are most likely. For workshops, power rooms, and similar locations, obtain IA: lOB: D extinguishers. These, too, consider about three pounds (some weigh up to five pounds) and cost around $15. In all instances, purchase only extinguishers listed by Underwriters Laboratories.

Mount open fire extinguishers in plain look on walls near doorways or other potential avoid routes. Use mounting conference made for the idea; these attach with long anchoring screws to wall studs and let extinguishers to be instantly removed. Instead of the plastic brackets that come with many fire extinguishers, consider the sturdier marine brackets approved by the U. S. Coast Protect. The correct mounting elevation for extinguishers is between four and five foot above the floor, but install them as high as six feet if required to keep them out of the reach of young children. Do not keep fire extinguishers in cabinets or elsewhere out of sight; within an emergency they are likely to be overlooked.

Buy fire extinguishers that contain pressure gauges that allow you to check the condition of the charge at a glance. Inspect the gauge once a month; have an extinguisher recharged where you bought it or through your local fire department whenever the gauge signifies it has lost pressure or right after it has been used, even if perhaps for a few seconds. Fireplace extinguishers that cannot be recharged and have outlasted their rated life time, which is printed on the label, must be replaced. Inside no case should you keep a fire extinguisher longer than ten years, regardless of the manufacturer's claims. Unfortunately, recharging a smaller extinguisher often costs almost as much as replacing it and might not exactly restore the extinguisher in condition. Wasteful as it seems, it is usually better to replace most residential fire extinguishers rather than have them recharged. To achieve this, discharge the extinguisher (the contents are nontoxic) into a papers or plastic bag, and then discard both the bag and the extinguisher in the trash. Aluminium extinguisher cylinders can be recycled.