Choosing the Right Fire Extinguisher
Every fire extinguisher is assigned a class. The suppressant in a Class A extinguisher differs from a Class B, C, D, or K extinguisher. Homeowners should consider where each piece of home fire safety equipment will be kept and choose the most effective suppressant for the fire risks in this area. The following fire preparedness measures can help homeowners purchase the right extinguishers.
Consider the Location
Certain extinguisher classes are better suited for different parts of a residence. Here are a few general guidelines:
- Home extinguishers should be able to put out fires involving standard combustibles
- It is a good idea to put an extinguisher rated for electrical equipment near appliances
- Class B extinguishers can be used on flammable liquids in a garage or work space or kitchen grease fires
Some extinguishers, such as Class D or K, are less common for residential use. Even though a Class K extinguisher is designed to suppress grease fires, using this extinguisher improperly can cause grease to spatter and spread the fire.
Check the Suppressant Class
Each fire extinguisher class is determined by the suppressant. Here are the contents of each major class of extinguisher:
- Class A uses monoammonium phosphate
- Classes B and C combine monoammonium phosphate and sodium bicarbonate
- Class D uses sodium chloride or copper powder
- Class K uses potassium compounds
Multi-class extinguishers are also available. A-B-C extinguishers are popular for residential use.
Choose One-Time Use or Refillable
Homeowners can save money up front by purchasing a single-use extinguisher. A rechargeable extinguisher costs more, but refills are less expensive than buying a new extinguisher designed for one-time use.
All of these factors determine which class of fire extinguisher is the best choice for various areas of a residence. If a fire is too large to suppress, home fire damage restoration specialists can rebuild structural damage and clean contents.