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With so many fire extinguishers to choose from, selecting the proper one for your home can be a daunting task. Everyone should have at least one fire extinguisher at home, but it's just as important to ensure you have the proper type of fire extinguisher. Fire protection experts recommend one for the kitchen, the garage and workshop.
Fire extinguishers are divided into four categories, based on different types of fires. Each fire extinguisher also has a numerical rating that serves as a guide for the amount of fire the extinguisher can handle. The higher the number, the more fire-fighting power. The following is a quick guide to help choose the right type of extinguisher.
Some fires may involve a combination of these classifications. Your fire extinguishers should have ABC ratings on them.
Here are the most common types of fire extinguishers:
Dry chemical extinguishers have an advantage over CO2 extinguishers since they leave a non-flammable substance on the extinguished material, reducing the likelihood of re-ignition.
CO2 extinguishers have an advantage over dry chemical extinguishers since they don't leave a harmful residue - a good choice for an electrical fire on a computer or other favorite electronic device such as a stereo or TV.
These are only the common types of fire extinguishers. There are many others to choose from. Base your selection on the classification and the extinguisher's compatibility with the items you wish to protect.
Before using your fire extinguisher, be sure to read the instructions before it's too late. Although there are many different types of fire extinguishers, all of them operate in a similar manner.
Use this acronym as a quick reference (it is a good idea to print this reference and pin it next to your fire extinguisher):
A typical fire extinguisher contains 10 seconds of extinguishing power. This could be less if it has already been partially discharged. Always read the instructions that come with the fire extinguisher beforehand and become familiarized with its parts. It is highly recommended by fire prevention experts that you get hands-on training before operating a fire extinguisher. Most local fire departments offer this service.
Once the fire is out, don't walk away! Watch the area for a few minutes in case it re-ignites. Recharge the extinguisher immediately after use.
According to the National Fire Protection Association
With these startling statistics in mind, here are some safety tips for you:
Smoke is responsible for three out of four deaths.
They remain your best bet if you're on the spot when a fire begins.
THINKING AHEAD: Your Exit Plan
As with other things, the best motto is, "Be Prepared."
Remember, you're deliberately bringing fire into your home; respect it.
Used improperly, a space heater can be the most dangerous appliance in your house.
Under some circumstances, dangerous heat can build up in a dryer.
Electricity, the silent servant, can become a silent assassin.
Careless cooking is the number one cause of residential fires. Never leave cooking unattended.
CHILDREN and GRANDCHILDREN
One-fourth of all fire-deaths of children are from fires started by children.
GASOLINE AND OTHER FLAMMABLE LIQUIDS
Those cans aren't painted red just for the fun of it!
If you actually believe that you're immune from cancer, heart disease, emphysema, and other ills, at least worry about burning to death.
FIRE SAFTEY ARTICLES
By Tom Kiurski