Factors to Consider When Buying a Fire Extinguisher

A fire extinguisher is an essential piece of safety equipment. Having a fire extinguisher at home or office can be a lifesaving decision. Given that there are different fire extinguishers in the market, you need to select the right one. So, what are the essential consideration factors when buying a fire extinguisher? 

The Type of Fire

Fire falls in different categories based on the fuel. Each fire category requires a specific type of fire extinguisher. An attempt to put off fire using the wrong type of portable fire extinguisher could prove to be dangerous. Thus you need to know the different classifications of fire extinguishers. You can read the fire extinguisher labels that appear in letters and picture symbols. 

The following are the different types of fire ratings

  • Class A – fires caused by ordinary combustible materials 
  • Class B – fires involving flammable and combustible liquids 
  • Class C – live electrical fires
  • Class D – fires from combustible metals 
  • Class K – fires caused by cooking oils  

When shopping for a fire extinguisher, pick one with the corresponding fire rating (A, B, C, D, or K). However, some fire extinguishers can put out different types of fire. Such multipurpose extinguishers may have a BC or ABC rating indicating their capabilities. 

The Placement Area 

Fires occur and spread quickly, thereby requiring a quick reaction. Thus, it is crucial to keep a fire extinguisher where a fire is most likely to occur. For instance, you can install a fire extinguisher in a kitchen. However, keeping the extinguisher too close to the fire source is not advisable. Instead, place it on a wall where you can quickly grab it and fight the fire. Also, place it near exits where it would be possible to escape the flames. If it is a multi-floor building, it makes sense to have an extinguisher on every floor. Hence, the size of the structure determines the number of fire extinguishers to purchase. 

The Size of the Fire Extinguisher

Fire extinguishers come in different sizes and weights. The size of the fire extinguisher impacts the ease of use and efficiency. For instance, a huge canister may be challenging to lift, move and aim. As such, go for a size and weight that allows you to operate the device without difficulty. Also, the size of the fire extinguisher determines how many suppressing agents it carries. Therefore, consider the size of the fire extinguisher relative to the space of the house. Notably, you can assess the size and weight by observing the product and reading the label. 

One way of being prepared for a fire emergency is by purchasing a fire extinguisher. Think about the fire rating, placement, and size of the fire extinguisher before buying one. Nevertheless, a fire extinguisher is useless if you do not know how to use it.