Keeping fire extinguishers in your home and ready for use is a great way to reduce the risk of a potential fire destroying your house. While having the extinguishers is essential if you choose to have large, refillable units, working with a fire extinguisher service to maintain them for you is a good option.
Fire Extinguisher Types
When looking for fire extinguishers for your home, you will find many styles and types available on the market. The most common residential units are small, prefilled ABC extinguishers that will put out most common fires, but they can be limited in capacity. Larger, refillable extinguishers are available from most fire extinguisher services, and the service will maintain the unit for you.
The location of the fire extinguisher is often the determining factor for the type you need, so talk to the service or retailer about where the extinguisher will go and how you will use it. If you are using one in the kitchen, an ABC extinguisher that uses monoammonium phosphate powder will handle class A, B, and C fires and is an excellent all-around extinguisher for the home.
Class A fires comprise common combustibles like paper or wood, class B covers grease and combustible liquids, and class C is for electrical fires, so you can use one extinguisher anytime you need it. In the garage or workshop, you can use the same dry chemical extinguisher, but if you are concerned about the damage the monoammonium phosphate powder could cause, a carbon dioxide or CO2 extinguisher could be a better option.
Maintaining Your Extinguishers
Your fire extinguishers will need to be checked regularly to ensure they are charged and ready to use. Most types have a gauge on them to indicate the pressure or charge in the unit, and as long as the indicator is in the green zone, they are ready for use.
If the needle falls into the yellow zone or, worse, the red zone, the fire extinguisher will not work when needed. Many fire extinguisher services will lease the units for your home and check them for you or call and have you check them once a month. If the unit is not holding pressure, the service will replace it for you and repair the faulty one.
Small fire extinguishers that you purchase in the local home center or department store are typically not serviceable, so if they begin to lose pressure, you will need to buy a new one. The same is true if you use the extinguisher. It will need replacing; however, if you are leasing from one of your local fire extinguisher services, they will replace the used extinguisher at no cost for you.
Many fire extinguisher services charge a once-a-month fee for the units and can provide one or several for your home, and often they will even mix and match the types if required to ensure you have the correct fire extinguishers for your needs.
Contact a local fire extinguisher service to learn more.
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