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Fire Extinguisher Basics0


I’ve only had to use a fire extinguisher twice in my life.  The first was at a friend’s house when she inadvertently started a grease fire.  The second was when I was a chef on the railroad—yet another grease fire . . . though not of my making.  In both cases, dinner was ruined.

It’s impossible to stress how important it is to have at least one fire extinguisher in your home.  It should be stored in a highly visible area for easy access in case of an emergency.

But, if you’re aesthetically minded like I am, you know that a fire extinguisher is not the most attractive thing hanging in your kitchen.  I keep mine under the sink, snuggled against the right wall of the cabinet.

Types of fires are classified by a four-letter system (A through D).  Extinguishers are marked according to the chemical elements needed to fight different types of fires:

  • Class A: Utilizes water; this type of extinguisher should be used on wood and paper fires.
  • Class B: This is the one you want in your kitchen; the chemical elements are designed to fight grease/liquid fires.
  • Class C: Fights electrical fires.
  • Class D: For use on flammable metals; let’s hope you never have to use this.  If you have a metal structure on fire, you’re probably in bad trouble.

This little video demonstrates how to use a fire extinguisher:

This is good general knowledge to have as a homeowner.  Let’s hope you never have to use it.  From first-hand experience, I can tell ya that it’s not fun . . .

by John Barker

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