There are many types of fire extinguishers available. Which fire extinguisher you need depends on what type of fire you might be fighting. There are different fire extinguishers for commercial and residential use. Commercial fire extinguishers are required to be serviced and inspected on a regular basis and have to adhere to strict colour coding and display regulations and their installation needs to be based on a thorough risk assessment. If it is at your home their is no such guiding regulation but your decision will still be based on an informal risk assessment.
Difference Between Commercial & Household Extinguishers
Fire extinguishers are coded based on the type of material to be extinguished.
- A Class A extinguisher will be used on paper and wood products.
- A Class B extinguisher will be used on flammable liquids, such as grease and oil.
- A Class C extinguisher will be used on flammable gases.
- A Class D extinguisher will be used on combustible metals.
- A Class F extinguisher will be used on cooking fat and oil.
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The most common household fire extinguisher is an ABC extinguisher. This extinguisher would work well on any of the materials in those classes. Many home fire extinguishers are designed to be used once and then discarded whereas most commercial fire extinguishers have the capability to be refilled and reused.
It is important to have at least one, if not more, fire extinguishers in your house. These need to be placed in easily accessible areas that everyone is aware of. Everyone in your household should be instructed on how to use the fire extinguisher and they should also be instructed on when not to use it and to just exit the building and call 999.
When Not To Use A Fire Extinguisher
The fire service should be called in if the fire is out of control. If the fire has reached the ceiling or endangers peoples lives, then the fire service should be called. If there is any doubt, then exit the building and call 999. Remember, they are trained on how to extinguish any fire that may occur, you are not.
A small fire can quickly spread to out of control, but with immediate fire extinguisher use, you might be able to save your property. Apart from the home, an extinguisher in your car may help either yourself or another person.
Fire extinguishers are very important pieces of equipment to have. Make sure when you are purchasing one that you pick the right type and size. Once your extinguisher is in place make sure that everyone knows where it is and how to use it properly. If you have any doubt about what you need seek advice.
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