Home fires are often unpredictable, and they can be deadly. That's why you need one full-floor, multipurpose fire extinguisher on each level of your home and one in your garage, plus smaller, supplemental units for the kitchen and car.
Using a Fire Extinguisher
For safe operation of most common household fire extinguishers, follow these four steps (remember the word PASS):
1. P – Pull the pin.
Fire safety professionals also offer these tips:
a. Always keep the exit to your back so you can get out quickly.
b. If the room fills with smoke or the fire becomes hard to control, leave immediately.
c. Once a month, check all fire extinguishers to make sure their pressure meter is in the green or FULL range. Replace or recharge any fire extinguisher after it's used.
No matter which fire extinguisher you buy, make sure its pressure indicator shows "full" and that it was manufactured within the last year. No matter how many fire extinguishers you have, nothing can substitute for the most important safety tool: a fire plan. Make sure everyone in the family knows how to get out in a hurry, where to meet outside, and how to call 911. Even if you think you've put out the fire on your own, don't cancel that emergency call. Leave it to the pros to decide if it's really out.
Written by Nicolas Yang