Not all fire extinguishers are alike, which is why you need to ensure you know at least the basics about them and how they operate when you're in the market for a new extinguisher for home or office. Using the wrong type of extinguisher can be pointless for some fires, and you need to ensure you know how to work the extinguisher during a fire. Note a few important and common questions many people have about fire extinguishers for home or office and then you can ensure you choose the right type and know how it works.
1. What is a class ABC extinguisher?
Class ABC extinguishers may be the most common types of extinguishers, as they contain a type of powder that is able to address three various type of fires. These would be class A fires, caused by wood and paper, class B fires caused by liquids and many gasses, and class C fires, caused by electrical sources. If you're looking for a general purpose extinguisher for home or office, this can be the best choice so you don't need to consider if you need a different unit for an electrical fire versus one that starts in the trash.
2. What are the numbers on a fire extinguisher?
The numbers on a fire extinguisher tell you its capacity, and these numbers correspond to the equivalent of gallons of water or square feet the extinguisher can cover. Type A fire extinguishers will have numbers, so if you see a 2A extinguisher, it will put out wood and paper fires and has the capacity equivalent to two gallons of water. Classes B and C are measured in square footage, so a 10B fire extinguisher can put out ten square feet of a class B fire.
3. Is fire extinguisher training needed?
In the office, your local regulatory agencies can tell you if you're required to provide training for the use of fire extinguishers. Check with the city or department that issues building permits, or with your local fire station. At home, you may not be legally required to have training for fire extinguishers but it can still be a good idea. Extinguishers are not complicated but in the panic of a fire, you may not have time or the foresight to read the instructions on the label and may not be accustomed to the force of the extinguisher. Call your local fire station about any training they might provide.