Fire Safety in the Home: Fire Extinguishers

Fire Safety in the Home: Fire Extinguishers

Are you prepared in case of a fire? Do you have any fire safety equipment in your home? 

An increasing number of us working from home, plugging in computers and lamps to extension leads. These questions and more need to be thought about with some care if you and your loved ones are to be given all the help you need if the worst does happen. Searching out the best fire smoke mask or other fire safety equipment such as fire extinguishers may well be a decision you make now that saves the life of a loved one in the future. In this article, we give a quick guide to fire extinguishers.

Fire Extinguishers in the Home

There are different fire extinguishers designed to fight all the different types of fires. It is so important that if you are thinking of investing in a fire extinguisher for your home, that you do your homework and seek out expert advice if needed. It will be your responsibility to ensure that you are fully competent to use the extinguisher during a fire. If there is any doubt at all, then the first plan should always be to just get out of the building.

An effective fire evacuation procedure should be drawn up to include the route for you and your family. This should detail the equipment you will use such as fire face masks that help to prevent toxic smoke inhalation. 

Types of Fire Extinguishers

Water

The water within these extinguishers soaks into the material that is on fire and cools it down. They can be used for fires that have been caused through the burning of wood, paper and any soft furnishing in the home. These extinguishers tend to be large and heavy and should not be used on electrical appliances unless they contain certain additives. This should be checked with the supplier when you purchase the product. 

Foam

The foam fire extinguishers can suffocate a fire by covering them up with a foam layer. If one of the elements of a fire is removed, the fire will be reduced or stopped altogether. In this case, it is the oxygen that is removed. They are suitable for flammable liquids and some can be used on electrical equipment however this will result in damage. 

Carbon dioxide

These fire extinguishers are designed to be dry. They can be used on liquids and as they leave no residue, they are suitable for electrical equipment. The CO2 smothers the fire, again removing the oxygen. However, fire can reignite if the source of the fire is not removed i.e by switching off the mains plug. The CO2 extinguisher is highly pressurised, so if used on a deep fat fryer, the hot oil may be spread. 

Water mist

These extinguishers are designed to release very fine droplets of water that form steam. This steam blocks out the ability of the surrounding oxygen to feed the fire. They are very versatile. They can be used on hot oil fires and some can be used on electrical equipment as they contain treated water which doesn’t conduct electricity. 

Wet chemical

These fire extinguishers are particularly useful in the kitchen for fires that are caused by hot oil. They create a foam that covers the hot fat, blocking out the oxygen and cooling the fire down, thereby removing two elements of the fire triangle.

Top Tips

  • Only use a fire extinguisher if you are confident that you have the know-how to do it correctly
  • Read the instructions and if you have any questions ask the suppliers before needing to use it
  • Make sure the extinguisher is accessible
  • Buy easily portable extinguishers
  • Keep the extinguisher out of the reach of children
  • Always keep yourself in the escape route 
  • If you cannot contain the fire, then evacuate the building.

Fires happen easily in the home and there have been so many tragic events in recent times to act as a harsh reminder. The ever-increasing electrical equipment and the addition of soft furnishings to our modern homes is a recipe for disaster, but it needn’t be. 

Take advice on how to prevent fires and be prepared with effective fire equipment. This includes having to hand family fire smoke masks which can enable you to breath for up to 60 minutes! This may allow enough time for you to put your evacuation plan into effect and escape from a burning building.

Remember that the lives of you and your family may rest on being prepared in case of a fire. It is too easy to think that it will never happen. It can and does.

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