(BPT) – Did you know there is one tool that you can keep on hand to make sure your home is ready for a fire emergency? Having fire extinguishers — and knowing how to use them — will allow you to act quickly should a fire start.
“Many people may not know just how quickly a fire can start and spread in a residential home,” said Ashley Gocken, senior manager of brand marketing for First Alert, the most trusted brand in home safety. “Having the proper fire extinguishers can make the difference between a small fire and one that causes serious damage or injury, so it is important to have fire extinguishers and know how to use them.”
Follow these fire extinguisher tips in the home to ensure your family is prepared:
Learn your ABCs
All fire extinguishers should have a letter rating of A, B or C that indicates the type of fire they are designed to combat. Class A rated extinguishers can put out fires caused by wood, paper, trash and other common materials. Class B extinguishers are intended for use on fires caused by grease, gasoline and other flammable liquids, while Class C extinguishers are designated for electrical fires caused by appliances, equipment and cords.
Placement is key
According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), unattended cooking is the leading cause of home fires in the U.S. A fire extinguisher should be accessible on each level of your home, especially in high-risk places like the kitchen and garage. Place extinguishers where each adult member of the household can easily reach them and discuss these locations throughout the house with all family members. For added ease of use, First Alert’s multi-rated Rechargeable Home Fire Extinguisher is lightweight and ideal for most common household fires.
Know what to do…
Every First Alert fire extinguisher includes labeling instructions on proper usage, but a simple way to remember how to use your fire extinguisher is with the acronym PASS:
- Pull the pin on the extinguisher
- Aim the nozzle low toward the base of the fire
- Squeeze the trigger
- Sweep the nozzle from side-to-side
…And know when to exit
Your fire extinguisher is a great first step in your fire safety plan and should be used when the fire is contained. When using an extinguisher, keep yourself close to a clear exit so that you can safely leave should a fire spread. If smoke begins to fill the room and the fire does not appear to be extinguishing, exit your home immediately and call 911.
Maintain your extinguishers
When practicing your family escape plan, make a point to also check that your fire extinguishers are not blocked by anything that could impact your access to them should a fire emergency occur. You should also check the gauge, make sure all parts of the extinguisher are operable, and ensure that no damage, such as dents or rust, has appeared on the device. A fire extinguisher that has been discharged is no longer effective, so replace or have a certified professional refill any that have been used.
To learn more about fire safety, visit FirstAlert.com.