(Victor Valley)– If you think you don’t need a fire extinguisher in your home, think again. There is ALWAYS a risk of fire. Does your home have electrical wiring? That’s a risk. Do you cook at home? That’s a risk. Is your home in Southern California where there is an extreme drought and a history of wildfires? That’s a risk. Basically, there is no excuse to NOT have a fire extinguisher in your home.
There are four classes of fire extinguishers: A, B, C and D. Choosing the right classification for the type of fire is extremely important.
CLASS A: Ordinary Combustibles- use on wood, paper, plastic, rubber or cloth.
CLASS B: Flammable or Combustible liquids- use on gasoline, oil, grease, tar, lacquer, oil-based paints, and other flammable gases
CLASS C: Electrical Equipment- use on energized electrical equipment such as wiring, fuse boxes, breakers, machinery, and appliances
CLASS D: Combustible Metals- use on industrial metal such as magnesium, titanium, zirconium
The recommended type is an ABC with a 2A:10-B:C rating, which can be found at your local hardware store. Every home should have at least one extinguisher, but it’s a good idea to have one in the kitchen, garage, and workshop. Keep your extinguishers in an unobstructed area and in clear view, making sure everyone in the home knows where they are located and how to operate one.
Just having a fire extinguisher isn’t enough. You need to know how to use it. When a fire breaks out you don’t want to be figuring it out then. Remember to PASS; Pull Aim Squeeze Sweep:
– P = Pull the pin. Be sure the extinguisher nozzle is pointed away from you.
– A = Aim the hose at the base of the fire. Hold the extinguisher vertically, never horizontally. Stand about 6-10 feet away from the fire.
– S = Squeeze the handle fully to release the extinguishing agent through the nozzle. Releasing the lever will stop the discharge.
– S = Sweep the nozzle from side to side aiming at the base of the fire. Continue the sweeping motion until the fire is out. If you run out of chemical before the fire is out, either leave immediately or have a second extinguisher within arm’s reach.
Along with a fire extinguisher and smoke alarms, every household should have an evacuation plan. Practice it! Make sure everyone knows how to get out and where to meet. And never go back inside a burning building! If someone is missing, inform the dispatcher when you call 911. Firefighters have the proper training to perform rescues.
For more safety tips and fire extinguisher information, visit www.sbcfire.org.