Monday, February 2, 2009

Survival Gear for the Home - Fire Extinguishers

Fire extinguishers should be a common item in every household. Fire is one of the most damaging and devastating things that can occur in your life. House fires account for a significant amount of property damage and loss of life each year. One of the easiest ways to prevent this is by keeping a fire extinguisher handy in different areas of your home.

There is no doubt that having a fire extinguisher handy can be an important part of safety in the home. Although many people realize that a fire is possible and could happen at any time at home, most people think it will never happen to them. Owning a fire extinguisher is another form of ensuring your survival, as well as your safety. All homes should have one just in case a fire starts. A fire extinguisher can save you from extensive property loss due to a fire or possible deadly consequences by preventing the fire from spreading to other areas of your home. It will sometimes stop the fire entirely and thus eliminate the danger altogether.

Advantages of Fire Extinguishers

1. Fire Extinguishers are very cost effective.

You do not need to purchase a fire extinguisher very often as they are long lasting and have a very good shelf life. Many disposable type fire extinguishers can have a shelf life of as much as 10 years or more. They usually only require routine maintenance and inspection. Many types of fire extinguishers are also refillable. This adds to their cost effectiveness. Fire extinguishers can offer you protection for a very long time, with minimal cost. You only need to provide proper access and routine maintenance and inspections on a regular basis.

2. Fire Extinguishers require minimal storage space.

Fire extinguishers are one of the few items that you don’t have to hide. You can mount it on a wall where it is readily available in an emergency. Anybody that sees it will probably feel safer in your home as a result. Everyone knows how serious and deadly a fire can be and will feel safer in your home because they know you are prepared to handle a fire should it occur. If you prefer, you can always set them inside a cabinet as long as you make sure they are easily accessible.

3. Fire extinguishers are easy to use.

Using a fire extinguisher is quite simple. The instructions are usually written on the fire extinguisher itself. There are some basic steps to remember when using a fire extinguisher.

Pull the pin out of the top of the fire extinguisher.

Aim the nozzle of the fire extinguisher at the base of the fire.

Squeeze the lever or trigger to release the contents of the fire extinguisher.

Sweep the fire as you squeeze the lever or trigger of the fire extinguisher.

Use the acronym PASS to help you remember. Pull. Aim. Squeeze. Sweep.

Fire extinguishers require very simple and routine maintenance. This will vary depending on the type and manufacturer. It is also important to remember that fires can happen anywhere. They can occur on your boat, RV, travel trailer or in a shed or garage. With a low net cost, easy maintenance, and an item that can be used in every home, building or vehicle, a fire extinguisher should be mandatory for your safety and survival. Personally, I keep a fire extinguisher in the kitchen, utility room, hallway and garage. I also keep a small one in my vehicles.

Part 2 will cover the different types of fire extinguishers and their use.

Staying above the water line!



HermitJim said...

Excellent suggestion, my friend...and once again you have touched on a subject that I have been overlooking.

See, that's why I read these blogs everyday, to be reminded and taught! Priceless...thank you!

riverwalker said...


It's something everyone truly needs. I have only had to use one of mine in thirty years but it was a real lifesaver. Thanks.


Anonymous said...

Very good information. Also chime in to add a coupla battery powered carbon monoxide detectors, figuring folks will be burning wood, charcoal or some combustible that releases fumes which aren't fit for man or beast. Happens pretty often down here in winter, family members dying because of bringing burning charcoal inside, not realizing they are risking their lives.

Of course, smoke detectors as well should be also purchased.

riverwalker said...

To: anonymous

Great ideas for another post! Thanks. More on smoke and carbon monoxide detectors at a later date.


Mayberry said...

On fire extinguishers, the bigger, the better... Also, look for CO2 extinguishers. Most are dry chemical type, and man do they make a mess. Maybe a post on the different classes of fire and how to fight them? If you'd like, I could do that for TPN, I had mucho damage control training in the Navy.....

riverwalker said...

To: Mayberry

Excellent idea there! A post at TPN on the different types of fires and how to fight them would be be great if you have the time. Most of my experience is from a commercial standpoint and I'm sure the different viewpoint wiold be appreciated by TPN's readers. Thanks.


Will e-mail ya tomorrow! Got yours but been busy with work stuff...gave me some extra duties but no extra pay.

Martha said...

This is an important point to have raised and I adhere to the comments about the types of fire and subsequently the types of Fire Extinguishers needed. Maybe you should write about Fire Blankets, these can be useful in one of the most common forms of fire, from deep fat fryers, chip pans or any pan with exceptionally hot oil and also do not leave a mess. Indeed some can even be reused!

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