Maintenance, Location And Use Of A Fire Extinguisher

Construction & Contractors Blog

Most people know that having a fire extinguisher in their house is a good idea, but not everyone knows the best place to store it, how often to do maintenance checks or how to even use it if the need arises.

Location

The two most common areas for fires in a home are the kitchen and the garage.  Keeping a fire extinguisher in the kitchen ensures that most grease fires can be contained.  You want to make sure that the extinguisher is not near the stove, or else you will get burned trying to reach it.  Putting it near the door to the kitchen is a good location for easy access.  The garage is often used to store many flammable materials making it a good place for an extinguisher.  Again, next to the door is the best spot for an extinguisher.

Keeping your extinguisher ready

Overtime, extinguishers lose pressure which makes them useless if you need to use them. Units should be checked at least once a month.  There is generally a gauge on the unit.  The needle should be in the green.  If you have a hard time remembering to check the extinguisher you can purchase units that use a 9-volt battery that will flash and beep when the system needs to be refilled.  There are also versions that can be linked to a home security system and will notify 911 when it has been pulled from the wall.  Also, regularly check to make sure that there are no belongings blocking access to the extinguisher and that the there are no dents, rust or signs of wear.  Some manufacturers recommend shaking your dry chemical extinguishers once a month to prevent the powder from setting.

How to use an extinguisher

Pull-Pull the extinguisher's safety pin.  It releases a locking mechanism and allows the extinguisher to discharge.

Aim-You should aim the extinguisher toward the source of the fire, not the flames themselves.  Aiming at the base of the fire will extinguish the fuel.  Be sure to stand a safe distance from the fire, most extinguishers recommend how close you can spray from.  As the fire lessens, you can move closer.

Squeeze-Next, continuously squeeze the trigger.  Make sure the can stays upright.

Sweep-Keep sweeping the source of the flames back and forth until the extinguisher runs dry.

Anytime that you need to use an extinguisher, make sure to recharge it-no matter how much was used.  You never want to be caught unprepared in a dangerous situation.

For more fire safety tips, contact a local company, like Amerisafe.

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4 September 2015

Those Cold, January Nights

When I was in college, I lived in an old house just south of the university campus with five other girls. When we came back from Christmas break, the heater was broken. The beginning of January was the coldest time of the year, and because it was the weekend, the heating company couldn't come fix it for a few days. My roommates and I pulled our mattresses into the front room and slept all together to keep warm. Two weeks later, our heater broke again! That time we ended up getting a completely new furnace. Needless to say, we got to be good friends with the heating contractor that month, and it was a good experience that led to the creation of this blog.