Instant Survival Tip: Know your Fires & Choose the Right Extinguisher

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Did you know there are 5 categories of fires? Not all of them respond to fire suppressants in the same way.

  • Class A Fires involve ordinary combustible materials, such as paper, wood, rubber, some plastics.
  • Class B Fires are those with flammable liquids as their source. These could be gasoline, kerosene, lighter fluids and oils. In these cases, only the vapors of the liquids burn.
  • Class C Fires are caused by energized electrical equipment. This is a good reason to rid your home of extension cords, one of the most common causes of house fires, and just in case you’re tempted to plug a power strip into another power strip, don’t!
  • Class D Fires are combustible metals, such as aluminum or magnesium. These aren’t the type of fires you would ordinarily encounter.
  • Class K Fires involve large amounts of cooking oils and occur in restaurants and food plants.

When it comes to buying fire extinguishers, fortunately the ones that are commonly available are effective on fires in classes A, B, and C. This extinguisher is an example of one that is a large enough size to be effective on most small house and vehicle fires.

If you have old extinguishers hanging around, why not put them to good use and take the kids and other family members outside and practice actually using them? Over time, the hoses on old extinguishers can become plugged and the powder inside can become compacted. There’s nothing like hands-on training to really imprint a very important piece of information, how to use a fire extinguisher. When faced with flames, few of us will be calm enough to slow down and read the printed instructions.

Reprinted from The Survival Mom.

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