Fire Extinguishers & Fire Safety: What You Need To Know

fire safety plan box

While all businesses in the Greater Toronto Area are required to have a certain number and type of fire extinguishers, homeowners also should have fire extinguishers on hand. Before you purchase a fire extinguisher, read our list of facts that all homeowners need to know.

1. There Are Many Types Of Fire Extinguishers
Not all fires are the same, and homeowners need extinguishers that can put out several different types of fires. Fires types are separated into different categories or classes, including:

Class A Fires: These fires related to combustible materials such as paper or wood products.

Class B Fires: These are grease-related fires, as well as fires related to materials such as oil, gasoline, oil-based paint, propane, butane, etc. Kitchen fires typically are Class B fires, but these also can start in a garage or anywhere oils and grease is present.

Class C Fires: These are electrical fires, which are a common cause of household fires, such as when dryer lint catches on fire.

Class D Fires: These are flammable metal fires, and not something that most homeowners need to worry about, unless they have a workshop with welding equipment.

Class K Fires: These are grease and oil-related fires, but typically these are fires that occur in restaurant kitchens.

Which extinguisher do you need?

For most homeowners, it is recommended that you purchase an ABC fire extinguisher. As the name suggests, these will put out Class A, Class B and Class C fires, which can handle just about any household fire you might encounter.

2. You Need More Than One Fire Extinguisher
If you have a fire in the garage and you only have one extinguisher located in your kitchen, that’s less than helpful. You should have extinguishers located throughout your home.

We recommend one for the kitchen, definitely, but it’s also wise to have one in the garage, the utility/laundry room and each bathroom, as these are common areas for fires. You also should have a fire extinguisher in any room with a working fireplace, and it’s wise to keep one in each bedroom closet. If you have to escape from your bedroom in the middle of the night, having an extinguisher handy can greatly increase your safety.

3. Fire Extinguishers Need To Be Checked
Fire extinguishers don’t last forever, although you typically can expect an extinguisher to work for at least five years from the date of purchase. It is important that you check all of your extinguishers once a month to ensure that they are fully charged and ready to go.

To check them, simply look at the gauge at the top of the extinguisher. There are three sections of this gauge and you want the needle to be pointing in the green section, which indicates that the extinguisher is charged and ready to go.

If the needle is in the red “Recharge” or “Overcharged” section, then you either need to replace the extinguisher or hire a specialist, such as Tesla Fire Systems, to recharge the extinguisher.

Keep in mind; some extinguishers are disposable while others are rechargeable. If you have the disposable type, it’s only meant for a single use and cannot be refilled. Also, if you have a rechargeable fire extinguisher and use it, it must be recharged after each use, even if you don’t empty the canister.

4. Do You Have A Kidde Extinguisher? Check Its Date.
In 2017, Kidde, a leading manufacturer of fire extinguishers, recalled about 40 million of its extinguishers. These extinguishers, which featured plastic handles or plastic push buttons were found to be defective and would clog rather than discharge fire retardant.

If you have a Kidde extinguisher and you purchased it several years ago, go to this page on the Kidde website (https://www.kidde.com/home-safety/en/us/support/product-alerts/recall-kidde-fire-extinguisher/) to determine if your extinguisher was included in this recall.

If it was included in the Kidde recall, then you definitely want to replace the extinguisher with a different model. You can contact the company at (855) 233-2882 for more information about the recall and replacement options.

5. Remember The PASS Acronym
As with many fire safety products, a fire extinguisher is only helpful if you know how to use it. To make it easy just remember the PASS acronym:

P – Pull the Pin
A – Aim the extinguisher at the base of the fire
S – Squeeze the handle
S – Sweep the extinguisher from side to side

6. You Need More Than Fire Extinguishers
Working smoke detectors and fire alarms are crucial for any homeowner, as well as working CO2 detectors. Here, we really want to stress the word “working,” as most fire-related fatalities occur in dwellings without working fire/smoke alarms.

Not only do you need to ensure these are in good working order, you also need to have them located strategically throughout your home to ensure maximum safety. You need detectors in the kitchen, rooms with fireplaces, the garage and in the hallways outside of bedrooms.

Many fire-related deaths occur at night, so it’s crucial that you have alarms nearby that will wake you up as soon as smoke or fire has been detected. If your home has more than one storey, invest in a fire safety ladder so that you always have a route of escape. We also recommend additional safety items, such as a fire blanket.

At Tesla Fire Systems, we sell just about any type of fire extinguisher you might need, either for homeowners or businesses. For homeowners, we typically recommend our 5 lb. Amerex ABC Multi-Purpose Extinguisher or the 2.5 lb. Amerex ABC Multi-Purpose Extinguisher.

For our 5 lb. fire extinguisher, we offer the best price in the GTA at just $59 per extinguisher. This is a perfect extinguisher for the kitchen, garage or a room with a fireplace. The 2.5 lb. fire extinguisher is a great option for bathrooms and smaller spaces, as it’s a bit easier to store.

In addition to our selection of fire extinguishers, we sell all types of fire safety equipment, including smoke detectors and alarms, CO2 detectors, fire safety ladders, emergency lighting and more. We can install fire alarm systems for homeowners as well as any size business, so if you need a fire safety upgrade, contact the team at Tesla Fire Systems at any time.