Fire Extinguishers

Selecting a Fire Extinguisher
Having a fire extinguisher handy can mean the difference between stopping a small fire or allowing the fire to spread.

An all-purpose fire extinguisher is rated for three types of fires:
  • A "Class A" fire is a wood or paper fire.
  • B "Class B" fire is flammable liquids such as cooking oil or gasoline.
  • C "Class C" fire is an electrical fire.
An ABC class extinguisher will be suitable for all 3 types of fires. Extinguishers come in many different sizes. We recommend at least a 2A10BC extinguisher for the home. Smaller extinguishers fit nicely in the car or boat but do not have the fire fighting ability that a larger unit does. A larger extinguisher might be listed as a 3A40BC.

Using an Extinguisher
Be sure and read the directions that come with the extinguisher. Directions are also permanently affixed to the extinguisher. In general, there are two steps to using a fire extinguisher.
  1. Pull the pin
  2. Aim the hose at the base of the fire and squeeze the handle. Use a side to side sweeping motion. You do not need to get very close to the fire; 8-12 feet is a good distance.
A Few Other Extinguisher Tips
Always position yourself so that you can make a safe exit. NEVER turn your back on the fire, even when you think it's out. Only fight small fires. A portable extinguisher is no match for a large fire. If the fire is too large, do not try and fight it yourself. If possible, shut the door to the fire room. This will keep the fire from spreading to adjoining rooms. It's a good idea to check your extinguishers once a year. Make sure the gauge indicates the proper charge level. Check the hose for obstructions, such as spider nest or other debris. Tip the extinguisher upside down ad tap on the bottom with a rubber mallet. This will prevent the dry chemical powder from caking.

Disposing of an Extinguisher

If you have an old extinguisher that you wish to dispose of, you may throw it in the trash, provided it is fully discharged. You can discharge your extinguisher outside to relieve the pressure. Pick a day where the winds are calm and aim it towards the ground. This is a good time to see how an extinguisher works! The dry chemical is not toxic but is considered an irritant, so take care not to breathe the powder. If you do not wish to discharge the extinguisher yourself, you can call a local fire extinguisher service company to see if they will dispose of it for you. Roseville residents can also call Roseville Fire Prevention at 651-792-7342. We will accept your extinguisher and take care of the disposal for you.