First, select the type of extinguishing agent for the type of fire that you are most likely to have. Things that burn have been divided into 4 classes:
- Class A – ordinary combustibles (paper, wood, cardboard, etc)
- Class B – flammable liquids (cooking grease, gasoline, kerosene, etc)
- Class C – fires involving energized electrical equipment
- Class D – combustible metals
Many of the common fire extinguishers are the ABC type, which means that they can be used on a Class A, Class B, or Class C fire. This would cover almost all common household fires.
Next, decide upon the size. A common size for households is the 5 pound size. If you have any question regarding extinguisher size for business or apartment building use, please contact the Marion Fire Department Fire Prevention Bureau at 377-8237.
Here are a few pointers for extinguisher use:
- Always direct the agent stream to the base of the fire.Be careful not to splatter a flammable liquids fire.
- If a pan of grease on the stove is on fire and the cover to the pan is handy, try to extinguish the fire by sliding the pan lid onto the pan.This will smother the fire.Sprinkling baking soda on fire may also put it out.DO NOT TRY TO CARRY THE PAN OUTSIDE AS IT MAY SPLASH AND BURN YOU!
- Check your extinguishers pressure gauge periodically.If the pressure is low, have the extinguisher serviced or replaced.(NOTE:Marion Fire Department does not service extinguishers.For businesses that service and sell extinguishers, look in the Yellow Pages under Fire Extinguishers.)
Please remember that if you have a fire, your most important task is to get you and your family to a place of safety. Do not fight a fire if you are putting yourself and/or other at risk by doing so. Instead, retreat and call 911.
The Marion Fire Department does offer fire extinguisher training for businesses, for a nominal fee and is some cases your insurance company will cover that fee. If you have any further questions of fire extinguishers or fire safety, please call Marion Fire Department at 377-8237.