How to choose the right Fire Extinguisher

How to choose the right Fire Extinguisher

How to choose the right Fire Extinguisher

Fire extinguishers may all look the same from the outside, but there are actually different types of extinguishers designed to extinguish different types of fires. In case of fire, having the right type of fire extinguisher according to the situation is critical to protecting lives and assets.

Here are 3 important considerations to keep in mind when choosing the fire extinguisher for your place.

What type of hazards are you likely to face?

One should be able to identify fire hazards that are likely to give rise to a fire in your home or business. Fire hazards in the majority of situations occur due to ordinary combustible materials, flammable liquids like oil or gas, or electrical appliances and tools.

Fire extinguishers are categorised based on the class of fire they are able to extinguish. One can find two different types of classification labels on these Fire Extinguishers. Older fire extinguishers have rectangle shape labels with colours that indicate their classification, while newer extinguishers are labelled with graphical pictures that show the class of fires they can be used to extinguish.

Class A: Ordinary combustible materials (paper, cloth, wood)

Class B: Flammable liquids (grease, gasoline, oil)

Class C: Electrical equipment (appliances, tools)

Class D: Flammable metals

Class K: Cooking oils, vegetable oil, animal fat

Many extinguishers are designed as multi-purpose which can be used for homes as well as offices, such that they are appropriate for classes A through C. 

What is an ISI rating?

Also located on the fire extinguisher label is the ISI number. All Fire Extinguishers are tested by the Indian Standard for safety and performance. This standard is formulated for giving guidance regarding proper selection, installation and maintenance of portable first-aid fire extinguishers to enable extinguishers to function at all time as intended throughout their useful life.

What size do you need?

The size of the fire extinguishers plays an important role in extinguishing the fire. Fire extinguishers need to be large enough to control fire at their very initial phase, but not so large and heavy that it becomes difficult for the average person to hold and use.

Along with the size of the extinguisher, it is also important to consider the size of the room for which you are purchasing the fire extinguisher.  Both, the size of the room and the size of the extinguishers combined can let one decide how quickly the fire could be put out considering the hazards in that particular area.

Some of the most common extinguisher sizes in homes and business include:

  • 4 Kg: Best for commercial spaces, warehouses, and areas such as garages or workshops where there may be more hazardous materials.
  • 2 Kg: Best for typical offices and household spaces
  • 1 Kg: Best for cars or trucks

Learn the right way to use a fire extinguisher

No matter what type, how high quality or how many fire extinguishers you purchase, the most important factor in the extinguisher’s ability to put out a fire is in knowing the correct way to operate it. Be sure to train yourself and your colleagues or family members on how to properly control fire using a fire extinguisher.

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