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Did You Know Series - Fire Extinguishers

May 10, 2024

Did you know - Fire Extinguishers

The first patented fire extinguisher dates to 1723 in England to Ambrose Godfrey, a chemist. It wasn’t until 1816 until a portable pressurized unit was invented.  The design has evolved over the years using various extinguishing chemical concoctions and delivery mechanisms. Contributions to the design evolution have come from all over the world; Germany, Poland, England, Russia, US including the Pyrene Company from Delaware, to name a few.

There are many different kinds in use to this day, however, most are now classified as Class A, B, C, K or combination Class ABC type fire extinguishers. Each class is capable of extinguishing different fuel sources of the fire. Some are refillable, and some are single use.

Did you know cooking is still the primary cause of residential fires accounting for 29.5% of tracked incidents.  We would encourage you to have an appropriate class extinguisher in your kitchen and take the time to learn how it’s used. Here’s a short video. Your garage and/or basement is another great location. In fact, many municipalities now require a fire extinguisher to get an occupancy permit in single family dwellings. Commercial businesses do have requirements for Fire Exinguishers quantities and placement. 

Here are the different classes:

  • Class A– Solid combustibles excl. wood, metal, cloth, paper, plastics, and rubber
  • Class B– Flammable liquids incl. oil, gasoline, paint, and grease
  • Class C– Energized electrical fire 
  • Class D– Electrical equipment incl. outlets and appliances
  • Class K– Cooking oil, animal and vegetable fats, and grease

As we discussed regarding smoke detectors a little attention is required of your fire extinquishers. When you change the batteries in your smoke detectors inspect your fire extinguishers to make sure they are still charged. Most have a guage - simply look if the needle is pointing to GREEN. The NFPA has important information about Fire Extinguishers here. You can download the fact sheet. 

Don't have a fire extinguisher? -- You can get them from most hardware/home improvement stores and even online from Amazon and others. Good places to install/mount a fire extinguisher are Basements, Sheds, Garages, Kitchens.  Commercial spaces have different requirements. 

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