Fire extinguishers can save lives and property, but the Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI) recommends that they only be used by adults who have been trained on how and when to properly use them. The safest thing you can do during a fire is to get to safety outside the house.
- Different types of fires require different types of extinguishers. Most fire extinguishers display pictures or symbols to indicate for what kind of fire they are to be used.
- Purchase a multi-purpose fire extinguisher for your home that is large enough to effectively put out a small fire, but not so heavy that is difficult to handle.
- Purchase fire extinguishers that bear the label of a nationally-recognized testing laboratory.
Your fire extinguishers should be located near exits so that you can easily escape if the fire gets out of control or the room fills with smoke.
- Only use a fire extinguisher if you have been trained to do so.
- Fire extinguishers should only be used on small, contained fires.
- Make sure other people in the house have exited and the fire department has been called before attempting to use a fire extinguisher.
- Do not attempt to use a fire extinguisher in a room where smoke is already accumulating.
- Check your fire extinguishers regularly to ensure the pressure is at the recommended level.
- Hoses and nozzles should also be checked regularly to make sure they are not damaged and are free of holes and debris.
- Check regularly to make sure your fire extinguisher is still easily accessible and has not become blocked by furniture or other items.
- Fire extinguisher exteriors must not have any damage, dents or rust.
- Immediately replace an extinguisher that needs recharging or is damaged.