Caring For Your Fire Extinguisher: What You Need To Know So It Won't Let You Down When You Need It

Posted on: 28 April 2015

Every home should have at least one fire extinguisher on hand in case of emergency. However, you can't just purchase a fire extinguisher and set it just anywhere and forget it. Here are a few things that you need to know about caring for your fire extinguisher properly so it will be ready to save you at a moment's notice.


All fire extinguishers are not created equally. There are different fire extinguishers that should be used for different types of fires, and each fire extinguisher should be labeled for its use. You might not think that this is a big deal, but fires caused by or affecting certain areas need to be treated differently. For example, Class A fire extinguishers are to be used on things such as paper, cardboard and plastic fires. The extinguisher will contain water or special coated chemicals in order to properly kill the fire. Class A extinguishers would just make a grease fire worse, and if you used a Class A fire extinguisher on an electrical fire, you would be at risk electrocuting yourself due to the water present in the extinguisher. 

Before you put your fire extinguisher anywhere, make sure that it is brightly labeled by its class. Take the time to understand what class each fire extinguisher should be used for. A class deals with standard combustion, B class extinguish flammable liquid, such as gas and grease, C class extinguishers are to be used on live electronics, and D class should be used on burning metal. 

If the label on your fire extinguisher falls off, quickly replace it instead of trying to rely on your memory.


A fire extinguisher is of little use if you have to fight to get to it. Every second counts in a fire, and so your fire extinguisher should be in a location that is easily reachable by you. Ensure that it isn't stored behind or under many objects. It should also not be kept in a closet or a cupboard, due to the time it would take to have to find and remove it. Your fire extinguishers should always be placed in a clear area, near potential fire hazards such as the stove, with its label facing outward. 


To ensure that your fire extinguisher doesn't fail when you need it, once a month you should perform a routine inspection. Once a month grab your fire extinguisher and take a look that it is fully charged. Usually there will be a green indicator window that tells you it is fully charged. If the window is red, you need to replace your fire extinguisher or charge it if possible. 

If your fire extinguisher has a pressure gauge, ensure that the pressure is at the right level. Extremely low pressure and your fire extinguisher will not propel liquid properly, extremely high pressure and your fire extinguisher might explode. If an indicator window exists for pressure, it should fall into the zone that is labeled green. You should de and re-pressurize your extinguisher as needed. 

Ensure that the tamper seal or pin on your fire extinguisher has not been removed. If these things are not in place, it means that the seal has been broken. This can result in a slow loss of pressure, or it may mean that someone used it and that it is sitting empty. If the tamper seal or pin is gone, you should replace your extinguisher to be safe. 

Use these tips to keep your fire extinguisher working properly, as well as ensure that you will know when to use it and have easy access to it. Without taking proper care of your fire extinguisher, it may not come to your rescue at the minute you need it the most. 


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