A distraction. A phone call while cooking is enough to start a fire in the house. When this happens, the first few moments are crucial to prevent it from flaring up. Many times, you can turn off the fire simply by hand or with a cloth, but on other occasions, the use of an extinguisher may be necessary.
Fire extinguishers are very useful equipment. In some environments, such as in offices or in the workplace, they are even mandatory. In this article, we will explain everything you need to know about fire extinguishers.
Here we had listed out the best fire extinguishers that are given below.
Buying Guide to Select the Best Fire Extinguishers
Now that you have seen the fire extinguishers that we have selected, it is time to get to know all their details in depth.
Fire extinguishers are necessary elements for safety at home, at work, and almost everywhere. If a fire starts, you will definitely want to have one nearby. In this section, we will try to clarify all your doubts about it.
Fire extinguishers sold on the market can be substantial of three types: foam, powder, or carbon dioxide. Foam fire extinguishers are perhaps the best known, these are able to put out a limited amount of fires, mainly those generated by solids, with excellent effect, and liquids.
The foam, however, has side effects and can potentially ruin objects and other personal effects present in the place where it is used, therefore it is still necessary to consider this factor before purchasing one.
Next, we have the powder ones, which exploit solid chemical elements that cover the flames by subtracting their oxygen to feed.
These fire extinguishers are very versatile and can be used to extinguish fires deriving from solids, liquids, gases, metals, and electrical appliances.
Be careful though, especially in the last case since the chemical powder could make them unusable, moreover, if inhaled, they can cause serious health problems.
The powder fire extinguishers, therefore, especially the very capacious and wheeled ones, are preferable in large and open places, such as parking lots and industrial buildings where the risk of inhalation is lower, further reduced if you decide to also use protective masks.
Finally, there are CO2 extinguishers, containing carbon dioxide. The gas binds to oxygen, making the environment inhospitable to the flames that gradually go out.
Although they can be used to extinguish fires resulting from solids, they have little effect and are preferable in the case of fires of liquids, gases, or electrical appliances.
Portable or Wheeled
A fire extinguisher can be defined portable when it goes from a minimum of 1 to a maximum of 12 kg, from 18 kg upwards, up to over 100 kg, they are wheeled, i.e. equipped with a wheeled structure and a real nozzle from the variable length.
The cost is increasing and it is therefore not recommended to buy a 12 kg fire extinguisher to bring in the car if for any fire in the vehicle just a 2 kg one is sufficient.
The wheeled vehicles also generally need two operators to be used, one that holds the fire extinguisher still and active, and the second one that holds the lance and directs it to extinguish the flames.
Keeping in mind the information we have provided you can choose more consciously which fire extinguishers to buy and easily find the product that best suits your needs among the best fire extinguishers of 2022 that we have had the opportunity to review for you.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Much Does It Cost to Recharge a Fire Extinguisher?
Once used, the fire extinguisher is to be defined as exhausted, therefore deprived of the liquid, foam, or powder capable of taming the flames and before being used again it needs to be refilled.
These are performed by companies that then certify their ability to be reused. The procedure has a variable cost, based on the extent of the fire extinguisher and the type and can range from a few tens of euros to over a hundred.
How Long Does a Fire Extinguisher Last?
A fire extinguisher does not have a real expiration date, however, it must be taken into account that with the passage of time the pressure inside decreases, making it less efficient in case of use.
Therefore, according to Italian regulations, it is necessary to subject the fire extinguisher to a six-monthly check where the various components will be tested and if the need arises, the product will also be refilled.
These operations have a variable cost, but being mandatory, it is not possible to escape, especially for a safety issue in the workplace.
As a rule, a portable fire extinguisher cannot, however, be used after 18 years from the date of manufacture, after this period it must be disposed of and you will have to get a new one.
Where Do You Throw a Fire Extinguisher?
Fire extinguishers that can no longer be recharged must be disposed of following procedures established by law. Each type of fire extinguisher has an EWC code, some considered dangerous and others not.
Therefore you must identify the code of your fire extinguisher to understand what type of waste it is. Once discovered, you can proceed with the disposal which must be carried out by specialized and authorized companies.
This is an extremely important step since incorrect disposal can lead to monetary sanctions and, in the most serious cases, also criminal liability.
If you have a fire extinguisher at home or in the office that must be disposed of, therefore, do not do it in a “do it yourself” way, but contact a specialized company that will be able to handle the procedure correctly.
How to Use a Fire Extinguisher?
Fire extinguishers are emergency tools that allow you to tame small fires and prevent the flames from developing progressively in your home or workplace.
You may feel safe from such accidents, however, the reality is quite different, especially if you are in the kitchen or have an electrical appliance in the house that apparently does not show any problems until it causes a short circuit.
Having a fire extinguisher handy is a real guarantee of survival and everyone should, therefore, get at least one portable 1 or 2 kg.
Although it is always hoped that it should not be used, it is still good to keep in mind the procedure to operate it when needed. Before activating it, remember to position yourself near an exit, to move back and out of the building as soon as the opportunity presents itself.
Therefore, remove the safety pin that locks the fire extinguisher handle, usually positioned on the side and easily recognizable by the ring shape, for faster extraction with your fingers, a system that prevents accidental use.
Grab the drainpipe pointing it towards the base of the flames, remembering that the average range of the products is about 3/4 meters, and press the handle with your right hand thus letting out the liquid, dust, or gas.
Do not get too close to the beginning but advance as the flames begin to go out to better direct the jet. Attention if you use a fire extinguisher that emits CO2, the carbon dioxide is in fact delivered by a small horn near the handle and must not be touched without protective gloves since the gas comes out at very low temperatures and you could risk freezing burns.
When the fire seems to be extinct, continue to use the fire extinguisher for a few seconds, to make sure that there is no other fuel capable of reviving it. To evacuate the building quickly waiting for the firefighters.
Here also we shared a video guide about how to use the fire extinguishers so you can get a proper idea about that.
What to Check to See if A Fire Extinguisher Is Efficient?
In case of fire, there is no time to check whether the fire extinguisher can be used or not, therefore it is an operation that must be carried out over time.
As required by law, fire extinguishers must be checked every six months by specific bodies which, after carrying out the check, will issue control certificates to be attached by means of a clamp to the fire extinguisher.
All these essential information are indicated on these cards, such as the date of the check. This element is enough to understand if a fire extinguisher can be used or not, but we invite you to keep an eye on the pressure gauge usually positioned at the top to understand if there is enough pressure or if the fire extinguisher needs further adjustment.