In this terrifying world of gargantuan storms, earthquakes, wildfires and floods, it’s best to be prepared. There are certain household items everyone should have on hand in case of an emergency to keep you as safe as possible. An emergency kit filled with critical supplies, a portable generator, shelf stable food and an emergency radio are all good things to have in case you’re stranded or without power for a few days. Another excellent piece of equipment that could be life-saving, and at the very least property-saving, in a pinch? A fire extinguisher.
Fire extinguishers will be your first line of defense in the case of a fire in your home, car or place of business and will help ensure your family and co-workers remain safe. You probably already have smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms scattered throughout your home and/or office, so why not add some additional safety with a reliable fire extinguisher?
They’re a great idea to have around in case something goes terribly wrong with the stove, a hair straightener gets left on for a little too long or a candle decides to get adventurous. Accidents happen, but having a fire extinguisher, and knowing how to use it, could mean the difference between a 911 dial and a close call.
What To Consider Before Buying A Fire Extinguisher
It’s important to equip your home with the right type of extinguisher, so you’ll want to familiarize yourself with the different kinds of fires you could potentially encounter. Ordinary combustibles fall under Class A, flammable liquid spills are Class B and fires involving live electrical equipment are Class C.
In addition, it may help if your fire extinguisher is rechargeable (a.k.a. refillable) so that, rather than throwing them away after use, you can get them refilled. Another important tip is to know where to keep them — ideal placement in the home is one in the kitchen and one in the garage, but this depends on how large your home is. For example, First Alert recommends having an extinguisher on every level.
Speaking of, nearly all fire extinguishers worth purchasing online come from two brands: Amerex and First Alert. The truth of the matter is, a fire extinguisher purchase does not have to be complicated. As long as you’re purchasing one that’s classified for the fires above, and is UL-certified, you’ll be giving yourself an equally-good chance of putting out a fire.
How We Chose the Best Fire Extinguishers
When it comes to emergencies, you want to stick with trusted brands, which is why our options come from brands like Amerex and First Alert, which have long track records and specialize in fire safety products. We also picked options for different settings. There are large professional options on this list, in addition to smaller household extinguishers.
Plus, we included some compact options that are designed for storing in your car. Most of the options are rated for ABC fires, but there are a few BC options, such as the auto option, which will work for the kinds of flames you might encounter with your car. We didn’t include Class K fire extinguishers because these are primarily for commercial settings. These are some of the best options to buy.
1. First Alert Fire Extinguisher
You can rely on the mechanics of this First Alert fire extinguisher, which has an all-metal construction and a commercial-grade valve and trigger. It’s multipurpose and can fight A, B and C fires from wood, plastic, paper, gasoline and more. The flame fighting agent is professionally approved and it’s got a built-in metal pull pin and safety seal so it won’t accidentally discharge. The instructions and gauge are easy to read, and it’s been approved by the U.S. Coast Guard for use at sea.
Pros: Heavy-duty construction, approved by the Coast Guard. Reliable multipurpose fire extinguisher. Mounting bracket is included for installation in commercial spaces.
Cons: Mount is not as durable as other brands. This extinguisher is rechargeable but needs to be done professionally.
2. Amerex B417 ABC Dry Chemical Class Fire Extinguisher
If you’re looking for a fire extinguisher that can handle a variety of different kinds of potential issues, this option from Amerex is an ABC class extinguisher. What that means is that it’s suited for ordinary combustibles, flammable liquid and live electrical equipment. The small size makes it a great option for regular homeowners. This extinguisher can also be refilled.
Pros: Rechargeable design. ABC class meets most needs.
Cons: Included bracket could be better.
3. First Alert PRO5 Rechargeable Fire Extinguisher
This fire extinguisher from First Alert is UL-rated 3 A and 40 B:C, and it also exceeds the minimum 2 A:10 B:C code requirements. It’s got a durable, all-metal construction with a commercial-grade metal valve and head. It’s got a heavy-duty design that’s ideal for homes, small businesses and offices. It can fight wood, fabric, paper and electrical fires, and is rechargeable by professionals after each use. It comes with a mounting bracket as well as an easy-to-read, color-coded and corrosion-resistant pressure gauge so you always know it’s good to go.
Pros: Commercial-grade, hefty and powerful, comes with its own mounting bracket.
Cons: Does not come with bracket straps.
4. First Alert Car Fire Extinguisher
The point of emergency preparedness is to be ready for situations you’re likely to never be in, which is why it’s good to have a few different extinguishers for different settings. This option from First Alert is suited for your car — it’s compact, so it won’t take up too much space in your cabin or trunk. Plus, it comes with a secure mount, so it won’t roll around while you’re driving. It’s a class C extinguisher, so it’s specifically designed for the kinds of problems you’re most likely to encounter.
Pros: Good automotive option. Small size. Includes mount.
Cons: Class BC, so it’s not designed for every kind of fire.
5. FIRST ALERT Kitchen Fire Extinguisher
This option from First Alert is designed as a kitchen fire extinguisher. It’s a small option that can be kept in your cabinet, or it can be mounted using the convenient bracket. Plus, its small size means it’s manageable and easy to use. It’s BC-rated, meaning that it’s designed to fight flammable liquid and electrical fires.
Pros: Compact size. Works for flammable liquid and electrical fires.
Cons: Not designed for every kind of fire.
6. SMOKE DOCTOR 4-in-1 Mini Suppressant
Good things come in small packages, and this 4-in-1 fire suppressant spray from SMOKE DOCTOR is made to be used in a kitchen, on a boat or in a garage in case of small fires. It’s formulated to put out fires sparked by grease, clothing, batteries and more, and has an ergonomic design that’s easy to fire. It’s specially made to not leave behind any stains, residue or mess, and has a non-toxic and biodegradable formula.
Pros: Small can that’s easy to discharge, portable, formulated to not leave behind a mess after use.
Cons: Not made to be used on electrical fires.
7. Amerex B500 Fire Extinguisher
The Amerex Dry Chemical Fire Extinguisher is suitable for use on Class A, B and C fires which include trash, wood, paper, liquids, gasses and electrical equipment. This fire extinguisher is suitable for home and commercial use, is fitted with a pressure gauge that provides at-a-glance status and has an all-metal (aluminum) valve construction.
Pros: This is a rechargeable unit and sturdy at five pounds. Wall mount included.
Cons: It is recommended to have it professionally recharged and maintained, which might not be so convenient.