Most of us know that it’s important to protect our homes, offices and small businesses with updated and working fire alarms and carbon monoxide monitors. These items are usually pre-installed in a house regardless of whether you’re buying a new home, resale, or renting. But we often forget that a big part of fire safety is having a fire extinguisher on hand.
It’s recommended to have a fire extinguisher on every level of the home, plus an additional fire extinguisher in the kitchen and garage where fires are more common. The most common emergency that small businesses should plan for and expect is a fire. While some smaller fires in homes and offices can be put out with the use of a fire extinguisher, they can also help contain larger fires until the fire department arrives on the scene.
There are two important things to note when using a fire extinguisher. First, if the fire is larger than what you can safely handle with a fire extinguisher, evacuate immediately. Secondly, if the extinguisher has been emptied and the fire continues, evacuate immediately.
The three fire extinguishers included on our list are all rated ABC Class, which means they can be used on Class A (ordinary combustibles like wood, paper, trash, plastics and more), Class B (Flammable liquid spills) or Class C (fires involving live electrical equipment). For more on which fire extinguishers to add to your home or workplace, check out our list below.
1. Kidde Multi Purpose Fire Extinguisher (4 Pack)
Featuring an updated design that includes a brand new metal valve, handle and lever, the Kidde Multi-Purpose Fire Extinguisher is US Coast Guard approved. The Kidde is both ABC class and UL rated 1-A, making it ideal for use in homes, offices, small business and more.
Pros: We like that the Kidde is lightweight and simple to use thanks to its easy pull safety pin as well as its clear gauge, which tells you when the fire extinguisher is charged for use. The Kidde has a six-year warranty, which is twice as long as most competitors.
Cons: The hanging bracket included with the Kidde does not come with screws which makes removing the extinguisher from the bracket somewhat difficult.
2. Amerex Dry Chemical Fire Extinguisher
The Amerex Dry Chemical Fire Extinguisher takes 14 seconds to discharge the containers’ five pounds of dry chemicals — giving you those precious extra seconds to fight a big blaze.
Pros: The Amerex is the heaviest fire extinguisher on our list and is most suitable for larger fires. Made with all-metal valve construction and featuring an aluminum valve, the Amerex comes with a wall bracket that makes it easy to mount.
Cons: The Amerex has the longest discharge time of any extinguisher on our list but is also the largest physically, which means it may not fit in tight areas for storage.
3. First Alert Standard Home Fire Extinguisher
The First Alert offers an environmentally friend option for fire extinguishers, giving users the ability to have their fire extinguisher recharged (refilled) after each use.
Pros: The extinguisher is UL rated 1 A: 10 B:C and includes a metal pull pin with a safety seal to protect against accidentally discharge. Like the Kidde, the First Alert is also approved by the US Coast Guard, making it suitable for use on boats. We like that the First Alert extinguisher is corrosion-resistant and has a waterproof label with easy to read instructions.
Cons: Included wall mount is not the highest quality.