When it comes to fire, it can be something of a double-edged sword. While most of us can use fire for a variety of purposes that can be helpful, the fact is that it can also be extremely dangerous. One of the best ways to put out a roaring inferno is with a fire extinguisher, which is why it can be so crucial to have one on hand in places where a fire could break out. Whether you keep one in your home or place of business, a high-quality extinguisher can be the difference between you and disaster. Today we’re going to discuss the various types of extinguishers you can find, as well as look at some of the best options for personal use. When it comes to safety, you don’t want to leave it up to chance.
Kidde FA110 Multi Purpose Fire Extinguisher 1A10BC
First Alert AF400-2 Tundra Fire Extinguisher Aerosol Spray Twin Pack
Kidde 21005779 Pro 210 Fire Extinguisher
Amerex B500, 5lb ABC Dry Chemical Class A B C Fire Extinguisher
Amerex 240, 2.5 Gallon Water Class A Fire Extinguisher
First Alert FE3A40GR Heavy Duty Plus Fire Extinguisher Red
H3R Performance HG100C HalGuard Chrome Clean Agent Fire Extinguisher
Starting our list is this dry chemical extinguisher from Kidde. When looking at protecting your home or business, the National Fire Protection Association warns that you should have a primary and a supplemental fire suppression system in place. In this case, the Kidde FA110 is designed as the latter, meaning that you will still have to buy something more substantial if you want full protection. That being said, if a small fire breaks out, then this will still do the trick.
One thing to note about this particular model is that it is disposable.
It may look and feel like a refillable tank, but the fact is that you have to toss it if you ever use it or if it expires. Fortunately, it’s rated to last up to ten years, so it’ll be a while before that happens. Best of all, it comes with a gauge on top that shows when it is no longer valid so that you can always know when it’s time to change it.
The other feature that we like about this tank is that it comes with a wall bracket for your convenience. Not only that, but it has clear and easy to read instructions for you to follow should anything happen. Overall, as far as supplemental protection goes this model is practically the gold standard.
Next, we have a fire suppression system that is also supplemental to your primary unit. However, the biggest difference here is that they are portable aerosol cans rather than a standard extinguisher tank. This means that these can be kept almost anywhere to be used in an emergency, including in a vehicle.
What we like most about this model is that it is much easier to use than a traditional extinguisher. When disaster hits, you can sometimes mess up the proper system of using a pin and trigger, but this only uses a nozzle instead. That can make a huge difference in the heat of the moment.
The only downside is that the opening can be hard to spot so you may want to mark the top, so you don’t accidentally spray yourself or anything else. Overall, as far as portable fire suppressors go, these are fantastic.
So far we’ve seen supplemental systems, but now we are getting into the primary versions. If you want to ensure that your home or business is fully protected, then you will need to have something like this on hand. The Pro 210 is rated for all ABC fires and can be refilled and recharged to ensure longer life. Best of all, the pressure gauge tells you when it needs to be checked by a professional, so you never have to guess or pay attention to an expiration date.
What we like most about this extinguisher is that it is lightweight and easy to use. It has a durable handle and easy to follow instructions so that should the worst happen you can stay in control. It has a range of up to fifteen feet, which is more than enough space to keep a safe distance, and it uses dry chemicals, so you know that you will be protected. Finally, it comes with a wall hanger so you can mount it wherever you like.
Next, we have yet another primary suppression system, meaning that this is the way to ensure that you have the best protection when dealing with fire in your home or business. Comparing this to the Kidde model above, however, we have to give the edge to this one.
What we like more about this tank is that it comes with better materials that won’t rust or corrode over time. In the end, you have to think about longevity with these products, and we believe that this will last longer overall. The handle is chrome plated, and the tank is high-quality aluminum.
As with all primary systems it can be recharged and refilled as needed, and it even comes with a handy chart to help you along. If you lose the chart, though, you can still use the pressure gauge on the top to tell you when to check it. Overall, this is an excellent extinguisher.
So far, we’ve seen suppression systems that are rated to combat A, B, and C fires. However, if you want something a bit easier to use that’s slightly more reliable, then this unit from Amerex may be an excellent choice. That being said, it can only combat A fires, so if you deal with oils and grease or hot electronics, then you need something a bit more comprehensive.
What we like about this extinguisher is that it uses water instead of chemicals. That means that cleanup afterward is much easier and less toxic. Also, you can refill the tank yourself if you have an air compressor or inflator on hand. That being said, you have to fill it upon arrival (it’s dangerous to ship compressed water) so plan accordingly. The other thing we appreciate is that it can send a stream of water up to 55 feet, which means that you will always be at a safe distance. Finally, it comes with a mounting bracket for convenience.
We’ve already seen a couple of primary suppression systems, but if you want the best of the best, then this model from First Alert is probably your best option. That’s not to say that the other ones are bad or anything, just that this is slightly better. What sets it apart is that it is rated for commercial use, meaning that if you have an intense fire, you can rely on this more than you could with other models. Also, it has an incredible twelve-year warranty, which shows the kind of quality it is.
The other thing that we like about this extinguisher is that it uses color-coded materials to make the process much easier.
This way you never have to worry about going in the wrong order or pulling the wrong thing as you just have to correspond colors. Overall, this is part of what makes this the best extinguisher we’ve seen overall.
One of the issues with most suppression systems is that they can do just as much damage as the fire itself. Spraying hazardous chemicals all over the place can be a huge problem, not to mention how hard it can be to clean. Thankfully, if you are looking for something a bit less destructive, then this model from H3R is a great buy.
While it’s not rated for Class A fires, this can be a great option for vehicles and electronics. It uses compressed gas to suppress the fire, meaning that there is no cleanup besides any residue left by the flames.
This also means that if you ever have to put out a fire in your car or truck, you can do so without covering everything in chemicals. Overall, this can be a better option if you want to try and preserve your material after putting the fire out.
When looking at each of these extinguishers, it can be hard to pick one that stands out above the rest. Considering that it is something that you hope you never have to use, it can be tricky to determine if one is better than the other. However, for our money, we have to say that the First Alert Extinguisher is the best primary suppression system, and the Kidde FA110 is the best supplemental one. If you are looking for a more specialized tank, however, then we highly recommend the H3R performance as it can provide better results when dealing with electrical or vehicle fires.
Overall, when picking out an extinguisher, it’s imperative that you understand why it’s there in the first place. If you work with fire a lot, then it can be necessary to keep on nearby just in case, but sometimes it can be there in the event of an unplanned disaster. Either way, you want to make sure that the size of the tank is sufficient for your needs so that you can effectively put the fire out before it becomes unmanageable. Portable tanks are ideal for vehicles or camping, while larger ones are ideal for buildings where fires can get quite large. The other thing to consider is how handy it is. Extinguishers can be heavy, so you don’t want to get something so big that it will be unwieldy.
It may surprise you to learn that there are five different kinds of fire extinguisher you can find. Each type is listed by a corresponding letter, which makes it easy to identify when trying to determine the best one for your needs. We’re going to go over each class so that you can better understand the difference between them.
This is one of the more common extinguisher types as it is designed to put out fires caused by most flammable materials. Wood, clothing, and paper are perfect examples of the kinds of materials that this extinguisher can work on. Most models that you find at home or work will be classified as A.
This is another standard class you can find, and most extinguishers can be rated as A, B, and C all together, even though the ratings are for specific things. In this case, B class is for flammable liquids like oil and grease. Whether you’re in the kitchen or the garage, these extinguishers will keep the fire from spreading.
Electrical fires are not that common these days as technology has progressed to the point where most electronics will shut off if they start to malfunction. Nonetheless, they can still happen from time to time, which is where C class extinguishers come into play. Again, many household models are rated for all letters A through C, but you still want to make sure before you buy anything.
Some warehouses and industrial plants deal with metals that can catch fire. Unfortunately, these materials are notoriously hard to put out, which is why you need a specialty kind of extinguisher to do so. You won’t usually find D class models in use for residential purposes, but you may find them at factories and plants.
Finally, these extinguishers are usually located at commercial kitchens that deal with a lot of oils and fats from foods. Because these oils burn so intensely, they may not be deterred by regular B class tanks, so it’s important to have something more powerful, which is why they are listed as K instead.
You may not be aware of this, but most extinguishers have to be refilled on a regular basis. Because the foam and other components can settle and lose their potency, it’s crucial that you keep your tank in working order at all times. The worst thing that could happen is that you try to use one during a disaster and it doesn’t work because it’s outdated.
There are, however, some extinguishers that don’t need to be refilled, but they do have to be tossed out after they’ve passed their date. These disposable extinguishers are usually more portable and designed for light use, such as while camping or in a vehicle. Thus, when picking out an extinguisher, you will want to pay attention to whether or not it can be refilled so that you can plan accordingly.