Fire Safety

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Home Fire Extinguishers

Portable fire extinguishers can save lives and property by containing or putting out small fires.

FIGHTING SMALL FIRES: Before you fight a fire, be sure that….

  • Everyone else has left and someone is calling the fire department.
  • The fire is small, confined, and not spreading (a trash can fire for example).
  • You have an unobstructed escape route.
  • Your extinguisher matches the fire.
Keep your back to a clear exit and stand six to eight feet away from the fire.

There are three common classes of fire in the home. Your extinguisher must match the type of fire that could occur. Extinguishers are labeled with standard symbols or letters for the classes of fire they can put out.    

        Class A fires involve paper, wood, and other ordinary combustibles. 

        Class B fires involve flammable liquids, such as oil, some paints, and gasoline. 

        Class C fires involve energized electrical equipment such as power tools, wiring, fuse boxes, appliances, TVs, computers and electric motors.

A multipurpose extinguisher labeled A, B and C may be used on all three classes of fire.

Extinguishers labeled only for Class A fires contain water and are dangerous if used on cooking oil or electrical fires.

A red slash through any of the fire class-symbols on an extinguisher label tell you the extinguisher cannot be used on that class of fire.

For more information on this topic and other home safety tips, be sure to visit