Household Fire Extinguishers and Smoke Detectors

Household Fire Extinguishers

Bob Engelson, Fire Chief 

At least one household multi-purpose extinguisher is recommended for every 600 square feet of living space.
At least one on each level of the home.
Recommended locations are the kitchen, bedroom, utility and furnace rooms, garage, and any other area with a heat source, flammables, or potential for ignition.

Fire extinguishers have a number and letter designation to identify their intended application. A typical small household multi-purpose dry chemical extinguisher is a 1-A:10-B:C.
The number indicates the size of fire the extinguisher is capable of suppressing and the letter identifies the class, or type of fire.

Class A is ordinary combustibles such as wood, paper and cloth.
Class B is flammable liquids.
Class C is electrical fires.

An extinguisher with a 2-A rating will suppress twice as much fire of ordinary combustibles as a 1-A rated extinguisher.

Kitchen type extinguishers, the white ones, are class B:C (flammable liquids and electrical), and are preferred for kitchen applications because clean up after the event is easier and they are less damaging to appliances.

Regular class ABC dry chemical extinguishers, the red ones, are corrosive and clean up is very difficult after the agent contacts hot surfaces such as stovetop elements, and are therefore not preferred for kitchen applications.