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Fire extinguisher recommendation

Post in 'The Gear' started by Cearbhaill, Dec 10, 2007.

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  1. Cearbhaill

    Cearbhaill Feeling the Heat

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    Searched, but no clear answer...

    I am asking for a recommendation for a fire extinguisher specifically to be kept near the entrances to my burning zone. I do have a huge bag of baking soda right there but would feel much better if I knew I had a fire extinguisher and further that it was exactly the right type and of a sufficient size to do the job thoroughly. Either rechargeable or not, doesn't matter.

    I know nothing about them other than there are differing types for different types of fires- if the answer/s could possibly be directed at the :snake: "wood burning stove" :snake: type fire I would appreciate it. I am also unsure which size I would need.
    I have both Kidde and First Alert brands available locally.

    I lost a home to a fire way back in 1977 and have always scoffed at the idea that it could happen to me twice, but since the addition of my insert I think it best to stay prepared.

    Thanks...

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  2. isuphipsi1052

    isuphipsi1052 New Member

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    My recommendation as a firefighter, would be at least a 10lb Dry-Chem. And yes, keep it near the exits of your home. You want it near the exits to try to knock any fire down quickly and to afford yourself a means of egress if you're not successful...
  3. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    I'll second the 10 pound size. For most home owner use (including wood stoves and fireplaces) get one that is rated for A,B,C. It will handle wood, grease and electrical fires. The most all around friendly. Keep in mind, if you have a grease fire in the kitchen, your gonna grab the first extinguisher you think about.
  4. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    Would it not be a better idea to get more than one? One by the entrance and one next to the bed.
  5. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    Fire extinguishers are like smoke detectors, I don't think there is such a thing as too many. (well, as long as they don't block your exit path ;-) )
  6. Cearbhaill

    Cearbhaill Feeling the Heat

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    I will be getting more than one, but I wanted my basement one to be 100% correct for this application.

    And don't assume everyone sleeps in a bed :eek:hh:
    I'm sleeping on a sofa right next to this thing until I am positive I am doing everything correctly. Right now I'm still too wary to go upstairs and leave it alone overnight. Plus I don't sleep well anyway so am up and down all night regardless.

    Thanks everyone.
    (Sorry I put it in the wrong Forum originally, Mods)
  7. Cearbhaill

    Cearbhaill Feeling the Heat

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    OK- I'm going to show my ignorance again...

    Which mark indicates pounds? I'm seeing labels like 2A10BC, 3A40BC, 4A60BC.
    Is pounds the 10, 40, 60?
    'Cuz I don't think so.

    I'm finding info like "The number preceding the A multiplied by 1.25 gives the equivalent extinguishing capability in gallons of water. The number preceding the B indicates the size of fire in square feet that an ordinary user should be able to extinguish. "
    and
    "Each fire extinguisher also has a numerical rating that serves as a guide for the amount of fire the extinguisher can handle. The higher the number, the more fire-fighting power. "
    but nothing that is 100% clear to me.

    This is very important.
    It should be easier.
  8. Gibbonboy

    Gibbonboy New Member

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    The numbers just give an indication of the "power" in each classification that a certain extinguisher has, some may be better "A" class than others, etc. A 10-pound MINIMUM size, look for the highest number in the "A" category, that's for wood, paper, etc. Here is a good general overview: http://www.hanford.gov/fire/safety/extingrs.htm

    Stick with a dry chemical extinguisher, the other types have their uses, but not for the average homeowner.

    One important tip that I have both as a fire instructor and as someone who's had to use an extinguisher in my own home- look for an extinguisher with a metal top fitting, i.e. whatever is screwed into the top of the "bottle" should be metal, not plastic. This may mean that you have to go to a fire equipment/extinguisher dealer, and pay a couple more dollars than at lowes or wally, but you will sleep better knowing that you have a pro-grade reliable product to protect your own safety with. It's an awful feeling to pull a plastic pin on a plastic-valve extinguisher and get a half-second puff, definitely not worth 20 bucks savings. As has been said, the only purpose for an extinguisher in the home is to dump it and run- never never never stay to fight the fire, let the experts do that with appropriate gear and manpower. Your job is to get everyone out and call 911.

    You'll settle in eventually, I slept on the couch for a few nights too until I realized that I'd taken all the precautions, followed all the rules, and was as safe as I can be, without living in a plastic bubble. Accidents happen, you can only reduce the risk as far as possible. Follow the advice on this site, these folks will never lead you astray in anything safety-related.
  9. Cearbhaill

    Cearbhaill Feeling the Heat

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    Ok- so of the three I posted- 2A10BC, 3A40BC, 4A60BC- the 4A60BC is the better one?
    The 4 goes with the A and the 60 goes with the B and the C parts? Where are the pounds?

    I did stumble onto your link previously but it didn't really get into anything that told me about a "10 pound" size.

    I feel more and more daft every time I come back to this thread. I'm not difficult or brain damaged- I just like to understand things. To me a "dry chemical 10 pound ABC" should say just that on the label- not 4A60BC.
    Where are the pounds??
  10. Cearbhaill

    Cearbhaill Feeling the Heat

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    We're going with the 4A60BC unless I hear otherwise.
    I guess I'll never figure out the pounds thing.




    Buelller?
  11. Gibbonboy

    Gibbonboy New Member

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    Not sure if they post "pounds" anymore on the packaging. Just get the biggest one you can lift, that will be good enough. Trust me, when you're looking at a fire in your house, no extinguisher will be big enough! Like I said though, visit or call a commercial fire extinguisher dealer, get the metal-valved one, they will steer you in the right direction as to what's appropriate for your needs.
  12. aknight

    aknight New Member

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    Those numers in front of the class of fire correspond with the amount of fire that can be extinguished for each class. As for which one I agree the largest one you can lift. You might check out the new foam extingishers. I could be wrong but I think that they will pack more punch for the wieght.
  13. Cearbhaill

    Cearbhaill Feeling the Heat

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    I realize I am dangerously close to being tagged as a nutball for not understanding this, but say in the "4A60BC"... how is "4" an "amount of fire that can be extinguished"?

    [size=4[color=red]]"4" what?[/color][/size]
  14. Gibbonboy

    Gibbonboy New Member

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    It's all relative- get the biggest one you can lift, that's not being facetious. You can read up on the subject at: http://www.ul.com/fire/extinguishers.html , they're the ones who give out the ratings.
  15. Cearbhaill

    Cearbhaill Feeling the Heat

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    That was a good link and extremely educational- especially the "explain the ratings" section at http://www.ul.com/fire/ratings.pdf .
    (I posted the exact link for those doing future searches.)

    Thanks again!!!

    I "got it" now!
  16. aknight

    aknight New Member

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    I have to add one thing, You really should go to an extinguisher dealer maybe also check with your local fire department. They can help you decide, because there are different types (dry chem, CO2, Water, Foam, ect.) and one may suit your needs and be available in a higher rating vs weight ratio (ie be able to put out more fire with lighter unit.) Most home stores and hardware stores only sell cheap small dry chem and an extinguisher, just like brakes on a car is not an item to skimp on. Hope this helps.
  17. Cearbhaill

    Cearbhaill Feeling the Heat

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    I'm a bit limited in my immediate choices locally.... small town and all.
    I have a fire department of course, but cannot find a fire extinguisher dealer.
    Are there other type stores that might carry good ones as a sideline?
    Otherwise I will have to rely on Lowes until I hit the road next.

    I'd rather have a lesser quality than nothing at all.
    The one I had pretty much decided on for the insert room is a Kidde PRO 460. It's the 4-A:60-B:C, and the specs say 10 lbs, brass valve, lever, handle. Discharge 10-21 seconds at 20-25 feet. 17 lb. total weight (I work out).

    Might it be sufficient?
  18. Gibbonboy

    Gibbonboy New Member

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    That looks pretty good for a home unit. That and maybe a smaller one for the kitchen. The thing to do with "cheaper" extinguishers is when you check them every 6 months (do it when you change your detector batteries) is to pick them up, turn them over, and give a few good taps on something solid. What happens is that the agent packs into the bottom, and has a hard time pushing into the pickup tube when you need it.

    Speaking of large extinguishers, I used to own a chemical truck that a fire company nearby was going to drive to the junkyard because no one knew how to run the dry chem system anymore. It was all still fully operational, had Nitrogen pressure in the tanks, and 500 pounds of Purple K. Plus a foam system and a regular pump and hoses. Wish I still had it, just didn't have room for it. It did find a good home, I see it all the time in local parades. I had the manuals, we put out a couple 55 gallon drums full of burning gas just for fun, worked great.
  19. Cearbhaill

    Cearbhaill Feeling the Heat

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    Thanks Gibbonboy- good information.
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