Fire Extinguishers

There are many facets to being prepared. If you’re not careful it can become overwhelming because there is always something you should be doing. It is best to think about what are the likely situations that you and your family should prepare for. Natural disasters and severe weather vary depending on your location. Each type of natural disaster and severe weather requires specific ways to prepare. However, a home fire is a common threat that virtually all of us should prepare for. Fire statistics can be found at US Fire Administration.

Is your home prepared in the case of a fire? Up until recently we did not even have a fire extinguisher in our home. We did have the suggested number of smoke detectors. Most homeowner’s policies require them to be insured. But when is the last time you actually tested your smoke detector and changed the batteries? A common suggestion is to change them when the time changes in the fall and spring for daylight savings time.

We have been fortunate enough to never have a fire in our home, but I remember a kitchen fire at my parents’ house scared me to death. I was pregnant with my first child (who is now 19 years old) and no longer lived at home. I stopped by Mama’s to visit for a moment. We all lived nearby. My sister and I were out in the yard chatting and Mama came out and joined in. When Mama went back in the house the stove was on fire!

She did not have a fry daddy for deep frying. She had this old metal pot that she filled with oil and heated it right on the stove eye. The pot had a basket that she would put fries in and then lower the basket into the oil. She had just set the pot of oil to heat up on the stove as I showed up and had forgotten all about it. The entire bottom of that pot was burned completely through!

There was no smoke detector that went off to alert us. She just happened to walk back in the house. It was flaming pretty high very quickly and she could not just put a lid on it to smother it out. There was no fire extinguisher to put it out. We were mostly just panicking as it started to catch part of the cabinet and ceiling tiles on fire.

Luckily, my younger brother of 2 years still lived at home and had the presence of mind to react. He ran and got the outside water hose and hooked it up and brought it in the house and was hosing everything down. Obviously, that is not the best solution for a somewhat contained grease fire, but it was starting to spread elsewhere and water was needed. He got it under control everywhere else enough to then cover the grease fire. He has always been great that way in knowing what to do and not hesitating. I guess that’s one of many reasons he is in the National Guards.

The kitchen was not completely destroyed, but there was some serious damage and it would have only taken seconds more for the entire house to have been engulfed. What if Mama had just talked a couple more minutes with us before going in?

Obviously, having a smoke detector could have been helpful to notify us. Sometimes just burning bread can set them off, but it is well worth the little bit of extra protection. Of course having a kitchen fire extinguisher would have quickly put the situation under control before it spread.

So, recently I started researching fire extinguishers for our home. I could not believe we had gone so long without them. There are so many different sizes and types of fire extinguishers. Some are very specialized.

Class of Fire Extinguishers

I decided a general Class ABC extinguisher is what we should have in the home and our building and a Class BC extinguisher for the car.

Now, what about size? They come in several of those too. I wanted them to be big enough to do the job, but not too big that me or the children could not operate them easily.

I ended up buying the following:

The cost can add up quickly so that is all I bought for now. I hope to get more so that everyone has a fire extinguisher in their car. Hopefully, I can get that in the budget soon. At least this is a good start.

When they arrived, we looked at them real good to make sure we know how to operate them if the need arises. Then Jon installed the 3 for the house and the building in good accessible locations and I’ve tucked the one for my car into a little spare compartment I have in the back.

Please do your own detailed research for the size of your home and any special needs like automobiles and extra buildings. Don’t just take my word for it as I am not an expert on this.

I hope we never have to use them, but I definitely feel safer and have more peace of mind. Shouldn’t you?

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