If you were in real estate, would you even have to ask this question? Probably not. You would know, location, location, location! So, clearly, location is key. But there are only so many options. You will want to be able to use the portable fire extinguisher, but not have it taking up valuable or visual space when you are trying to relax. So, where then?
You are driving home and smell something funny. Is someone smoking? No, it is your engine. Oh no, grab the fire extinguisher. Um…where is it? Oh yes, in the trunk. Um, under a pile of clothes? Wait a second – there it is! But it is not working…oh boy. Looks like your vehicle is toast.
Let us avoid a burnt hot dog car look by putting the fire extinguisher somewhere reasonable. But, where?
Most people will want to use the trunk. As long as your trunk is not a disaster. The goal is to put the extinguisher somewhere easy to access, but also out of the way. You do not want to put it in the backseat, where it could become a projectile in an accident. Or, have a well-meaning passenger set it off with their feet while you are on the freeway.
One way to ensure your fire extinguisher’s safety is to buy a fire extinguisher with a metal or Velcro strap. These can be installed out of the way, in your trunk. The strap keeps them from becoming projectiles or getting lost.
Whatever you do, you do not want to allow the extinguisher to accidentally discharge while your air conditioning is on (all the time in Florida). The extinguishing agent is a dry chemical powder. It will be nearly impossible to remove it from your ventilation system. Ew.
If you are a hot mess Jess, or your car is in similar shape to your home, you understand the importance of finding that extinguisher. Your level of personal fire protection depends upon it. So, the most logical place to put the fire extinguisher is in your kitchen. Even if it is a mess – you will avoid that house burning to a crisp by placing the fire extinguisher in the most likely place a fire will occur. The kitchen.
I am looking around my kitchen and thinking a fire extinguisher would not be visually appealing. I do not have the wall space or aesthetic area to put one in. However, mounting the fire extinguisher is the safest thing you could do. Mostly because it will be easily accessible in times of trouble. If you do mount the fire extinguisher, use the bracket that comes with the extinguisher. It will be in the box. Or you can request a compatible bracket if you purchase your extinguisher refurbished.
Like me, if you are not willing to add the clean lines of a portable, chemical fire extinguisher, you have some other options. One is to put it in an easily accessible kitchen cabinet. Another is the top of the refrigerator. A third is not to put it in your kitchen at all. What are the pros and cons of each location?
Looks more attractive Difficult for guests to locate
Close to the fire hazards May get lost behind other items
In the room most like to catch fire Difficult to remember to check
Looks less attractive Easy for everyone to see
Close to fire hazards May not be easy for short people
On the floor
Easy to see Might get damaged by water
Easy access Daily use of kitchen may damage
Where else might you mount your fire extinguisher?
- near door
- off ground
- use the included bracket
Why in the garage?
Additional hazards such as gas, oil, paint, pressurized cans of flammable materials, and electrical panels need additional protection.
You will need one for each floor. Why?
Can you run up and down stairs before a fire gets larger? And locate your extinguisher? Let us not leave it to chance.
If you have a chlorine pool and the equipment for the pump and storage of materials is inside – you will need a specialty water-type fire extinguisher.
Using a standard, ABC fire extinguisher will release the extinguishing agent – monoammonium phosphate. When ammonia interacts with chlorine it creates toxic gas.
Now things are getting fancy! You will want a fire extinguisher designed for electrical equipment. These are known as B:C. They contain extinguishing agents like carbon dioxide (CO2).
You do not necessarily need a fancy type, but these are called “clean agents.” They use gases to deplete the oxygen and extinguish the fire. The benefit is they will not leave ashy residue all over your delicate electrical equipment that could cause it to malfunction. It is also difficult to clean.
If you have further questions, call a locally licensed fire equipment dealer. Even though you are using fire extinguishing equipment for personal use – a certified technician can advise you and answer any questions you have.
The National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA) does not require home fire extinguishers by law, but they are recommended. Homeowners do not have to meet the same requirements as business owners. These tips should help you locate your fire protection equipment and use it in an emergency.