Yenra : Safety : Fire Extinguisher Placement, Types, Tips : People have more televisions than fire extinguishers

Fire Extinguisher

The results of a nationwide research study show that only one in three (34%) American households have more than one fire extinguisher while nearly four out of five (78%) have more than one television. The findings, resulting from a poll by RoperASW, show that the average household has 2.6 televisions and only 1.3 fire extinguishers.

"While strategically placed television sets throughout the home mean you don't have to miss a minute of your family's favorite program, strategically placed fire extinguishers can mean the difference between life and death or serious injury in the event of a fire," said Ed LeBlanc, President of Kidde (pronounced "kidda"), the world leader in fire detection and suppression.

A National Fire Prevention Association fire loss report stated that in 2002 there were approximately 400,000 residential fires that caused 2,670 deaths, 14,050 injuries and $6 billion in property damage. That equals one residential fire every 79 seconds, a residential fire-related death about every three hours and fifteen minutes and a residential fire-related injury about every half-hour.

"For the best chances of putting out a fire while it is still small or creating an escape route, an extinguisher must be within reach. It is encouraging to note that of those households that have at least one fire extinguisher, 68 percent have one in their kitchen. However, to improve you and your family's chances of surviving a fire outside the kitchen without serious injury or major property damage," LeBlanc continued, "you should have one fire extinguisher for every 600 square feet of living space and at least one per level in multi-floor residences. Many, many fires occur during the night when people are asleep."

According to the RoperASW survey, 29% of American households have no fire extinguisher. And, of those households that do, Kidde's market research suggests that 30% of residential fire extinguishers are beyond their rated life. This means that one out of two households is unprepared to effectively extinguish a small fire before it becomes unmanageable or to create a pathway to safety out of the home should a fire block a vital exit.

"By practicing good safety habits at home and installing working fire extinguishers and smoke alarms, you and your family can avoid becoming one of these statistics," LeBlanc said.

How prepared are you? Do you have at least one fire extinguisher for each floor? What about their size? When choosing a fire extinguisher, know that bigger always is better. Larger fire extinguishers last longer, giving you more time to escape the fire and get to safety.

Do you know how to properly use a fire extinguisher? According to the RoperASW survey, one in three fire extinguisher owners said they had "not at all" or "not very thoroughly" reviewed the operating instructions for their fire extinguishers.

"Kidde's mission is to save lives through education, prevention and protection against the unnecessary hazards caused by fire in the home," LeBlanc said. "Now is a great time to learn how to use a fire extinguisher. First, check the gauge and be sure it registers full. Then, know how to operate the extinguisher with the PASS method: P: Pull the pin. A: Aim at the base of the fire, staying at least six feet away. S: Squeeze the handle. And S: Sweep at the base of the fire from side to side."

Types of Fire Extinguishers

For the home, select a multi-purpose extinguisher that is large enough to put out a small fire, but not so heavy as to be difficult to handle. There are three general classes of residential fire extinguishers from which to choose:

Class A: For fires involving ordinary combustibles such as wood, cloth, paper, rubber and plastics.

Class B: For fires involving flammable liquids such as gasoline, oil, solvents and oil-based paint.

Class C: For fires involving energized electrical equipment such as wiring, fuse boxes, circuit breakers, machinery and appliances.

For general living areas, choose a fire extinguisher rated A-B-C. For kitchens, garages and vehicles, choose an extinguisher rated B-C.

Fire Extinguisher Tips

When choosing a fire extinguisher, bigger always is better. Larger fire extinguishers last longer, giving you more time to fight the fire and get to safety.

Select an extinguisher with an easy-to-read pressure gauge and clear instructions.

Choose a fire extinguisher that carries the label of an independent testing laboratory.

Install a fire extinguisher within reach on every level of your home close to the exit, including in the kitchen and garage. Include all locations where there's a potential for accidental fire.

Since 1917, Kidde has earned a trusted reputation as the world's largest manufacturer of fire safety products whose mission is to provide safety solutions that protect people and property from the effects of fire and its related hazards. Kidde offers a wide range of fire protection products including smoke alarms, carbon monoxide alarms, fire extinguishers, escape ladders and other accessories.