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Don't wait till it's too late. Know the right type of fire extinguisher for your needs. The first step is knowing how extinguishers are classified. They all are labeled with an A, B, or C, each of which let you know their effectiveness in combating different types of fires. A is for fires started by combustibles like paper, cloth or wood. B for fires caused by flammable liquids such as cooking oil or gasoline. C lets you know that the chemicals in the extinguisher do not conduct electricity, and as such, is ideal for fires involving live electricity. Each of these letters carry a number. The higher the number, the more effective it is. The C rating carries no number, but instead just shows that chemicals inside carry no charge.

Once you have determined your appropriate rating, the size is the next important aspect to pin down. A 2 pound unit is ideal for something like a car or boat. A 5 pound unit is great in rooms where you are likely to see a fire start, places like a laundry room or the kitchen. For places where a fire might have time to grow before you can immediately get to it like a garage, a 10 pound unit better fits your needs. Most units can be attached to a wall with appropriate brackets. Once you've done this, make sure to check your extinguishers with regular frequency to make sure they are charged and ready to go at a moment's notice.

When the moment strikes and you need to put out that fire, remember one thing: PASS.
Pull out the pin from the extinguisher.
Aim the extinguisher at the source of the flames. Make sure to be at least as far away from the flame are directed by the extinguisher.
Squeeze the trigger and remain holding the trigger. Keep the extinguisher upright while doing this.
Sweep from side to side on the source of the flames. Keep going even when you think the fire is out to ensure the fire does not re-light. It is recommended to keep going until the extinguisher is empty.

After using the fire extinguisher it is important to either replace(plastic valves) or refill(metal valves) the unit. Never risk your safety or anyone else's to put out a fire. When in doubt, get out! Follow your safety plan, get to your designated place and call 911!

For all your home safety needs, visit FirstAlertStore.com where you can find fire extinguisher, smoke alarms, and all the other safety products you could need.

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