How to buy and use a fire extinguisher

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The recent recall of nearly forty million Kidde fire extinguishers means many households may find themselves without suitable fire extinguishers. So if you’re in the market for a new fire extinguisher, Consumer Reports says you should take this chance to familiarize yourself with it, and how to use it.

Consumer Reports and fire safety experts recommend keeping multipurpose fire extinguishers for your home.

You want to have the most common type of fire extinguisher that will be an A-B-C fire extinguisher that will extinguish the three types of common fires: Class A is wood and paper which is a class. Class B is flammable liquids. Class C is electrical fires.

Along with owning a working fire extinguisher, it’s essential that you know how to use it in an emergency. When you bring home your new extinguisher, take the time to read the owner’s manual and be sure to register it with the manufacturer.”

Know these steps:

-First look at the pressure gauge to make sure the fire extinguisher is fully charged. Then follow the PASS method.

-PULL the pin to break the seal.

-AIM the nozzle at the base of the fire while standing about 8 feet from it.

-SQUEEZE the handle slowly and evenly.

-Then SWEEP from side to side until fire is completely extinguished.

Keep a fire extinguisher no more than 10 feet from the kitchen, in the laundry room and garage.

Mount the extinguisher in its bracket—in a convenient location and in plain sight—3.5 to 5 feet above the ground to prevent damage to it and so it’s out of the reach of small children.

The Consumer Reports Fire Extinguisher Buying Guide offers more information about how to select and use fire extinguishers to help protect your home and family.

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