Portable Fire Extinguishers
Different types of fires require different types of extinguishers. You should buy a fire extinguisher with an ABC rating. The letters on a fire extinguisher tell you what types of fires it is designed to fight. Fires are classified as follows:
- Class A: Materials that burn, such as wood, cloth, paper, rubber and plastic
- Class B: Liquids that burn, such as gas, oil and grease
- Class C: Electrical equipment
The number before the letters on the extinguisher tells you how big a fire it will put out compared to other extinguishers. For example, a 10BC device will put out a larger fire than a 5BC device.
Any fire extinguisher you choose must be certified and labelled by the U.S. Coast Guard (for marine use), Underwriters’ Laboratories of Canada (ULC) or Underwriters’ Laboratories, Inc. (UL). You are no longer allowed to refill halon fire extinguishers.
Check your extinguishers often for correct operating pressure and make sure that you and your guests know how to use them. Have a qualified person maintain, service and recharge your extinguishers as per the manufacturer’s instructions. Take dry chemical devices out of their bracket and give them a few hard shakes in the upside down position (about once a month) to keep the contents active.