We spent over 40 hours researching and testing 20 different kinds of fire extinguishers and found that ease of use, type of fires it will work on, and cost were most important. The Kidde Multi Purpose Fire extinguisher scored high marks in all categories and is our top pick. This UL rated fire extinguisher has a convenient carry handle, an easy-to-read pressure gauge, and plenty of capacity to put out fires. It is corrosion resistant and durable. We liked how easy it was to use. It comes with a 6 year warranty. The metal pressure gauge lets you know that the fire extinguisher is ready to be used.
Introduction to the Fire Extinguishers
Having a fire extinguisher can save your life in the event of a fire. Many people think that fire extinguishers are only for businesses but you should have them at home as well. Some people even put one in their vehicles in the event of a vehicle fire. A fire extinguisher can put out a small fire before the fire department has to be called or can suppress them while they are on the way.
There are three different classifications of fire extinguishers available: A, B, and C. Sometimes there are extinguishers that have a combination of these. Each letter indicates the type of fires that the extinguisher is appropriate for.
Not all extinguishers will work for all kinds of fires. The three classifications that fires can fall into are: combustibles, flammable liquids, and electrical. Many fire extinguishers, especially those sold in home improvement stores, can be used to fight all three types of fires.
When you are looking to purchase a fire extinguisher for your home, there are several things that you need to consider to ensure that you get the correct one. Fire extinguishers come in many different sizes. The size of the extinguisher determines how much chemical is inside. We will help you understand the differences in the classifications of fire extinguishers and help you choose the right one for your needs.
Top 10 Fire Extinguishers
|Rank||Picture||Fire Extinguisher||UL Rating||Warranty (Years)|
|3||Amerex||3-A, 30-B: C||6|
|5||Kidde Pro||4-A, 60-B:C||6|
Top Rated Fire Extinguishers Summary
Fire extinguishers are extremely important to have on hand in the event of a kitchen or garage fire. They are typically lightweight and easy to use and can make the difference between having a little bit of damage or losing your whole home.
All three of the top ranked fire extinguishers featured above are rated for Class A, B and C fires which mean that they can be effective in a number of situations that you would normally encounter in a home fire.
Each one of these extinguishers is rechargeable and has all metal valves, levers and handles. Don’t worry if you don’t know how to use one; clear instructions are on the side of each cylinder. If you are not sure about which fire extinguisher to purchase or you just want to learn more about them, read our buyer’s guide below. It will provide all the information you need to understand more about fire extinguishers and how to choose the right one for your needs.
Fire Extinguisher Comparison Chart
|1-A:10-B:C||2-A:10-B:C||3-A, 30-B: C||1-A:10-B:C||4-A, 60-B:C||5-B:C||ABC||3A:40B:C||5-B||1A:10B:C|
|3.2 x 3.2 x 13.8||4.5 x 4.5 x 15.7||35 x 13 x 8||10 x 3 x 3||5.2 x 8.3 x 21.6||10.9 x 4.1 x 3.3||2.5 x 2.5 x 6.8||15.25 x 7.25 x 9.25||10.9 x 3.2 x 3.2||7 x 5 x 18|
Fire Extinguisher Buying Guide
Fire Extinguisher Types
There are several different types of fire extinguishers available. Knowing which ones to look at in terms of having good fire coverage can be daunting. We have outlined the different types of fire extinguishers below along with the types of fires they are good for putting out.
- ABC Fire Extinguishers – Rather than looking for a Class A, Class B OR Class C extinguisher, you are much better off purchasing an ABC fire extinguisher which works on all three classes of fires. These cylinders are filled with mono-ammonium phosphate, a dry chemical agent that is corrosive. It will make a mess and will need to be scrubbed off of the surfaces it comes in contact with after the fire is out. These are most often found in homes and office buildings.
- Class K Extinguishers – Class K extinguishers are very important in commercial kitchens. They have a blend of Potassium Acetate and Potassium Citrate that works very well on fires that are caused by cooking oils, including self heating unsaturated oils and greases too that are commonly used in commercial cooking equipment. This extinguisher sprays a mist so the oils won’t splash. It also creates a barrier between the heat source and oxygen so it won’t reignite.
- Halotron Fire Extinguishers – These fire extinguishers can extinguish Class B and C fires and in certain models Class A fires as well. The liquid dispersed from these extinguishers evaporates and does not cause problems with static or thermal shock. It is also non-conducting. These are good fire extinguishers for storage areas, clean rooms, and offices.
- Carbon Dioxide Fire Extinguishers – This type of fire extinguisher is designed to fight Class C electrical fires and fires that involve electronic equipment. This fire extinguisher displaces oxygen in the area in order to suffocate the fire. This robs it of its fuel source and puts out the fire. These fire extinguishers are not recommended for confined spaces.
- Water and Water Mist Fire Extinguishers – Water fire extinguishers are used for putting out Class A fires. The Water Mist Fire Extinguishers fight both A and C fires. These extinguishers do not contain any chemical components and make the perfect fire extinguishers for use in libraries, schools, businesses and for those who are not comfortable with chemical based extinguishers.
- Purple K Fire Extinguishers – The dry chemical components in a Purple K extinguisher are good for fighting Class B and C fires. Even though it sounds like it would fight Class K fires, it is not effective for those. This type of fire extinguisher is good for fires involving flammable liquids including tars, petroleum greases, oil-based paints, solvents, alcohol and flammable gases. It can also be used to put out electrical fires.
Choosing the Right Size Fire Extinguisher
The size of the fire extinguisher is usually indicative of the amount of chemical inside. There are several sizes available to choose from. In general, where you will be putting the extinguisher can determine what size fire extinguisher to get for that area.
- Stove top – This size is best for mounting right next to the stove, preferably on the hood. (Do not use these over deep fryers to avoid splashing chemical on the grease which will spread the flames.)
- 2 pounds – a 2 pound capacity fire extinguisher is a good size for your vehicle. You want to find a disposable type that has hardware to keep it from rolling around in your vehicle.
- 5 pounds – This size makes a good laundry room or kitchen extinguisher. The best kind is a rechargeable extinguisher with a hose which makes them much easier to use.
- 10 pounds – put a 10 pound fire extinguisher in garages or home workshops where the fire could grow bigger before it is noticed. This is another type that you will want to look for a rechargeable model that has a hose.
Fire Extinguisher Accessories
Below are some fire extinguisher accessories that you may find useful to have.
- Vehicle Bracket – Having a bracket in the vehicle for your fire extinguisher helps prevent the cylinder from rolling around your truck or floorboard.
- Surface Mounting Extinguisher Cabinets – These cabinets prevent the extinguisher from being messed with when it doesn’t need to be. Many of these cabinets come with a locking seal that has safety locks, breaker bars, chains and other safety measures. You will most often see extinguisher cabinets in hotel corridors, school corridors, businesses and other places where the extinguisher is kept out in the open. Some cabinets are recessed into the wall and are part of the wall where the extinguisher goes. This is another cabinet that is found in businesses and not in the home.
- Covers – A fire extinguisher cover is a good idea for protection within damp and humid areas including basements and steam kitchens. The covers are water resistant and mildew resistant and are usually held in place by Velcro fasteners.
- Signs and Labels – Even in your home, a sign or label is not a bad idea for alerting people where the extinguishers are. You can put them right over the fire extinguisher or put it where it can indicate where the extinguisher is.
Shopping for a fire extinguisher is an important task that could very well save your life or the lives of your loved ones these days. Even though fire extinguishers may not look very different, different models can be designed for certain types of fires. The majority of fire extinguishers sold in home improvement stores will be ABC extinguishers so you are covered for almost everything.
It is important to realize that you want to get more than one fire extinguisher for your home. The most common places to have them would be your kitchen, laundry room, garage, and one on each floor of your house. They are not so terribly expensive that buying several isn’t a hardship. Having several is much better than having to run for ONE that you have in the house.
- Kidde – http://www.kidde.com/home-safety/en/us/
- Amerex – http://www.amerexfireextinguishers.com/html/abc_.html