40261398 - fire extinguisherA new home is definitely a big reason to celebrate. What better way to mark the day than with a thoughtful housewarming gift? If you enjoy giving practical gifts, a fire extinguisher is an incredible choice for a new homeowner. Every homeowner should have one on each floor or area of their home. And many people forget to buy one. Moving into a new home? Put a fire extinguisher on the top of your shopping list.

Fire extinguishers are life savers. Class A fire extinguishers are designed to put out fires involving paper, wood and plastics. Class B are for flammable liquids such as oil and grease and Class C are for electrical fires. Class ABC models work on all the fires above. The higher the rating number on an A or B fire extinguisher, the more fire it can extinguish. But higher-rated units are often heavier — too heavy for some people to hold and operate. If you’re buying a fire extinguisher, make sure it can be easily picked up and operated.

Do you know how to use a fire extinguisher? In an emergency, fire fighters say many people can’t get one to work on the first try. Read the informational material that comes with your device. Consider having local fire department personnel show you how to use it or attend a training class. The acronym PASS can help you remember the basics of operation: Pull the pin to release the handle, aim the extinguisher at the base of the fire, squeeze the trigger, and sweep the discharge stream at the base of the fire.

Fire extinguishers are not designed to fight a large or spreading fire. Even against small fires, they are useful only under the right conditions, such as when a fire is confined to a small area, like a wastebasket; when everyone has exited the building; after the fire department has been called or is being called; and if the room is not filled with smoke.

Today’s fire extinguishers are less expensive, lighter and more effective than they were years ago. There are even designer fire extinguishers on the market today that blend in with your home decor and serve as a conversation piece!

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