Home Safety: Fire Extinguishers
Necessary tips for a home fire extinguisher, how to use it and where to place it in your home

In 2011, fire services attended over 500,000 fire alarm incidents in England. As one of the most essential health and safety practices to be aware of – and the one which can most easily be prevented through caution and good practice – it is a statistic which reminds us that awareness and fire prevention are crucial.

Having a working smoke alarm fitted is, of course, essential, as well as checking and double-checking key areas, like electricity sockets. More than half of accidental fires in the home are caused during cooking, so take extra care with oil in particular.

As well as that, you’ll need to be careful with candles, put any cigarettes right out, as well as plan an escape route in case. When it comes to added assurance, though, you may want fire extinguishers and other fire safety equipment.

The UK government’s dedicated site to fire safety is a great reference point for your fire prevention tactics. It also provides necessary numbers and contact information.

In the matter of fire extinguishers, the recommended spot to place them is in the hall – somewhere accessible and preferably on the ground floor. Buy an extinguisher that you can easily carry, and fix it to the wall, aiming to keep it out of reach of children and away from radiators, heaters or fires.

There are three types of fire extinguisher: powder, water and foam. Before you buy your fire extinguisher, read up on what types of fires are best fought by the different models of extinguisher. The government recommends the dry foam (multi-purpose version) as best for homes, as this covers the myriad kinds of fires you may encounter.

It is recommended to get your fire extinguisher serviced once a year – the same way that it is essential to continue testing your smoke alarms and any other fire detection devices in the home – so that you can be sure it functions fully. Finally, make sure you read the instructions, and are familiar with it…and that all responsible adults in the house know where it is kept and are confident to use it.