Last Updated: 09/21/2012

Fire Extinguishers


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   First and foremost it is a GOOD idea to have a fire extinguisher in each of the high risk places in the house. The highest risk room in any house is the kitchen. Other high risk rooms include a workshop and a garage. If there is a fire in the kitchen, most often a grease fire in a pot, many times this can be extinguished by putting a metal cover on top.

   The other links we've provided have a LOT of very good information so we won't cover much of the same information. One of the really important items to cover, which is covered in many of the links, is you need to know HOW to use the extinguisher BEFORE it is needed!! The second really important item is BE ABLE TO RECOGNIZE THE TYPE OF FIRE. While the "standard" ABC type house fire extinguisher will put out a paper/wood/cloth fire PLAIN OLD WATER IS THE BEST!! HOWEVER you do NOT want to put water on grease or electrical fires. And finally, IF THERE IS ANY DOUBT, GET OUT!! It is MUCH BETTER to get everyone out of the house then worry about the fire. Once everyone is OUT THEN you can try to extinguish the fire. Remember, in most fire related deaths it isn't the fire that kills BUT THE SMOKE AND FUMES!! While you are putting out the fire the smoke and fumes are spreading through the house filling it with POISONOUS GASSES!!


   We will cover some other important fire extinguisher information. We've had several requests for this type of information. Prices are approximate and obtained 2/2007

   If the fire extinguisher is for home use it does NOT need to be inspected by a certified company. HOWEVER, you need to check the gauge on the fire extinguisher to make sure the pressure is in the correct range. If it's one of the real small extinguishers it might have a push button pressure tester. Follow the directions!! You should inspect the hose, if it has one, to make sure it hasn't become brittle and crack. You should look at the body of the cylinder to make sure there aren't any cracks, rust, major dents, and etc. that might compromise the unit. Just like a smoke detector, just having a fire extinguisher, if doesn't work, it doesn't help!!

   The only fire extinguishers that can be recharged (refilled) are the all metal ones. Those that are fully plastic or have plastic heads can NOT be recharged. This information comes from several companies who do this. After using a plastic fire extinguisher make sure it is full discharged. There should be NO pressure left! Then you can simply throw away! Some companies will take your old fire extinguishers and recycle the parts.

   If the METAL fire extinguisher is over 6 years old, from date of manufacture, but under 12 years old it will need to be inspected during the recharge. If it is older than 12 years old, from date of manufacture, it must be "hydro" tested. If you look on the side of a metal extinguisher it should show the manufacture date and the pounds used in the pressure test when manufactured.  "Hydro" testing the cylinder involves  filling with water and pressurizing to a recommended test pressure.

   Some of companies we contacted won't even consider recharging 2.5 lb extinguishers. We did get a price of, around, $13 to recharge from one company. A new plastic 2.5 lb runs around $10, a reconditioned metal is around $15, and new metal ones are around $33. The one company adds $5 for the "hydro" test.

   For the metal 5 lb extinguishers recharge prices are around $23 to $36. A reconditioned one is around $25. New run around $45 to $61. For the 6 year, the one company adds around $5 to inspect and tag, another charges around $47 to inspect, tag and recharge. The one company adds $10 for the "hydro" test, another charges $54 for the recharge, inspection, and "hydro" test.

   For the metal 10 lb extinguishers recharge prices are around $33 to $43. A reconditioned one is around $45. New run around $49, plastic Non-Refillable, to $94. For the 6 year, the one company adds around $5 to inspect and tag, another charges around $54 to inspect, tag and recharge. The one company adds $10 for the "hydro" test, another charges $61 for the recharge, inspection, and "hydro" test.

   You will have to call around to get prices then decide whether it's best to buy new or recharge. Whatever you decide, having a working fire extinguisher in the house can be a life saver!

Remember that a non-working fire extinguisher does you no good!!


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