You don’t have to be a professional firefighter to protect your home and family from a fire, but you should, at least, know what type of extinguisher you need and that they may vary depending on where you place that extinguisher. Yes, you may need more than 1 type.

Every year there are around 60,000 house fires in the UK, resulting in the loss of property and in some cases even lives. Property can always be replaced however, to protect your life and the lives of those around you, it is important to make sure you have the right equipment on hand to deal with a fire.

Water fire extinguishers are great for placing in your bedroom or living room as they are a good choice for putting out flames on carpets and soft furnishings. They are not, however, good for a kitchen since water can be very dangerous when used on flammable liquids or cooking fats. Water will disperse flames, making a kitchen fire much worse and out of control.

Foam extinguishers are effective on woods and flammable liquids, petrol and spirits but not for kitchen or electrical fires, making this a handy device to keep in the garage.

CO2 extinguishers are effective on flammable liquids and electrical fires, but not suitable for cooking fats or soft furnishings. This would be another type of extinguisher you would keep in your garage or workshop.

Dry powder extinguishers can be used on the widest range of fires in the home.  It is safe to use on textiles, wood, flammable liquids/gases and electrical fires.  However, it cannot be used on kitchen fires involving cooking fats and oils.  It’s a good device for garages and living areas, but you will still need a separate device for the kitchen.

The wet chemical extinguisher is the best type to have in your kitchen. This is safe to use on soft furnishings and cooking fat fires, yet hazardous when brought into contact with electrical or flammable gases and liquids.  It is good for the living room and kitchen but unsuitable for the garage.

Kitchen fires are at the top of the list for rooms at risk of fire. This makes sense since there is heat and, sometimes, open flames while cooking. Along with a wet chemical fire extinguisher, you could also have a fire blanket. This is a handy item to have in cooking areas and can stop small pan fires from spreading.  They are mounted on the wall and easily accessible: using a fire blanket is the best and quickest way to extinguish a pan fire.  They can also be used to wrap around people when their clothing has caught fire.

The best thing to do is to make an assessment of the places in your home where you see the greatest potential risks of fires occurring and keep the appropriate devices in an easily accessible place nearby.  A fire blanket and wet chemical extinguisher in the kitchen and dry powder device in the garage could prove invaluable tools in saving your home and your life in case of a house fire.