All of us have seen fire extinguishers at some point of time in our lives. Many times, we walk past it in office buildings, shopping malls and even our homes without thinking for a moment about how useful they can be. In fact, fire extinguishers are a life-saving tool because they act as the first line of defense in the event of a fire accident.

Before going into the benefits of a fire extinguisher, let us briefly understand what type of extinguisher we should buy or use.

The National Fire Protection Association, or NFPA in short, classifies fire into the following categories.

  • Class A – Fires that happen due to common combustible items like wood, cloth and plastic. These fires are typical in commercial establishments and in homes.
  • Class B – Fires that happen due to flammable liquids like oils, solvents, gasoline and more. These fires spread quickly and they can re-catch even after one fire is extinguished.
  • Class C – Fires due to electrical equipment such as wires and motors. In most cases, these fires happen due to short circuits or power surges. Most times, these fires occur in places that are hard to reach.
  • Class D – Fires that happen due to combustible materials like sodium and magnesium. They take place in industrial areas and require special dry powder agents to extinguish.
  • Class K – Fires due to combustible cooking medias such as oils and grease. These fires are common in commercial kitchens


Understanding this classification is very important, as you’ll have to buy an extinguisher suited for the more common types of fire in your premises. Having the wrong extinguisher can seriously jeopardize your fire safety plans.

Now that you know a bit about what extinguisher to buy, let’s see why you should buy them.

  • Most commonly used type of protection against fires.
  • Research shows that fire extinguishers save people in 80% of fire accidents.
  • They limit the spread of fire, and in the process, reduces the amount of pollution and smoke that emanates from a fire accident. In turn, this helps the environment and the people living around the site of accident do not have to suffer from poor air quality.
  • Studies show that 60% of fire accidents are not even noticed, which means, a fire extinguisher is enough to handle these fires.
  • Fire extinguishers come in different forms to suit different fire accidents. This way, you’ll be able to handle all kinds of fires that happen across different establishments. Also, these extinguishers have the necessary materials to extinguish fires caused due to different objects.
  • All schools and hospitals must have fire extinguishers, as they act as the first line of defense in the event of a fire.
  • Having the right fire extinguisher can help to save property and lives, and this makes it an absolute essential in every building, both home and commercial.

Now that you understand the benefits of a fire extinguisher, it is time you know how to use it well enough to protect yourself. There are many companies that offer this training across different cities, so make sure you attend one of these sessions and get a first-hand feel of using these life-saving tools.

Also, do fire risk assessments often and have fire signage to help your near and dear ones escape safely in the event of a fire. Service these extinguishers from time to time and ensure that they are always ready to use when needed, as this could make a difference between life and death in large and quick-spreading fire accidents.

To conclude, fire extinguishers are vital to protect life and property, but it is equally important to know how to use them for your own protection. Training sessions and frequent drills are sure to protect you and your family from any catastrophe.