House fires are an unfortunate but common occurrence. In Queensland alone, there were 2500 house fires in 2014, and in a five year period 80 lives were lost. Having the right equipment to put fires out before they can cause serious damage is vital. A fire extinguisher is one of the most important pieces of equipment to have. However, simply have a fire extinguisher in the house isn't enough. Here's how to make sure your fire extinguisher will be of assistance if a fire breaks out in your home.
Keep it in the right place
More than 50% of all house fires start in the kitchen. Because of this fact, it's important to keep the fire extinguisher close to the kitchen so it's on hand if a fire is started. It's best not to keep the fire extinguisher in the actual kitchen, or you may be unable to reach it in the event of a fire. It's best to keep it in a hall cupboard or mounted on a wall located close to the kitchen area.
Know how to use it
A fire extinguisher is only useful if you know the correct way to use it. Make sure that all adults and teenagers in your home have been fully instructed on the procedures involved in using the fire extinguisher and the best method for putting fires out with it. It's helpful for all family members to attend a demonstration session run by your local fire brigade or the fire extinguisher manufacturer.
Schedule regular services
Like all safety equipment, fire extinguishers need to be maintained and regularly serviced. They should be serviced every six years by an organisation that is officially registered to carry out fire extinguisher services. Failure to maintain a service schedule may result in your fire extinguisher being inoperable when you really need it.
Know when to refill and replace
If you discharge your fire extinguisher you will need to have it refilled. This needs to be done even if you only use it very briefly. Inspect your fire extinguisher regularly for signs that it needs to be replaced. Spots of rust and broken fittings are both indicators that your fire extinguisher is passed its used by date and should be replaced.
Fire extinguishers can mean the difference between a small fire that can be quickly brought under control and a fire that causes irreparable damage to property and injury or death to your loved ones. Don't take the risk; ensure that your fire extinguisher will be reliable in the unfortunate event of a fire in your home. For more information, look here.