So how many fire extinguishers and fire blankets do you have around your home?
OK so I own and run a fire safety company, which may be cheating a little, we don't deep fry anything and we very rarely cook anything that is unattended, but we still have a few fire extinguishers around the house. To give you an idea, we have...
- 1kg Dry powder fire extinguisher in the kitchen
- 1m x 1m Fire blanket in the kitchen
- 1.5kg Dry powder fire extinguisher in the workshop / garage
- 2kg Dry powder fire extinguisher in the workshop / garage
- 1kg Dry powder fire extinguisher in each car
You and I would hope that we would never need to use a fire extinguisher but then looking at FESA statistics for home fires in WA alone:-
Firefighters are urging households to be more aware of fire risks after new statistics showed there were 592 accidental residential fires across Western Australia over the past year. Chief Operations Officer Lloyd Bailey said he was concerned people were failing to take adequate steps to prevent accidental house fires.
Mr Bailey said accidental house fires caused almost $22 million damage in the past financial year and most were preventable with the biggest cause being unattended flames and heaters. source:- http://www.dfes.wa.gov.au/mediareleases/Pages/MediaRelease.aspx?ItemId=616
592 Fires may not sound that many, but then factor into that car fires, bush fires, fires that don't destroy the home etc and you will be getting into many thousands of instances where a fire extinguisher or fire blanket could make all the difference!
I don't have anything! What do I need?
There is no legal requirement for you to have a fire extinguisher or fire blanket in your home (not the case for your workplace however!) but for the minimal cost of these items, they could prevent a lot of heartache and expense at a later date!
The most cost effective fire extinguisher for the home is a dry powder fire extinguisher. These range in sizes from 0.75kg to a whopping 9kg unit. The weight description is purely the amount of dry powder they contain. For the total weight you add the weight of the cylinder and valve on to the powder weight too! Generally we would only expect to see 1kg or 1.5kg dry powder fire extinguishers in the home and up to a 2kg to 2.5kg dry
powder fire extinguisher if you have a workshop / garage.
Fire blankets come in many sizes and we would recommend a minimum of a 1m x 1m with a 1.2m x 1.2m fire blanket being ideal for most houses.
Dry powder fire extinguishers - how they work
We have explained previously how fire works and what reactions take place. Dry powder fire extinguishers operate by placing a layer of powder over the fire / fuel source and stops the source of air that allows the fire to keep burning.
Dry powder fire extinguishers are given a classification and rating. They are suitable for:-
- Class A Fires - Ordinary combustibles such as cardboard and wood
- Class B Fires - Flammable liquids such as petrol.
- Class E Fires - Fires involving electrical products.
If you look at the rating of a 1kg dry powder fire extinguisher it may read 1A:20B:E where the numbers are an indication of the fire extinguishers performance. There are many 1kg fire extinguishers for sale that are only rated 1A:10B:E, so be aware of the performance when you are comparing pricing. The higher the number, the better the performance. Make sure you only buy Australian Standard approved fire extinguishers.
Be aware that dry powder fire extinguishers do make a lot of mess when activated, but generally it can be cleaned up easily.
Fire blankets - Why?
I have a fire extinguisher so why do i need a fire blanket you may ask!
Fire blankets are very useful for clothing fires (limited Class A) and fires involving deep fat fryers or burning oils (Class F). You should NEVER pour water on a deep fat fryer fire or use anything other than a a fire blanket or a wet chemical fire extinguisher (which are very expensive for domestic use). If you do you are likely to see the following:-
Scarey eh? That was only a cupful of water! A fire blanket is a high performance version of the 'wet cloth' that many people know about. A fire blanket however is designed to work without burning and is designed to completely smother the fire, starving the fire of air. The heat source should be turned off, the pan covered in the fire blanket and then left too cool down. If the fire blanket is removed too quickly, there is a chance that the oil may ignite again.
We'll be blogging soon about how to use the fire extinguisher and fire blanket correctly.
OK so i'm convinced - Can you help?
Of course we can help! We are after all a fire safety company!
We would recommend that you take a look at our fire safety product kits. These start as a very basic 1kg dry powder fire extinguisher and 1m x 1m fire blanket at a very low price and end up at our Pro Home fire safety kit consisting of 2x 1kg dry powder fire extinguishers 3x 2.5kg dry powder fire extingushers and 2x 1.2m x 1.8m fire blankets, saving on the seperate item price!
If the kits don't interest you then the rest of our range is very competitively priced, but we ask that you check the ratings and standards of other fire extinguishers before you buy from us. You will see that we only supply quality products!