Selection, Placement, and Use of Home, Vehicle, and RV Fire Extinguishers
An unwanted fire occurs every ten seconds in the United States. Knowing how to properly select and use
fire extinguishers can help protect your workplace, home, and lives of those you love.
The ABC’s of Fire Extinguishers
Fire extinguishers come in a variety of sizes and applications. By far the most applicable for general
home and recreational vehicle (RV) use is the dry chemical extinguisher, which is effective on Class A
(Ordinary Combustibles), Class B (Flammable Liquids), and Class C (Electrical Equipment) fires. These are
known as ABC Extinguishers, and are the most common extinguishers found in the consumer market.
Chances are if you have one in your home or RV, it is of this type.
There is also a consumer (residential) grade extinguisher that is specific for home kitchen (cooking) fires
that provides an even safer discharge of extinguishing agent (high volume, low discharge pressure) that
eliminates the splash concern that common ABC extinguishers have in their discharge force.
Besides the type of extinguishing agent, home and RV fire extinguishers come in a variety of sizes. The
key to choosing the size of the extinguisher should be based on the ability to store, mobilize, and deploy
the extinguisher by the user.
Type and Location
Having sprung all of that information on you, here is our recommendation for the location and type of
extinguisher you should have in your home, vehicle, or RV;
- One kitchen type extinguisher (Kidde 711A) near the egress point (common exit doorway) in the kitchen.
- One ABC extinguisher (1-A:10-B:C) near the egress point near the clothes dryer, regardless of whether it is electric or gas.
- One ABC extinguisher (1-A:10-B:C) in the garage or other storage area where motorized vehicles or landscaping equipment is stored.
- One ABC extinguisher (1-A:10-B:C) in the trunk, or cargo area, of each automobile or recreational vehicle.
Two-packs of these extinguishers can be purchased at nearly all home improvement stores, costing
about $20.00 each. The extinguishers come with mounting hardware, instructions, and easy-to-read
pressure gauges which ensure the extinguisher is ready for use. The service life of fire extinguishers
ranges from five to fifteen years and they are generally one-time use – meaning they cannot be
recharged once deployed. If you have any doubts as to the reliability of a fire extinguisher, it
should be replaced.