Michelle Morgan

Whether your Bay Area home is a three-story Tudor, a skyline-grazing apartment or an RV
on wheels, you need at least one fire extinguisher for it. But if you don’t have the right one, or you
haven’t checked it recently, you may have a false sense of security rather than a fire-fighting device.

There are a few important things to know about fire extinguishers, but they aren’t complicated. Here
are three things to help you get up to speed:

  1. There are extinguishers for each type of fire. Class A: ordinary combustibles, such as wood;
    Class B: flammable liquids or gasses, such as gasoline or propane; Class C: energized electrical
    equipment like appliances; Class D: combustible metals; and Class K: cooking oils and greases.
    An extinguisher that isn’t rated for the fire you’re trying to fight likely won’t help.
  2. Multipurpose extinguishers are widely available. Typically rated for Class A, B and C fires, they
    are good for most living areas and also work on small grease fires. You need at least one for
    each level of your home, and one in the garage is a good idea, too. Store them in an accessible
    area and inspect them regularly for rust and other damage. Also follow any maintenance
    instructions included with the device. Some need to be shaken regularly, for example.
  3. Remember “P.A.S.S.” when you use your extinguisher. Pull the pin. Aim the nozzle at the fire’s
    base. Squeeze the lever. Sweep the nozzle back and forth. And always keep your back to an exit
    when fighting a fire. You need to be able to escape quickly if necessary.

Even more important than knowing how to use your fire extinguisher is knowing when not to use it. If
you’d be putting yourself at risk trying to fight a fire, leave the area immediately. You should already
have a family fire escape plan in place, so don’t hesitate to use it if there’s any question about your

After all, your life is irreplaceable. Your insurance, however, can help you rebuild your home and replace
your belongings. If you’d like to check up on your coverage, give us a call today at (925) 447-2565.