A portable fire extinguisher can save lives and property by putting out a small fire or containing it until the fire department arrives; but portable extinguishers have limitations. Because fire grows and spreads so rapidly, the number one priority for residents is to get out safely.
Use a portable fire extinguisher when the fire is confined to a small area, such as a wastebasket, and is not growing; everyone has exited the building; the fire department has been called or is being called; and the room is not filled with smoke.
To operate a fire extinguisher, remember the word PASS:
For the home, select a multi-purpose extinguisher (can be used on most all types of home fires) that is large enough to put out a small fire, but not so heavy as to be difficult to handle.
Choose a fire extinguisher that carries the label of an independent testing laboratory.
Read the instructions that come with the fire extinguisher and become familiar with its parts and operation before a fire breaks out. Local fire departments or fire equipment distributors often offer hands-on fire extinguisher trainings.
Install fire extinguishers close to an exit and keep your back to a clear exit when you use the devise so you can make an easy escape if the fire cannot be controlled. If the room fills with smoke, leave immediately.
Know when to go. Fire extinguishers are one element of a fire response plan, but the primary element is safe escape. Every household should have a home fire escape plan and working smoke alarms.
Did you remember to check your smoke detector batteries during Daylight Savings Time change? This is an excellent time to check your smoke detector batteries! It is also an excellent time to check the age of your detectors. Did you know that the life expectancy of most smoke detectors is 10 years?
Replacement Cost Coverage is the amount it would take to replace or rebuild your damaged property with material of similar kind and quality without deduction for depreciation. (Depreciation is the decrease in home or property value since the time it was built or purchased because of age or wear and tear.)
Actual Cash Value is the amount which it would cost to repair or replace damaged property with material of like kind and quality less allowance for physical deterioration and depreciation.