When it comes to ensuring the safety of you and your loved ones, anything other than the best fire extinguisher for your home is playing with fire.

Fire isn't a laughing matter:

According to Firerescue1.com, fire takes the lives of more than 3,800 people in the U.S. every year. The destructive force also injures about 18,300 people per year.

And, of the people who die from fire, most of them die from smoke inhalation rather than the actual flames.

The best fire extinguisher for your home will give you and your family a fighting chance against both the smoke and the flames.

[amazon box=”B00O99O6D0,B000M2QR8U,B000M2QR8U,B01LTICQYE,B000Y4IKTU,B001PB8FX2,B0040A739M,B0036AX1UM” template=”table” /]

Fire Extinguisher Facts

Most people don't know that the earliest known form of the fire extinguisher surfaced around 200 BC. Ctesibius of Alexandria is said to have invented a hand pump capable of delivering water to a fire.


However, the invention of the modern fire extinguisher used today took place in 1819.


Captain George William Manby created a copper vessel that held three gallons of pearl ash (potassium carbonate) solution compressed under air pressure.


Since then, fire extinguishers underwent numerous improvements resulting in the version we use today.

Understanding Fire, Fire Extinguishers, And How They Work



Before understanding how the best fire extinguisher for your home works, it's important to know how fire operates.

First, four factors need to be present at the same time to create fire.

  • Enough oxygen to maintain combustion
  • Enough heat to bring the material to its ignition temperature
  • Some type of combustible material or fuel source
  • The chemical, exothermic reaction known as fire

A fire or combustion triangle was the first model that described the process of creating fire.


In the fire triangle, the three main components of the fire triangle are oxygen, fuel, and heat.

Basically, the best fire extinguisher for your home will put out a fire by taking away one or more of these components, thus breaking the chain reaction.

However, after further fire research, scientists produced a more accurate model called a fire tetrahedron. In this model, they add an additional fourth element to the fire triangle, chemical chain reaction.

This chemical chain reaction is also called combustion.

Combustion represents the ongoing process that combines heat, fuel, and oxygen to create fire. The chain reaction continues until one of the elements is nullified or sufficiently reduced enough to break the chain.


In other words, as long as there is enough heat, fuel, and oxygen, a fire may burn for decades. In fact, one town in Pennslyvania had to be abandoned because the coal under the streets and homes has been burning for over 50 years!

Fire Extinguishers



The middle of the twentieth century saw the emergence of the two most common fire extinguishers used to this day. Both types of extinguishers use pressure in different ways to deliver a variety of fire-fighting agents.

The first type is pressurized using an air compressor to about 145 pounds per square inch (psi). A squeeze-grip type handle operates a spring-loaded valve that's threaded into the pressure cylinder.

Inside the cylinder, a dip or pipe tube extends to the bottom so that in the upright position, the tube's opening is submerged. The extinguishing agent is then released as a steady stream through the hose and nozzle, pushed out by the stored pressure above it.

The second kind of fire extinguisher for home use is the gas cartridge type. They operate in the same way as the type that uses air pressure. The main difference is that gas cartridge-type fire extinguishers use a small cartridge of carbon dioxide gas (CO2) that are pressurized to about 1,885 psi rather than air.

A squeeze-grip handle engages a spring-loaded device, causing a pointed spike to stab the disk that holds back the pressure. This process releases the gas into a pressure vessel.

The release CO2 gas then expands several hundred times its original volume, filling the gas space above the extinguishing agent. This action causes the cylinder to pressurize and forces the extinguishing agent up through the dip pipe through the hose and nozzle.

The gas cartridge design is less prone to leaking pressure over time, unlike when they pressurize the entire cylinder with air.

Using A Fire Extinguisher



The PASS method is the most effective way to use the best fire extinguisher for your home.

PASS stands for:

  • Pull: Pull the pin, which also breaks the tamper seal
  • Aim: Aim low, point the nozzle at the base of the fire
  • Squeeze: Squeeze the handle to release the extinguishing agent
  • Sweep: Sweep the nozzle from side to side at the base of the fire until it goes out

Be careful and watch the area of the fire closely.

In the case of re-ignition, repeat the steps two through four.

Fire Extinguisher Classes

Red fire extinguisher on a white wall

Image by Freepik

Most people don't know that the earliest known form of the fire extinguisher surfaced around 200 BC. Ctesibius of Alexandria is said to have invented a hand pump capable of delivering water to a fire.


However, the invention of the modern fire extinguisher used today took place in 1819.


Captain George William Manby created a copper vessel that held three gallons of pearl ash (potassium carbonate) solution compressed under air pressure.


Since then, fire extinguishers underwent numerous improvements resulting in the version we use today.


Fire extinguishers use a class system to rate their effectiveness against certain types of fires.


This factor is critical:


Using an extinguisher type not rated for a specific type of fire can actually cause a fire to spread.


The best fire extinguisher for your home will have its class rating clearly marked. Also, the canister should have a graphic printed on it to show what types of fire it's rated to extinguish.


The different classes are A, B, C, D, and K.

Class A



This class of fire extinguisher is best suited for plastics, wood, and paper fires. The Class A graphic shows drawings of a burning trash can and a wood campfire.

Most common solids can be extinguished using a Class A unit.

Class B



A Class B extinguisher is designed to put out fires produced by flammable liquids (including gasoline and oils) or flammable gas (including methane or propane).

The graphic for Class B fires shows a gas can.

Class C



Any fire caused by electrical devices is taken care of by Class C fire extinguishers. Fires that involve motors or transformers also fit this class.

Class C also covers metal appliances you would use in the kitchen.

The graphics for this class shows an electric plug and outlet.

Class D



You can use this class of extinguisher on flammable metals, such as sodium, aluminum, or magnesium. The Class D graphic depicts a gear.

However, this is a rare fire type for homes.

Class K



Class K fire extinguishers are rated to use on cooking oil (grease) fires. The drawing of a Class K graphic shows a cooking pan on fire.

Most restuarants and commercial kitchens use Class K extinguishers.

Homeowners should note that Class B extinguishers can handle most residential kitchen fires.

Additional Notes On Fire Extinguisher Classes



The best fire extinguisher for your home will most likely carry a Class A, B, and-or C rating. Class D and K fire extinguishers are popular choices for industrial and workplace locations.

Anything above an A, B, or C rating is most likely going to be overkill for residential purposes, and a waste of money.

Also, keep in mind that some extinguishers fit in more than one type of class.

For example:

You'll find a lot of extinguishers on the market from the likes of Amerex and Kiddle that are A/B/C rated extinguishers.

Types Of Extinguishing Agents

Most people don't know that the earliest known form of the fire extinguisher surfaced around 200 BC. Ctesibius of Alexandria is said to have invented a hand pump capable of delivering water to a fire.


However, the invention of the modern fire extinguisher used today took place in 1819.


Captain George William Manby created a copper vessel that held three gallons of pearl ash (potassium carbonate) solution compressed under air pressure.


Since then, fire extinguishers underwent numerous improvements resulting in the version we use today.


Fire extinguishers use a class system to rate their effectiveness against certain types of fires.


This factor is critical:


Using an extinguisher type not rated for a specific type of fire can actually cause a fire to spread.


The best fire extinguisher for your home will have its class rating clearly marked. Also, the canister should have a graphic printed on it to show what types of fire it's rated to extinguish.


The different classes are A, B, C, D, and K.

There are numerous types of extinguishing agents that the best fire extinguisher for your home may employ.

Each agent has advantages and disadvantages when used on certain types of fires.

The most widely used agents include water, foams, dry powder, carbon dioxide, and wet chemical.

Water



In the age of complex chemical agents, good old fashioned H2O is still one of the best compounds to use on certain types of fires.

In fact, water is the most common agent used against Class A fires. Water is very effective at cooling the solid fuel materials thereby reducing the pyrolysis rate of the fuel.

Some water extinguishers may also contain additives that can help the water penetrate deeper into burning material and cling better to steep surfaces.

However, water can have a counterproductive effect on specific Class B fires. The effect water has on Class B fires depends on whether or not the liquid's molecules are polar molecules.

If the liquid on fire has polar molecules, like alcohol for example, then water works just fine.

But, if the liquid has non-polar molecules, such as large hydrocarbons like petroleum, then the water will sink through the oil until it reaches the heat-layer of the fluid. After that, the water is immediately converted into an explosive stream erupting in a process known as a boil-over.

Plus, since water is heavier than oil, it will sink to the bottom and replace the oil. It serves to spread the flaming material over the container or surface.

Put simply:

Never use water on grease fires. It's a spectacular way to turn a grease fire into a deadly grease explosion.

Foams



Foams usually combat Class B fires. However, they are also effective against Class A fires.

These extinguishers are mainly water based with a foaming agent so that the foam can float on top of the burning liquid and block the interaction between the flames and the fuel surface.

However, most foams are only designed to work against non-polar flammable liquids such as gasoline and may break down too quickly when used on polar liquids like glycol and alcohol.

Facilities that handle large amounts of polar liquids use a specialized "alcohol resistant foam" instead. Application of alcohol foams involves pouring it gently across the burning fluid.

On can also spray the foam on an adjacent solid surface to allow it to run into the burning fluid.

Foam extinguishers are popular choices for offices, as they cover most fire risks found in those environments and can put out electric fires (certified to 35,000 volts) safely.

Dry Powder



There are two main types of dry powder extinguishers in use today, Classes BC and ABC.

Class BC dry powder either has potassium bicarbonate or sodium bicarbonate. These chemicals are finely powdered and propelled by either nitrogen or carbon dioxide.

Like most extinguishing agents, powder acts as a thermal inhibitor, making the flames too cool for chemical reactions to continue between the fire and the fuel source.

Some powders also provide minor chemical inhibition, although their effectiveness in this area is relatively weak. Because of this attribute, these powders will knock down flame fronts very quickly but may not keep a fire suppressed. For this reason, you can use them in combination with foam for attacking large Class B fires.

Class ABC powders combine ammonium sulfate and ammonium phosphate. These chemicals are then ground to smaller particle sizes and treated with moisture repellent and flow promoting additives.

In addition to its particle surface extinguishing qualities, ABC powders have low melting points.

The application of this powder to hot and smoldering surfaces, cause the particles to fuse and swell forming a barrier which blocks oxygen. This factor helps the powder complete the extinguishing process and prevents re-ignition.

Dry powders can also put out electrical fires.

That said:

They do require significant cleanup and can destroy sensitive electronics, thus making them unsalvagable. Powders can also reduce visibility, making it more difficult to escape.

Carbon Dioxide



Carbon dioxide fire extinguishers put out a fire by taking away the oxygen element of the fire triangle while removing heat with a very cold discharge.

These extinguishers are suitable for fighting Class B and C fires, but they are generally ineffective against Class A fires.

If you have a lot of valuable computer equipment, carbon dioxide might be the best fire extinguisher for your home.

Wet Potassium Salts (Wet Chemical)



A wet chemical agent is a relatively newer compound that extinguishes a fire by removing the heat from the fire triangle, thus preventing re-ignition by creating a barrier between the fuel and oxygen elements.

The chemicals used in Class K extinguishers put out grease on modern, high efficiency deep fat fryers in commercial kitchens. Some are also effective against Class A fires in the same environment.

Since most homes don't have these types of appliances, this would probably not be the best fire extinguisher for your home.

Features To Look For In The Best Fire Extinguisher For Your Home

Aside from putting out a fire, the best fire extinguisher for your home should rate high in four other essential areas. Those areas include mounting ease, portability, versatility, and user-friendliness.

  • Mounting ease: The best extinguisher for your home will be easy to mount or install
  • Portability: The right extinguisher has a portable design that's easy to use and carry
  • Versatility: Top extinguishers can put out Class A, B, and C fires with certain exceptions for specialized extinguishers
  • User-friendliness: The unit's weight, design, and mode of activating should be as simple to use as possible

Refilling



Some extinguishers are also refillable. For more information on refilling your fire extinguisher, check with your local fire department.

Best of all:

Some departments offer to refill your extinguisher for free!

Also, it's best to recharge a rechargeable extinguisher after every use.

Cost And Warranties



The average amount you can expect to pay for the best fire extinguisher for your home is between $30 and $300. Warranties for these devices can range between 6 and 12 years.

Clearing The Smoke To Find The Best Fire Extinguisher For Your Home

Finding the best fire extinguisher for your home required a slightly different approach. Unlike other products, fire extinguishers are hard for most consumers to rate. Therefore, we consulted several fire safety forums and websites used by firefighters and other professionals in related fields.

We then comprised a list of the top-recommended extinguishers and eliminated any that had too much negative customer feedback.

Check Out The Top 8 Fire Extinguishers

In our search for the best fire extinguisher for your home, we found the top eight extinguishers on the market. Most of these extinguishers are suitable to put out Class A, B, or C fires except for a carbon dioxide extinguisher that specializes in Class B and C fires.

[amazon link=”B00O99O6D0″ title=”1. Kidde Consumer Fire Extinguisher PRO 210″ /]



[amazon box=”B00O99O6D0″ /]

The Kidde Consumer Fire Extinguisher PRO 210 is suitable for use on Class A, B, and C fires. The unit weighs 7.5 pounds and has a pressure gauge that allows you to view the level of its contents at a glance. Its cylinder is a lightweight aluminum that's powder coated to protect from corrosion along with a sturdy aluminum valve assembly.

Plus, the Kidde Consumer Fire Extinguisher Pro 210 features a discharge time of 13 to 15 seconds, with a discharge distance of up to 10 to 15 feet, and an operating pressure of 100 psi.

It has a multipurpose dry chemical extinguishing agent that a wide-variety of fire types.

This extinguisher rating qualifies it to protect low hazard environments such as the living areas of homes, churches, offices, assembly halls, classrooms, and hotel guest areas.

Amazon customers rated the Kidde Consumer Fire Extinguisher Pro 210 4.2 out of 5 stars.

You can find this extinguisher for between $$ and $$, and it comes with a 6-year warranty.

[amazon link=”B000M2QR8U” title=”2. Amerex 10 lb ABC Fire Extinguisher – Model B441″ /]



[amazon box=”B000M2QR8U” /]

The Amerex 10 lb ABC Fire Extinguisher - warranty contains 10 pounds of a dry chemical agent that can put out Class A, B, and C fires.

The specially fluidized and siliconized mono ammonium phosphate dry chemical compound insulates Class A fires by melting at approximately 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

After that, the agent coats the fire fuel source's surface, smothering and breaking the chain reaction of Class B fires. It also does not conduct electricity back to the user.

Additionally, the discharge time for this model is 20 seconds, and the range is between 15 and 21 feet. The total weight of the canister is 19 pounds.

Amazon customers rate this extinguisher at 4.1 out of 5 stars.

This Amerex model can cost between $$ and $$$. It also comes with a six-year limited warranty.

[amazon link=”B000M2QR8U” title=”3. First Alert Rechargeable Heavy Duty Plus Fire Extinguisher UL rated 3-A:40-B:C (Red) – PRO5″ /]



[amazon box=”B000M2QR8U” /]

The First Alert Rechargeable Heavy Duty Plus Fire Extinguisher UL rated 3-A:40-B:C (Red) - PRO5 (that's a mouthful!) contains five pounds of a mono-ammonium phosphate extinguishing agent that can put out Class A, B, and C fires.

It features durable all-metal construction with a commercial-grade metal valve and head. The Pro5 is also rechargeable and includes a heavy-duty mounting bracket and a color-coded, easy-to-read, corrosion-resistant pressure gauge.

Furthermore, the total weight of the device is 10.2 pounds.

Customers on Amazon gave this extinguisher 4.3 out of 5 stars.

The First Alert Rechargeable Heavy Duty Plus Fire Extinguisher UL rated 3-A:40-B:C (Red) - PRO5 retails between $$ to $$ and includes a limited 12-year warranty.

[amazon link=”B01LTICQYE” title=”4. Amerex 5 lb ABC Fire Extinguisher – Model B500″ /]



[amazon box=”B01LTICQYE” /]

The Amerex 5 lb ABC Fire Extinguisher - Model B500 has five pounds of the dry chemical agent mono ammonium phosphate, which is specially siliconized and fluidized to extinguish Class A, B, and C fires.

Much like the larger B441 model, this extinguisher is suitable for Class A fires. The agent coats the fire surface thanks to its 350-degree Fahrenheit melting point. It also smothers and breaks the chain reaction within Class B fires. Plus, it doesn't conduct electricity that can harm the operator.

The discharge time for this device is 14 seconds, and it has a 12 to 18-foot spray range. Its total weight is 9.25 pounds.

This model has a rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars on Amazon.

The price of the Amerex 5 lb ABC Fire Extinguisher - Model B500 can range between $$ and $$. In addition, it has a six-year limited warranty.

[amazon link=”B000Y4IKTU” title=”5. First Alert Rechargeable Home Fire Extinguisher UL Rated 1-A, 10-B:C (Red) – HOME1″ /]



[amazon box=”B000Y4IKTU” /]

First Alert Rechargeable Home Fire Extinguisher UL Rated 1-A, 10-B:C (Red) - HOME1 uses a monoammonium phosphate extinguishing agent to put out Class A, B, and C fires.

It has a sturdy all-metal construction with a commercial-grade metal trigger and valve. This heavy-duty extinguisher fights paper, trash, wood, gasoline, oil, and electrical fires.

Also, this extinguisher has an easy-to-read, color-coded corrosion resistant pressure gauge and mounting bracket.

Customers on Amazon rated this model 4.4 out of 5 stars.

The price of the First Alert Rechargeable Home Fire Extinguisher UL Rated 1-A, 10-B:C (Red) - HOME1 can range between $$ and $$. Additionally, it comes with a 12-year limited warranty.

[amazon link=”B001PB8FX2″ title=”6. Kiddle Pro 5 CO2 Fire Extinguisher 466180″ /]



[amazon box=”B001PB8FX2″ /]

The Kiddle Pro 5 CO2 Fire Extinguisher 466180 is for use on Class B and C fires. The device weighs 15 pounds and includes a pressure gauge which allows you to see how much is left in the extinguisher at a glace. Plus, the canister is a lightweight aluminum that's powder coated to protect from corrosion and has durable aluminum and brass valve assembly.

In addition, this model has a discharge rate of 7 to 9 seconds, a discharge range between 3 to 8 feet, and an operating pressure of 185 psi.

Also, it has a carbon dioxide extinguishing agent that works well against electric, liquid, and gas fires. And, it doesn't damage sensitive electronics.

The Kiddle Pro 5 CO2 Fire Extinguisher 466180 received 4.7 out of 5 stars by Amazon customers.

This extinguisher costs between $$$ and $$$, and this includes a five-year limited warranty.

[amazon link=”B0040A739M” title=”7. Fire Extinguisher Ball” /]



[amazon box=”B0040A739M” /]

The Fire Extinguisher Ball is a unique one-time use extinguisher that works automatically when it comes in contact with any Class A, B, or C fire.

Its outer layer is waterproof foam that's about 11 millimeters thick shielded by a PVC film and weighs less than three pounds.

To use it, simply throw it into a fire, and it will explode with a non-toxic mono ammonium phosphate extinguishing agent within 5 to 10 seconds of coming into contact with fire.

Install the ball at least 30 centimeters over any fire hazard. Also, it has a built-in 138-decibel alarm to let you know when it activates. Plus, the ball will not explode if it's shaken or damaged and it has a shelf life of up to five years.

Several Amazon customers rated the Fire Extinguisher Ball 4.3 out of 5 stars. This extinguisher retails between $$ and $$.

[amazon link=”B0036AX1UM” title=”8. Kidde Pro 5 MP Fire Extinguisher 466112″ /]



[amazon box=”B0036AX1UM” /]

The Kidde Pro 5 MP Fire Extinguisher 466112 can put out Class A, B, and C fires using a monoammonium phosphate dry chemical agent.

The unit has a pressure gauge that provides an easy-to-read status and has a lightweight aluminum construction with a durable valve assembly.

Additionally, this model weighs 9 pounds, has a discharge time of 13 to 15 seconds, and a discharge range between 12 and 18 feet. Its operating pressure is 195 psi. Plus it also comes with a wall hanger.

The Kidde Pro 5 MP Fire Extinguisher 466112 rated 4.2 out of 5 stars on Amazon. It's available for between $$ and $$.

Our Top Recommendation For The Best Fire Extinguisher For Your Home

realistic extinguisher safety technology

Image by Freepik

Of the eight models, we recommend the First Alert Rechargeable Heavy Duty Plus Fire Extinguisher UL rated 3-A:40-B:C (Red) - PRO5 as the best fire extinguisher for your home. This model is rechargeable and has a 12-year warranty which doubles most of its competitors.

However, if you need an extinguisher to protect sensitive electronics, the Kiddle Pro 5 CO2 Fire Extinguisher 466180 will get the job done. Also, we recommend the Fire Extinguisher Ball for use over fire hazards when you're not present.

We hope you've found this information on the best fire extinguisher for your home helpful and instructive. Be safe and stay cool.

Do you have a fire extinguisher in your home? If not, which of these are you considering? Tell us about it in the comments!

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