You can often extinguish an incipient fire at home yourself. This is only possible if you are well prepared and have the correct fire extinguishers (at home). It is also important to know what fire extinguisher you can or actually cannot use in certain situations. On this page you can find more information about various fire extinguishers at home and in what situations you can use them.
Fire at home? Safety first!
Whenever you extinguish a fire yourself, it is important to always take your own safety and the safety of other residents into account. Hence, only extinguish a fire yourself when you are certain that you can escape to safety. Doubts about this? Then do not run the risk. Escape outside and call the fire department.
There are various types of fire extinguishers available for sale of which the content varies. There are fire extinguishers with foam, with extinguishing powder or with carbon dioxide. Depending on the type of fire, various types of fire extinguishers can be recommended.
(Spray) foam fire extinguishers are perfectly suitable for extinguishing small fires caused by solid and liquid substances. They cause very little collateral damage during the extinguishing, they are easy to operate, and they have a longer extinguishing duration than powder fire extinguishers.
Powder fire extinguishers are suitable for most fires at home and in cars and boats. When extinguishing a fire with a powder fire extinguisher make sure to observe some distance in order to be able to extinguish the fire effectively. Powder fire extinguishers are relatively cheap, but they have a number of disadvantages:
The powder in the fire extinguisher can start clumping. Prevent this by occasionally rotating the fire extinguisher.
The powder can inflict damages on electronic equipment and can consequently cause short-circuiting.
The powder is difficult to clean. Use an industrial hoover and never water for this.
A carbon dioxide fire extinguisher can be recognised by a black cylinder at the end of the hose. The advantage of this type of fire extinguisher is that it does not leave residues (foam or powder) behind. As a result the fire extinguisher is suitable for extinguishing electrical equipment and pan fires. Always hold the fire extinguisher by the handle. Namely, the end of the cylinder becomes very cold (-80 degrees Celsius), which can cause ‘cold’ (fire) burns. Make sure to pay attention to the danger of suffocation, especially in a small space, because the CO2 dissipates the oxygen.
You use a fire extinguisher in emergency situations. As the occasion arises, there is no time to lose and that is why it is important to be well prepared. The following points are part of a good preparation:
Store a fire extinguisher at a location where it can easily be accessed in case of an emergency. This can save precious time!
It is wise to check in advance how the fire extinguisher works. Read the instructions for use carefully and also have your household members do this. The internet also offers ample instructions videos.
Once a fire extinguisher has been used, fill it up or replace it. This way you are certain that the fire extinguisher is full in case it needs to be used again.
In case of a fire, extinguish with thrusts. This prevents burning liquid from potentially blowing away or splashing.
Do you need a fire extinguisher for a specific use, or are you in doubt about the type of fire extinguisher you need, then inquire with the fire department. Call BKCN on +599 717 5600 for this.
A fire blanket is a blanket made of fibreglass, impregnated wool or other incombustible material. They can be purchased at the DIY shop.
By covering a small fire with a fire blanket, oxygen can no longer reach the fire as a result of which the flames are extinguished. Wrap the blanket around your hands and place it on the source of the fire or on top of burning clothing, or wrap it around the victim. A fire blanket is suitable for single use. A fire blanket can be used in case of small fires, e.g. a person who caught fire, fire on a television or another small electrical appliance, or fire during a BBQ. Never use a fire blanket in case of burning deep-fry fat, oil or grease!
A garden hose can properly serve as a small fire extinguisher. There are also small hose reels available for residential dwellings that you can easily connect to the water mains. In this respect it is important that the reel or garden hose is long enough to reach all corners of the house. Water is the best extinguishing agent for fires of solid substances like wood, paper, textile, and cardboard. Never use water to extinguish burning oil or fat and fires of live electrical appliances!
Would you like to win a fire blanket for your home? You can! Click here to participate in the competition. Perhaps you will win one of the 10 fire blankets.