I’m sure I’m not alone in my quest to declutter my kitchen. I’ve been looking at everything with a renewed sense of importance. Do I really use all these kitchen tools, do they bring me joy and would my kitchen be tidier without them? After sifting through all the things I can’t live without (and tossing a few tools I probably don’t need), I came across something I’ve never used. It was taking up otherwise usable space on the wall, which made me wonder: do I need a fire extinguisher?
Why it’s so important to have a fire extinguisher
Kitchen fires often involve grease and oil, which can’t be extinguished using water. That makes a multi-purpose fire extinguishers (like this one for $30) a crucial part of any home safety plan. They’re A-B-C rated, which means they can handle fires involving normal combustibles (paper, cloth and wood) along with flammable liquids (like alcohol and gas) and energized electrical equipment. It’s best to learn how to prevent kitchen fires, but having an extinguisher on hand is an easy way to protect your home in case something goes wrong
Where should you store it?
Most kitchen fires happen near the stove or range top, so you’ll want the extinguisher to be close enough to grab at a moments notice. You don’t want to store it too close, but you also don’t want to walk through flames or smoke to get it. Experts recommend mounting it on the wall inside the kitchen (or, just outside the door) and keeping it about 30 feet from the oven.
Do you have to maintain it?
Fire extinguishers require regular inspection to make sure they’re ready for use. There should be an instructions tag on your extinguisher telling you how to inspect the unit. You should also check the pressure gauge once a month to make sure it’s within the correct range and examine the hoses and nozzles for physical damage.
Fire extinguishers are also one of those things you never knew had an expiration date. They’re good for about 10 to 15 years, so you may want to pick up a new one if you’re approaching the 10 year mark.
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