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Survival and Preparations Long and short term survival and 'prepping'.

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  #1  
Old 04-06-2013, 9:37 PM
fredridge fredridge is offline
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Default fire extinguishers???? what kind and where

need some for home. don't have any.
I want to buy 3 to place in various parts of house.

I don't have a budget and want something I don't have to check every year.
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Old 04-06-2013, 9:59 PM
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Costco, First Alert 3A40BC (they were on sale last month).

You HAVE to check fire extinguishers every year. It takes less than 5sec, why can't you do it? Also, might want to flip it over and thump the bottom with a rubber mallet to loosen up the powder as they do settle.
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Old 04-06-2013, 10:18 PM
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Don't buy one with a plastic head assembly if you want it to last. Metal head, and handle as they don't snap off when you really need them. Invert it once a year and roll it on it's side to fluff the powder. 5lb ABC extinguisher minimum, they run around $50 for a good brand. Halon is nice for inside the house but does cost a bunch more.
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Old 04-06-2013, 10:26 PM
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Home Depot sells them in my area.

Get an ABC rated extinguisher.
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Old 04-06-2013, 10:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fredridge View Post
I don't have a budget and want something I don't have to check every year.
No, you should check your extinguishers at least every year. I don't get your logic that you don't want to. You should inspect for charge at intervals. You just want to buy and forget? That's not the idea.
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Old 04-06-2013, 11:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Carsgunsandchics View Post
Don't buy one with a plastic head assembly if you want it to last. Metal head, and handle as they don't snap off when you really need them. Invert it once a year and roll it on it's side to fluff the powder. 5lb ABC extinguisher minimum, they run around $50 for a good brand. Halon is nice for inside the house but does cost a bunch more.
Halon is all but extinct now. If you still have one and use it..exercise caution before letting anyone else in that area until it is properly ventilated. ABC is a PITA to clean up but if you gotta use it..obviously you use it. In the kitchen.. CO2 is another option. Virtually no clean up. But you can also use a lid to smother a greasy pan on fire. Yes, you need to check them annually. Last thing you want to do is pull the pin in an emergency to find the thing is dead. There are even companies out there that will service your unit. Discharge it, clean it, refill/re-pressurize it, and you're G2G. My .02
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Old 04-06-2013, 11:15 PM
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Keep it anywhere where a fire could break out. I keep two in the garage, two in the attic (at each entry point), one in the kitchen, one in each shed.

Last edited by Jack_O_Trades; 04-07-2013 at 9:53 PM..
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Old 04-07-2013, 6:47 AM
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Home Depot, Lowe's, Costco and Walmart are just some of the places to purchase. Do not buy the plastic (Zytel) handle assembly. That is not as durable as the metal type. ABC dry chemical type are good all around. 5lb weight for inside the house and for the garage. Around my house -- 2lb BC for the kitchen, 2-5lb inside the house, 2-5lb and a 2.5 gallon water type for the garage. Co2, Halotron (halon substitute), halon, type K (commercial kitchen), and type D (metal fire like magnesium) are more specialized extinguishers. Since you said that you have no budget, then go with a 10lb extinguisher for the garage.

You still have to check the extinguisher every year for state of charge and physical condition. You don't have to turn and tap the extinguisher to loosen any caked chemical powder like the yester year since the powder has anti- caking agent.

Last edited by ireload; 04-07-2013 at 6:50 AM..
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Old 04-07-2013, 7:04 AM
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You don't have any? You're nuts. Well, better late than never.

Get an ABC, that way you don't have to think about 'is this extinguisher OK for this kind of fire'? Don't get a cute little one, get something with some capacity, because with a discharge time of less than 10 seconds, you're going to waste half of it in your panic and before you remember stuff like "oh yeah, I should aim at the base of the fire".

http://www.amazon.com/Kidde-21005779...ef=pd_sim_hi_2

Checking it is trivially easy, no reason to be lazy about that.
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Old 04-07-2013, 8:19 AM
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A fire extinguisher literally saved Christmas last year (stupid candles). Home Depot/Lowes and Wal Mart are your best bet. Sometimes Home Depot sells Kidde Twin Packs for $30. Picked up 4 after my holiday experience. These are a must have.
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Old 04-07-2013, 9:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by madland View Post
Halon is all but extinct now. If you still have one and use it..exercise caution before letting anyone else in that area until it is properly ventilated.
I work for a Fire Protection Service Company and we do lot's of Halon work. Halotron is the replacement for it but it's not as good. Halon won't be going away any time soon as the Feds and Military still use the beejeeezus out of it, and can have it manufactured anytime they want they put a clause in the law "like always" for themselves.
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Old 04-07-2013, 9:56 AM
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thanks... I will pick some up.

Not opposed to checking them yearly, just was hoping for something that I wouldn't have to.

when I said no budget, I meant I hadn't set one as I didn't know what I should pay.

I want 3, so $150 should be easy to handle
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Old 04-07-2013, 10:18 AM
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Just saw this 2-pack on Home Depot for $44.

First Alert3-A:40-B:C Rechargeable Heavy Duty Fire Extinguisher (2-Pack)
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Old 04-07-2013, 10:34 AM
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On the fly fire extinguisher knowledge:

For standard usage, get an ABC extinguisher --- these extinguishers are meant to deal with ordinary combustibles, flammable and combustible liquids and are safe to use on energized electrical fires. I would recommend ( just like in the CFC ) to get an extinguisher for every 100ft of travel, and keep them in common areas or next to a means of egress. Because portable fire extinguishers are a series of parts, they should be checked out by a State Certified Vendor to ensure that all the parts are working as is, but since you're more or less leaving them in your own home, this obviously isn't a requirement. Another good alternative is to get a pressurized water extinguisher; these are good on Class A Combustibles ( Ordinary Combustibles ), and should not be used on another fires because of their ineffectiveness and their ability to put the user in harms way. Depending on the model, they're typically charged to 100PSI using compressed air and are very easy to maintain and recharge. For extra effectiveness, you can mix in a tablespoon of dishwashing soap as well.

If you do decide on getting an extinguisher, try to cater to the smallest person in your family ( i.e. a young child who may not be able to lift heavier models ), and that you have extinguishers designed for the hazards that you face. Furthermore, make sure that you buy one from a reputable dealer.
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Old 04-07-2013, 10:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ireload View Post
You still have to check the extinguisher every year for state of charge and physical condition. You don't have to turn and tap the extinguisher to loosen any caked chemical powder like the yester year since the powder has anti- caking agent.
If you have not been shaking your fire extinguishers, I suggest you go check it now. Even though they have anti-clumping agents, they still settle to the bottom over time, making them less efficient when it's time to use.

I initially had misunderstood this and never shook my extinguishers either. During our CERT training, we were told that sometimes you even need a rubber mallet to really shake things up. If yours had settled, you will know after thumping it as you will hear sounds like sand shifting inside and the thumping pitch will differ as it loosens up.
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Old 04-07-2013, 10:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jt-cali View Post
If you have not been shaking your fire extinguishers, I suggest you go check it now. Even though they have anti-clumping agents, they still settle to the bottom over time, making them less efficient when it's time to use.

I initially had misunderstood this and never shook my extinguishers either. During our CERT training, we were told that sometimes you even need a rubber mallet to really shake things up. If yours had settled, you will know after thumping it as you will hear sounds like sand shifting inside and the thumping pitch will differ as it loosens up.
You are correct: There are indeed anti-clumping agents inside of ABC extinguishers, but it's always a good practice and habit to ensure that the dry-chem is in fact not caked at the bottom; a rubber mallet smacking the bottom will not harm the extinguisher, but just don't do it on the daily ( of course ).

For extinguisher inspections, I usually check the following:
1. Inspect the pressure gauge, then rotate fire extinguisher briskly a few times 180 Deg and note and changes in the pressure gauge.
2. Inspect the cylinder for any dings and dents, deep scratches, rust and corrosion.
3. Check the connection points around the neck of the extinguisher, as well as checking the hose for a firm connection and that there are no obstructions.
4. Unless there is a pin-rentention device, I usually remove the pin and lift the handle to ensure movement is present. Be careful not to discharge.

If you discharge your extinguisher, it is considered completely out of service ( durr ), and it should be replaced.
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Old 04-07-2013, 10:54 AM
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I've never recharged a tank before. How much does it cost and where do you do it at?
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Old 04-07-2013, 10:58 AM
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I've never recharged a tank before. How much does it cost and where do you do it at?
At a fire extinguisher service company. We charge $12 for a walk in annual, plus more for a 6 year tear down, and at 12 years a hydro test.
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Old 04-07-2013, 11:16 AM
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Something to think about adding at each fire extinguisher location. A pair of gloves and a flash light.

The extinguisher will put out the fire but will not cool the area (this applies for dry chem ABC extinguisher). I have shown up on calls where the home owner put out the fire. But burned the crap out of there hands when they go to clean up what was on fire.

One more item to add is a flashlight. This way you have one handy to check for spread and damage after the main fire is out. If the power is out and you put the fire out it gets dark quick.

By the door closest to the gas meter. I also keep a wrench to shut off the gas main.
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Old 04-07-2013, 11:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aufdrahtsein View Post
You are correct: There are indeed anti-clumping agents inside of ABC extinguishers, but it's always a good practice and habit to ensure that the dry-chem is in fact not caked at the bottom; a rubber mallet smacking the bottom will not harm the extinguisher, but just don't do it on the daily ( of course ).

For extinguisher inspections, I usually check the following:
1. Inspect the pressure gauge, then rotate fire extinguisher briskly a few times 180 Deg and note and changes in the pressure gauge.
2. Inspect the cylinder for any dings and dents, deep scratches, rust and corrosion.
3. Check the connection points around the neck of the extinguisher, as well as checking the hose for a firm connection and that there are no obstructions.
4. Unless there is a pin-rentention device, I usually remove the pin and lift the handle to ensure movement is present. Be careful not to discharge.

If you discharge your extinguisher, it is considered completely out of service ( durr ), and it should be replaced.

+1 on this post

When I performed inspections on the fire extinguishers at my fire station, I always did a brisk, rocking motion to help keep the agent from caking.

For people with children or teenagers in the home, or if you have goofball roommates, regular inspections are important. You will want to ensure that no one has been playing with the extinguisher in the backyard or something and then put it back. How awful would it be to grab the extinguisher to put out a fire only to learn that it's empty because your 14-year old son was goofing off one day? That's why you have to look for dents and gouges and to see if the pressure gauge is still showing the correct pressure!


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Old 04-07-2013, 11:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jt-cali View Post
If you have not been shaking your fire extinguishers, I suggest you go check it now. Even though they have anti-clumping agents, they still settle to the bottom over time, making them less efficient when it's time to use.

I initially had misunderstood this and never shook my extinguishers either. During our CERT training, we were told that sometimes you even need a rubber mallet to really shake things up. If yours had settled, you will know after thumping it as you will hear sounds like sand shifting inside and the thumping pitch will differ as it loosens up.
I did the CERT training and to my surprise I was told we should check our fire extinguishers monthly ( per the Alameda County FD ). Make sure to tilt the extinguishers to feel the powder shifting back and forth. If you can't feel the shifting powder and can't shake it loose then discard ASAP.

COSTCO is currently the cheapest supplier.

Where are you locating the extinguishers?

- Brian
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Old 04-07-2013, 11:55 AM
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Classes of fire

Class A- Ordinary combustibles
Class B- Flammable Liquids
Class C- Energized electrical equipment
Class D- Flammable Metals
Class E- Radio Active Materials
Class K- Commercial kitchen fires

A rating = 2 1/2 gal of water (2A = 5 gal)
B rating = #B how many sq ft of fire a lay person will be able to put out. (10B = 10 sq ft)
C rating = no rating for C

2A10BC = Equivalent of 5 gal of water and able to put out 10 sq ft of flammable liquid along with the ability to extinguish a class C fire.
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Old 04-07-2013, 12:04 PM
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I keep one in the back of my truck because I actually used it once to put out a truck that was on fire. It was weird: no owner around and by the time I finished the fire dept got there and I got a, "good job," before I went back to my commute to work.

Surreal.
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Old 04-07-2013, 12:57 PM
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I use the cheap Home Depot (abc) extinguishers in my home garage, shop etc..
Every year I have family shoot them off to get used to how they actually work and put out a small fire in a metal box. Cheap fire training.
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Old 04-07-2013, 2:28 PM
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With my work ( Fire Prevention Specialist ) I see a variety of extinguishers in a variety of conditions; consider the following: The demographic and location. For example many schools and public areas, you see a variety of damage and/or some that have actually been discharged and put back on their storage hinge. In your own home, you don't have to worry about such thing. If you keep your extinguisher in the elements, you can cover it with a trashbag to protect it as well.

Of course, whenever you have to discharge a fire-extinguisher in your own home, it's always a good idea to call the fire department. This way, they can check for potential extension of the fire using their TIC ( thermal imaging camera ) in areas that can't be seen by the naked eye; this way you prevent a rekindle of the fire. This is particularly important in fires that involve electrical issues ( i.e. improper wiring, et.cetera ); these kinds of fires tend to fester and smolder over a period of time until there's eventual ignition of combustibles.
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Old 04-07-2013, 6:27 PM
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I have few in my business and I really like the one being sold by Costco. It has stainless steel bracket/holder. I have done my research others are those cheap plastic holder and sprayer. Get from Costco and will last for years.
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Old 04-07-2013, 6:30 PM
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I have few in my business and I really like the one being sold by Costco. It has stainless steel bracket/holder. I have done my research others are those cheap plastic holder and sprayer. Get from Costco and will last for years.
But being a business means you have to have your extinguishers serviced and tagged annually. For your local requirements as well as your insurance.
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Old 04-07-2013, 10:56 PM
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"As per CFC...blah-blah-blah-yap-yap-yap-dribble-dribble-dribble", at the end of the day it boils down to reliability: If you think about it, everything that we do here and now boils down to, "Will it work when I need it to work?". If you choose to invest into something that will work versus, "meeting requirements" then that's your prerogative. Whether it's gun, investment decisions, whether we choose to get a carwash after paying for gas or even life changing decisions, we make choices. Will something with a plastic handle work? Yes, it could. Will investing into something with a metal handle work? Yes, it could. Whenever you buy an extinguisher or really any other decision you make in life: "What would I want at my disposal, when it seems like everything depends on one seemingly minute that decision that I've made and there are no other options currently available to me." Personally, like many other people here, I am a, "buy once, cry once" sort of person, but I understand the concept of cost restrictions, et.cetera. So long as the device ( or decision ) works, then that's that matters.


Sorry, didn't mean to turn this into some sort of epiphany hour ( maybe cause I've had too much rye whiskey tonight ). But if it works, it works.
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Old 04-07-2013, 11:17 PM
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Make sure you buy an extra one and practice with it. I'll bet a good many people that own them have never used one. You'll be surprised how quickly the smaller ones discharge.
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Old 04-08-2013, 5:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jt-cali View Post
If you have not been shaking your fire extinguishers, I suggest you go check it now. Even though they have anti-clumping agents, they still settle to the bottom over time, making them less efficient when it's time to use.

I initially had misunderstood this and never shook my extinguishers either. During our CERT training, we were told that sometimes you even need a rubber mallet to really shake things up. If yours had settled, you will know after thumping it as you will hear sounds like sand shifting inside and the thumping pitch will differ as it loosens up.


From what I've told by at least 3 service vendors that i have dealt with from the fire extinguisher service and repair have told me it's not necessary. Plus the two extinguishers that i currently have in the garage, I purchased back in 93', never had to "tap" them and roughly 4 years ago they discharged when operated.
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Old 04-08-2013, 8:57 AM
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I carry a small one in my pickup. It sits snug under the drivers seat next to the center console.

I also have 3 in my house in various places.
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Old 04-08-2013, 9:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fredridge View Post
thanks... I will pick some up.

Not opposed to checking them yearly, just was hoping for something that I wouldn't have to.

when I said no budget, I meant I hadn't set one as I didn't know what I should pay.

I want 3, so $150 should be easy to handle
Just add it to your list of things to do when you spring forward and fall back.

Change your smoke detector/carbon monoxide detector batteries.
Check you fire extinguishers.
Rotate out your stored water supply.
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