Household fires cause more damage to life and property every year than any other form of accident, totaling millions in expensive reconstruction and restitution. Many fires can be avoided if basic, commonsense fire extinguisher storage practice is followed. By properly storing your fire extinguishers, you can avoid becoming one of the many thousands of people devastated by unchecked household fires.
Where to Put Fire Extinguishers
Have at least one fire extinguisher for every level of your home, including separate ones for high-risk areas such as the kitchen and garage as well as work spaces that use electrical or heat-based tools. Take care when deciding where to place them because there are several crucial factors that can limit or completely eliminate their usefulness in the event of a fire, as well as tactical advantages to consider.
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Fire extinguishers for general rooms (bedrooms, living room) should be located away from outlets, heating elements and sub-surface electrical components, such as fuse boxes. In the event that one of these factors sparks a fire, you want to be able to reach your fire extinguisher without endangering yourself or compromising the integrity of the extinguisher itself. If possible, place the extinguisher near an exit from your home in case the fire becomes uncontrollable and you need to retreat.
For areas with a much higher chance of fire, including kitchens and garages, fire extinguishers should be placed as far away from each area's dangerous zones as possible. In the kitchen, for example, your biggest fire hazard is the stove due to the presence of its open heating elements on top and its powerful heating elements inside. So store your extinguisher near the kitchen door, or in a kitchen area well away from the stove's danger zone, to avoid being unable to reach it in a time of need.
Places not to put your fire extinguisher include the back of the cupboard under the sink, above the stove and on top of a high-shelving unit. These places, and places similar to them, will keep you from accessing your fire extinguisher quickly, which will directly affect how much potential damage the fire will cause.