There are three main types of fire extinguishers available for use by the general population:
- pressurized water (seldom used today),
- carbon dioxide, and
- multipurpose dry chemical.
NOTE: there are other specialty extinguishers that are available in specific locations for special hazards. These extinguishers include:
- sodium bicarbonate based BC extinguishers for kitchen use,
- halon extinguishers for use on computers and other sensitive electronic equipment.
Portable extinguishers should be installed within plain view and out of the reach of children. They should be near an escape route and always away from stoves and other heat sources.
Unless it is a disposable extinguisher, which should be replaced after each use, an extinguisher requires care. Follow the extinguisher operating instructions regarding its routine maintenance. Before purchasing an extinguisher, ask your dealer how often it should be inspected and serviced. NOTE: All rechargeable models must be serviced after each use.