Safety First, Coziness Second: Caring for Your Fire Extinguisher / by Chris Bonner

This is the time of year when we light fires as the sun sets at 4 pm, string up lights on every square inch of our homes inside and out, and cook and bake to our heart's content. Some of the indulgences of winter can put us at greater risk of fire in our homes. 

Fire extinguishers are the first line of defense against frightening flames in the home. Get one if you don't already have one and make sure everyone in your home knows where it is. Keep in mind that an extinguisher is only helpful to you in an emergency if it works. Manufacturers recommend that you inspect your extinguisher monthly checking to see that:

  • The extinguisher is not blocked by equipment, coats or other objects that could interfere with access in an emergency.
  • The pressure is at the recommended level. On extinguishers equipped with a gauge, the needle should be in the green zone–not too high and not too low.
  • The nozzle or other parts are not hindered in any way.
  • The pin and tamper seal (if it has one) are intact.
  • There are no dents, leaks, rust, chemical deposits and/or other signs of abuse/wear. Wipe off any corrosive chemicals, oil, gunk, etc. that may have deposited on the extinguisher.

Beyond familiarizing yourself with your fire extinguisher, it's a good practice to take it to a professional annually–or as often as the manufacturer recommends–for regular maintenance.

We may have gifted you a fire extinguisher when you moved into your home. Recently we discovered that one of the models we gifted has been recalled. If this is the fire extinguisher you have–whether we gave it to you or not–please let us know and we will get you a replacement!