Fire extinguishers work to control, or even extinguish, small fires. Often used as an emergency measure, most fire extinguishers are small, easily hand-held by an adult and used on fires announced by fire alarms before they have been able to grow large, uncontrollable or life-threatening. Keeping a fire extinguisher in any home, apartment or office is recommended by fire rescue personnel. Fire extinguishers come in many varieties and sizes, and should be replaced every few years, as they do have an expiry date for effectiveness.Fire Extinguisher Types
Fire extinguishers come in many types for convenience and easy storage, such as stored-pressure fire extinguishers and cartridge-based fire extinguishers. Stored-pressure fire extinguishers are the most common type of fire extinguisher, and usually resemble a red cylinder with handle and hose. They may come with two different fire-fighting agents, and use either nitrogen or compressed air to propel the dry chemical or foam fire-control agents. Cartridge-based fire extinguishers are less common and can be more easily refilled or recharged, often utilising carbon dioxide as the propellant.Fire Extinguisher Materials
Fire extinguishers come in two broad classes beyond the basic type: foam fire extinguishers and powder fire extinguishers. These are produced for different classes of fire. Foam fire extinguishers are cleared for A and B class fires, where dry powder fire extinguishers are cleared for fire classes A, B, C and E, the latter of which are more common at industrial worksites.Fire Extinguisher Fire Blankets
As an alternative to propellant fire extinguishers, one can also purchase fire blankets, which are weighted and metal-lined. This means that the blanket smothers the fire, depriving it of oxygen. These can be great tools to fight a fire with an unknown source, as electrical, oil or chemical fires can be difficult to put out with traditional means.Fire Extinguisher Brands
Fire extinguishers are produced by a wide variety of brands. Popular brands include First Alert, Firebox, Quell, Excelgard and ChemFire. Many of these brands produce many other fire safety tools and products.