Do You Have A Fire Extinguisher?

If you live in a house, you may not have thought about having a fire extinguisher. (If you live in an apartment, you should ask your landlord. Not only are they just a good idea for safety reasons, but in many municipalities, they are required, and there may be one on your property or even in your apartment.) You may never have had to worry about fire or just don't think about it from day to day, but the truth is that fire can happen to anybody. And the thing about fire extinguishers is that they are relatively inexpensive. You can spend as much as you want on extinguishers, of course, but you can get a model for less than 20 dollars if you're bargain hunting. There's no reason not to have one, and every reason to have one. 

Here's some important information about owning one.

Well-maintained fire extinguishers can last a long time, but if yours has been sitting in the garage or perched on the wall next to the boiler since you moved into the house, maybe it hasn't been so well maintained. You'll want to check the pressure gauge on the fire extinguisher (if it does not have one, you will want to replace it). If the needle on the gauge is still in the green area, then there is still enough pressure within the extinguisher to put out a fire. You also want to check the hose for cracks or dry rotting; you want the pin to still be there and locked in. If there are any pieces missing or damage to the extinguisher, as inexpensive as residential models can be, you might as well just replace it, though you can also have them serviced.

Once you've used the fire extinguisher, you will want to have it recharged. You've expended the pressure in the fire extinguisher, as well as the material, and even if you've still got a little bit left on the needle, at this point it's probably wise to just have it recharged. If you bought your fire extinguisher from a company that specializes in them, you can likely have it recharged by them. You should also check with your local fire department, as many municipal fire departments offer this service, as well.

As far as placement goes, you should put it somewhere where it is easily accessible, though out of the way, and make sure that everybody in the household knows where it is.