February 24, 2023
If you have a fire in your home, you want to be able to put it out as quickly and efficiently as possible. But what is the best way to do that? Should you use a fire extinguisher or a fire extinguishing spray?
In this blog post, we will compare fire extinguishers and fire sprays and discuss the advantages and disadvantages of each device. We will also differentiate between a fire extinguisher and a fire spray. So, if you are wondering whether you should buy a fire extinguisher or a fire spray, read on!
Fire extinguishers are handheld devices that use a variety of chemicals to put out fires. They have been around for centuries, and they are the most common type of fire protection you’ll see in many households and commercial establishments.
Fire extinguishers work by smothering the fire with chemicals or by interrupting the chemical reaction that is taking place. It is not as difficult to use because all you need is to remember the acronyms PASS (Pull, Aim, Squeeze, and Sweep) to make it work.
However, although it can be used even without training, it is still recommended for homeowners to join fire drills and get the basic knowledge on how to operate fire extinguishers so they can use them seamlessly and without incidents during common household fires.
Types of Fire Extinguishers
The most common type of fire extinguisher is the ABC fire extinguisher, which is effective against all three major types of fires. But listed below are the different types of fire extinguishers available in the market:
Type A: Class A fire extinguishers are designed for use on ordinary combustible materials, such as wood, paper, or cloth.
Type B: Class B fire extinguishers are designed for use on flammable liquids, such as gasoline or oil.
Type C: Class C fire extinguishers are designed for use on electrical equipment, such as computers or appliances.
Type D: Class D fire extinguishers are designed for use on combustible metals, such as magnesium or aluminum.
Type K: Class K fire extinguishers are designed for use on cooking oils and greases.
The Best Thing About Getting Fire Extinguishers
There are many advantages to having household fire extinguishers. For one, they help in fighting common household fires and prevent them from spreading. They are portable, which makes them easy to grab and move around wherever the location of the fire is.
Fire extinguishers are also easy to use, especially since most extinguishers have just one trigger that you need to press in order to release the extinguishing agent from its nozzle that can put out the fire. Finally, they are relatively inexpensive when compared to other types of fire protection.
Concerns about Fire Extinguishers
Although fire extinguishers are great tools that can help mitigate the escalation of a small-scale house fire, they have their disadvantages too.
For instance, fire extinguishers have a limited range. This means that you need to be close to the fire in order to use them. This can cause injuries and fatalities at times because coming within the range of the fire can cause you to get caught in its sparks or to be totally engulfed in it.
Fire extinguishers also contain a limited amount of chemicals depending on how big they are. Thus, it follows that they can be used for a limited amount of time only and are not for large-scale fires. They even need replacements every once in a while particularly since they are made up of chemicals that can lose their effectiveness after a certain period. Because of this, regular inspection from the homeowners is a must to ensure that they are not keeping an out-of-commission fire extinguisher.
Lastly, fire extinguishers can be dangerous to use as well. They have chemicals that can cause skin and eye irritation. As such, it is essential to be careful when using them.
Fire Extinguishing Sprays
Fire extinguishing sprays also function like a typical fire extinguisher in a way that it helps control small fires before they become big ones. They normally come in an aerosol spray canister that can be used like your normal disinfecting aerosol sprays at home, although with fire extinguishing properties.
Fire extinguishing sprays are best for putting off small and contained fires such as those in a wastebasket or on a stovetop. This is the most portable yet which can be carried around even in your vehicles, boats, workshops, and RVs for emergency fire protection use. It can also be carried easily for camping trips, and during similar activities which will definitely give you peace of mind knowing that you are protected against a common house fire.
Like a traditional home fire extinguisher, a fire extinguishing aerosol spray can be effective in combating fire containing paper, cloth or fabric, wood, electrical wires and equipment, and even cooking oil. It is used by just pushing the trigger button and aiming at the base of the fire until it is thoroughly extinguished.
Best features of Fire Extinguishing Sprays
One of the main advantages of fire extinguishing sprays is that they’re easy to use. Simply point and spray at the base of the fire, and it will be extinguished quickly. No need to pull any safety pins off first before you can use them.
Fire extinguishing sprays are also known to not cause any damage to appliances. They have an extinguishing agent that is pretty easy to clean up. They are even less expensive than traditional fire extinguishers. In fact, you can find them at most hardware stores for under $20.
When it comes to portability, fire extinguishing sprays are great contenders. Even children can move them when necessary. This also makes it easy to keep this fire protection device around. No need for big spaces or special arrangements. Just take it with you especially in your car and during camping for your safety and peace of mind.
Hazards of choosing Fire Extinguishing Sprays
Likewise, fire extinguishing sprays come with disadvantages too. The most blatant one is them not having the capability to last as long as traditional fire extinguishers. You may need to have several cans to work even for small fires. Further, their nozzle has limited coverage in terms of output making it not as effective against large fires.
It is also not as easy as you think to aim with a fire extinguishing spray especially when you are panicking and you need to come close to the fire before you can try to put it off. So you may need to practice a bit before using one in an emergency situation.
Finally, there are instances when fire extinguishing sprays can be ineffective. When not used properly, instead of putting off a fire, it can aggravate it instead and cause the fire to even spread faster. This is most especially if you are dealing with a grease fire.
The Verdict: Choosing between a Fire Extinguisher and Fire Spray
So, should you buy a fire extinguishing spray for your home?
The answer to this question depends on a few factors. First, you need to decide which type of fire protection is right for your home. If you are looking for something that is a lot easier to use and can be used only for common small house fires, then a fire spray might be enough for you. But if you are looking for something that is more effective, can discharge more extinguishing agents, and can better protect you in case of an average fire, then a traditional fire extinguisher is your best choice.
Second, you need to decide which type of fire protection is right for your budget. Fire extinguishing sprays cost way less than fire extinguishers so they can be the best choice if you are on a tight budget. But if you have some bucks to spare, getting both is a safer choice.
In the end, no matter which type of fire protection you choose, make sure to practice using it so you’re prepared in case of an emergency. If you think either or both your fire spray and fire extinguisher are not anymore sufficient to put out the fire, then immediately call your local fire department.