Amerex B402 is a Homeowners Top Pick
There’s no doubt price is an important factor to consider when you are selecting the best amongst a couple of products, after all, what’s the point of an excellent product that isn’t affordable. The Amerex B402 extinguisher comes in a little higher at price than the other two yet clinched our number one spot as it compensates heavily in durability, capacity, ease of maintenance/service and an impressive underwriters laboratory rating.
All of these translate to a fire extinguisher that’ll make you rest easy which is almost priceless. With the B402 steel casing and aluminium valve, none of the parts will break down whenever you are ready to use them. The Amerex also stands out among the rest with its 5-pound dry chemical extinguishing agent, that’s more than enough to put out small or medium fire hazards. In addition to its reliability, the
Amerex also displays full competency in handling multiple classes of fire, such as ordinary combustibles (paper, Wood), flammable liquid (alcohol, acid etc) and electrical gadgets. The discharge covers as much as 40square feet(as shown in the UL rating), which is clearly another plus for the Amerex B402. This is one the highest rating around and among our top five fire extinguishers
Reviews: Best Fire Extinguishers of 2020
- Amerex B402 – Best Reliable
- First Alert 1038789 – Best Affordable
- Kidde 21005779 Pro 210 – Best Convenient
- Buckeye 13315 ABC – Also Great
- H3R Performance HG100C – Also Great
1. Amerex B402
This is still easy to carry when you are ready to engage… In case of a fire outbreak, just remove the safety pin and point at an angle towards the base of the fire while you are standing feet’s away. The powder extinguishing agent will make a little, easy-to-clean mess no doubt, but it’ll put the fire out effectively and avoid a much bigger mess from fire damage. The Amerex B402 is your one-stop fire fighting gadget. Its versatility in handling multiple types of fire makes it worthy of the tag A:B:C class extinguisher.
With a 14 seconds discharge time, this extinguisher will avert that potential fire hazard quickly and you might not need to call the fire fighting department. One major thing the Amerex has got going among many is that it was built to last. From the steel cylinder frame and full metallic valve outside to the dry chemical inside, you’ll rest easy knowing when you are ready to put out a fire, the Amerex B402 will be ready to deliver. Altogether with the free wall bracket, it’s great value.
2. First Alert 1038789
Unlike water which is not suitable for an electrical fire, or carbon (Iv)oxide not suitable for very windy conditions, the mono ammonium phosphate powder has an A:B:C rating, meaning it can tackle the fire from different sources such as paper, liquid chemicals and electrical equipment. The red cylinder unit, valve and trigger are all made from durable metal. No doubt, this extinguisher has some ruggedness going on.
Furthermore, in order to prevent unwanted discharge of the dry chemical within, the pull-pin is furnished with a safety seal. It’ll interest you to know that the First alert fire extinguisher is approved for marine operation by the United state coast guard, which is another pass mark and the reason why it’s recommended asides its affordability. With a UL rating UL rating of 1 A: 10 B:C, it’s not the highest in the market, but it shows it can handle multiple class fire and is capable of covering ten square feet range fire hazard.
3. Kidde 21005779 Pro 210
With a quick discharge time of 15 seconds and a maximum operating pressure of up to 100 PSI, the Pro 210 will handle sudden outbreak in no time. Furthermore, you’ll notice how light it feels when you lift it, this comes as a surprise as the dry chemical already takes up about 4 pounds. Altogether, at a finished weight of 7 pounds, this is an easy-pick when ready to use.
Designed to cover a range of 10 square foot, the Kidde Pro 210 won’t fail you when the need arises. It’s the perfect domestic fire extinguisher. Just mount a couple of these in strategic places such as the kitchen garage, the backyard and you’ll rest knowing your home is covered. Furthermore, in terms of operation, the Pro 210 is quite easy to handle. With an easy pull, the safety pin will come out easily. A gentle squeeze after the right positioning to the base of the fire will do the trick.
More Fire Extinguishers that Are Worth a Look
We found a few more that didn’t quite make the top three, but had enough good qualities that we think they’re worth considering as you shop around.
4. Buckeye 13315 ABC
The manufacturer made this one durable. The entire body is made out of commercial-grade steel and aluminum finished with polyester coating. There’s no worrying about this unit. Just pick it up from where you kept and it’ll be ready for use as long as you adopt a good servicing routine.
Operation is easy. However, if you require further instruction about usage and maintenance, the manufacturer added a simple-to-understand instruction in English and also Spanish and French for those that understand other languages better. The powdered content is just a little over 2 pounds. After a couple of usage, it’ll be safe to recharge.
5. H3R Performance HG100C
It features liquefied gas as its extinguishing agent. Unlike powder, you don’t need to worry about all the after-discharge mess it leaves behind. In addition, your electronics are also safe from any thermal shock. Just swing one or two of these in your car and you’ll rest knowing you are covered from any unforeseen fire hazard. One of the advantages of liquefied gas extinguishers is that it’ll get into difficult to reach spots easily. With a maximum discharge range of 8 feet, there’s no outbreak in your car it won’t handle.
Furthermore, the combination of metal and steel construction used in the design of the cylinder, valve and pull-pin is another pass mark for durability. The package comes with a steel strap in addition to a mount-bracket. H3R performance also added a 5-year warranty to protect your purchase.
Things to Consider Before You Buy
With a fire extinguisher around the home or workplace, a small fire incidence can be controlled easily without further escalation or damage to lives and property. However, fire extinguishers are not the same. The difference isn’t just about the price, or material of construction but also in the basic fire-fighting function.
If you decide to make a purchase, the type you might choose will depend on the class of fire hazard your home or office may be prone to. While some are specific for some class of fire, others are more versatile, capable of handling fire from various sources. Here are some of the things to consider before you buy a fire extinguisher.
Types of Fire Extinguishers and their uses
Before we jump right into it, It would be ideal to have a good understanding of the types of fire class the extinguishers are designed to handle in order to avoid a whole lot of clumsiness and for easy understanding.
- Class A: ordinary combustibles e.g paper, wood
- Class B: fire from flammable liquid, chemical, gas etc
- Class C: electrical fire
- Class D: metallic fire
- Class K: cooking oil fire.
- Water extinguishers
From the name, these are extinguishers that utilize water as the basic fire handling agent. They are very suitable for putting out class A fire but are neither very effective nor recommended for the other classes of flames. Much recently, advancement in technology has improved water-based fire extinguishers into a more versatile fire-fighting tool referred to as water mist extinguishers. Here water is discharged as almost microscopic molecules.
They appear fog-like and operate in two combined fire-handling mechanisms. First, water molecule fog overwhelms the oxygen present in the range of fire. In addition, it also fights fire by doing what water knows how to do best, by cooking down fire temperature thereby snuffing our threat. Furthermore, water mist technology adopts de-ionized water i.e water devoid of its mineral content. This contributes to its versatility in handling class C fires because deionized water cannot conduct electricity.
Foam fire extinguisher
Specially designed to handle class A and B fires with the exception of fire from gas sources as it’s not very effective in containing the erratic nature of gas fire. The extinguishing agent is a spray that reacts with air creating a foam-like structure that envelopes the fire. The foam envelopes the flame cutting off the further supply of vapour from flammable liquid to the flame. In addition, the foam is also wet in nature, this also supplies a cooling effect to the flame thereby putting it out. They are one of the best extinguishers for class B fire.
Dry chemical (powder) fire extinguisher
These are also known as ABC fire extinguishers due to their competency in handling Class A, B and C fires. Powder extinguishers are the most common one-stop extinguishers used in most homes and offices because of versatility in handling the fires residential and office building are easily prone. The powder is made of monoammonium phosphate.
Operating with the principle of creating a powdery blanket to suffocate the fire, an ABC extinguisher discharges powder at high pressure to put out flames. Furthermore, the powder is also a non-conductors of electricity which makes it suitable for handling Class C fire. It equally fights Class B and A for its ability to break the chain reaction of fire. One of the disadvantages is the residue of powder stain it leaves behind.
Carbon(iV)oxide (CO2) fire extinguisher
Unlike the 3 above, the carbon(iv) oxide based extinguishers are the neatest fire fighting agent as they don’t leave any residue that requires cleaning. CO2 extinguishers operate by exploiting the elements that fire needs to burn i.e oxygen, heat and fuel source. While the fuel source may still be present, carbon(iv) oxide quenches fire by displacing oxygen and the cool nature also eliminates the heat from the fire-equation.
These kinds of extinguishers are more suitable for class B and C fires. The major con of the carbon(iv)oxide fire extinguisher is that it doesn’t do well in areas that are not enclosed or where the wind has an upper hand. Instead of displacing the oxygen, the high wind presence will pull the oxygen back into the flame making it difficult to put out the fire.
Do I really need a fire extinguisher?
Fire extinguishers are one of those things you hope you’ll never use yet you’ll have to keep them around since you can’t predict when a fire incident would happen. These are some of the reasons you need to get a fire extinguisher and also know how to effectively use it otherwise, the point of having it around the home will be completely defeated.
Protection of your property
Whether residential or small/medium business space, the possibility of a fire outbreak cannot be ignored. Residential buildings have everything that can contribute to a fire hazard. From cooking oil to electrical equipment such as an oven, microwave, electric kettles etc. No matter how careful one is, a simple short circuit may cause a spark which can lead to a fire incident.
While most homes are already furnished with smoke detector alarms, fire extinguishers are a necessary addition and never a substitute. There’s no point calling the fire department if you can easily put out the fire in order to terminate further damage that could happen while waiting for the fire fighters.
You could save lives
If you have a fire extinguisher at home to put out a fire on time before the fire service arrived, you could save lives. A fire outbreak doesn’t just come with the flame that consumes everything in its path if.
Reports of many fire incidents show that many victims reportedly die due to suffocation from smoke generated during large and small fire incidents.
Folks with a respiratory impairment such as asthma may suffer an attack from a small fire incident as a result of the smoke. A quick intervention with an extinguisher would have stopped both smoke and fire threat from reaching anyone instead of waiting for the fire service unit.
Protecting the environment
If a fire incident is not controlled on time, it leads to the release of greenhouse gasses in the environment. If the flame is quenched on time, the release of such gases would be avoided. In addition, the resources firefighters will exhaust in putting out a small fire that has probably graduated into an inferno would have been saved
It’s the law in some locations
The regulations in some states require that all buildings be furnished with fire extinguishers. It is required that a minimum of two fire extinguishers that can handle class A fires be mounted in a building. Furthermore, if the building is designed with multiple floors, a fire extinguisher is expected to be positioned on every floor. However, if the building is considered a small property, one extinguisher may be allowed.
Insurance claim validation
As you know, insurance companies make more money when you don’t have any damage since no damage translates to no claim. However, If you do have damage, it’s their duty to ensure you were not deliberately negligent just because you’ve got an insurance cover in place.
If a fire incident happens on your site, whether a private residential property or office space, the total absence of fire extinguishers or the presence of outdated ones could invalidate one’s claim. Even worse, one could be accused of deliberately setting his property on fire in order to get access to easy funds.
How to Use a Fire Extinguisher
Fire extinguishers are designed to put out low to medium fire hazards. If the fire is larger than the coverage specified by the underwriter laboratories, do call the fire service department. It might not be something you can handle on your own with a basic fire extinguisher. If you do have a small incident in your car, home or office, first ensure the extinguisher is not too heavy for you to handle. Some fire extinguishers are designed for you to hold the cylinder in one hand and also position the discharge nozzle with the other hand.
Gently pull the pin and position the discharge nozzle at an angle to the base of the flame. By squeezing the trigger the extinguishing agent is released within seconds. Sweep across the base if wide to cut-off the fire completely. Care must be taken not to move too close to the fire when releasing the fire-fighting agent. If the fire is not attacked at the base, one might have difficulty putting out the fire easily.
How to Maintain a Fire Extinguisher
After the purchase of a good fire extinguisher, you might need to ensure your new extinguisher is filled. Some have been reported to be shipped empty by the manufacturer. While this is quality control or assurance error, you would have easily detected it and returned for a replacement. This can be done by checking the pressure gauge at point of delivery and also regularly.
Furthermore, ensure the pull-pin is secured in place to prevent accidental discharge in case of any fall. Manufacturers usually advise on a proper maintenance schedule. Make sure this schedule is followed whether you have reasons to use the extinguisher or not. If you’ve got a powder extinguisher, shake it regularly so the powder doesn’t settle in a lump. Allow a professional check the pressure gauge from time to time so you are not viewing false readings from your pressure gauge.
Recharging is important after use, even if you did not exhaust the entire content of the cylinder. Yes, it costs some extra bucks to do so, but you’ll always be glad you did when a fire incident happens. Failure to maintain your unit can cause total disappointment when there’s an actual need to put out the fire. During an emergency, lack of maintenance might impair the discharge of your extinguisher properly. Even worse, a complete failure to discharge.
Furthermore, fire extinguishers have been reported to explode due to bad maintenance practice. It is, therefore, crucial to check and ensure regular maintenance. In addition, the recording of each maintenance is crucial. This isn’t only to ensure the maintenance schedule is adhered to but also to record what kind of work was done on it.
Best Fire Extinguishers FAQs
What type of fire extinguisher is best for home use?
Residential buildings are prone to different classes of fire. The kitchen has a potential source for Class A,B,C fire. A dry chemical or powder extinguisher is, therefore, suitable for home use. Though they leave residual powder as a mess, they usually get the job done pretty quick.
Can a fire extinguisher work on electrical fires?
Yes. Extinguishers are designed to handle fire from different sources. Electrical fires are referred to as Class C fires. Dry chemical or powder extinguishers are competent in handling electrical fires including ordinary combustibles and fires from inflammable liquids. Carbon(iv) oxide fire extinguishers are also capable of putting out electrical fires. New fire extinguisher technology also adopts the use of deionized water. Since the water of this kind is devoid of the ability to conduct electricity, they are also suitable to handle class C fires.
How does a water mist extinguisher work?
Water mist extinguishers utilize water for fighting agents. However, unlike the conventional water fire extinguisher, the water extinguisher discharges microscopic water molecules. They appear fog-like and operate in two combined fire-handling mechanisms. First, the released water molecule fog overwhelms the oxygen present in the range of fire. In addition, it also fights fire by doing what water knows how to do best i.e cooling down fire temperature thereby snuffing-out the threat.
Furthermore, water mist technology uses de-ionized water i.e water devoid of mineral content. This contributes to its versatility in handling class C fires because deionized water cannot conduct electricity. The residue it leaves behind is simply water and it’s easy to clean.
What’s most effective on class B and C fires?
Class B & C fires are fires from liquid and electrical gadgets respectively. Because Carbon(iv)oxide displaces oxygen and cools heat easily without creating a post-fire-fighting mess, they are more ideal for electrical and liquid fires. The ABC extinguishers also known as dry chemical or powder extinguishers are also equipped to easily quench class B&C fire.
How We Picked the Best Fire Extinguishers
The ratings of a fire extinguisher determines the kind of fire it can handle. This is usually printed in the cylinder. An extinguisher must be capable of handling potential fire hazards where it’s to be installed. In homes, ordinary combustibles, flammable liquid and electrical gadgets are present. The chance that a fire incident can happen from any of these cannot be ignored. Hence, a fire extinguisher that can handle all three is ideal.
Fire extinguishers are made with different extinguishing agents such as water, dry chemical powder, foam, and carbon(iv)oxide. All of these agents are suitable for different classes of fire. e.g conventional water extinguishers are suitable for most ordinary combustibles. A good fire extinguisher should be competent to handle the class or classes of fire it was designed for. Though it may have some cons, the effectiveness should outweigh the downside.
Because fire extinguishers are purchased to handle hazards that won’t likely happen every day, the material used in constructing the entire cylinder frame, valve and pull-pin is important. This is to ensure that whenever you are ready to use during emergencies, there would be no disappointment from any of the parts. Therefore a good fire extinguisher that would give peace of mind and would be available for use at any time must be made with rust-resistant durable metal or steel. There have been reports of cylinders that explode due to rust and bad maintenance.
The capacity of Fire Extinguisher
Fire extinguishers are designed in different sizes. A small cylinder construction will ideally contain little fire extinguishing agent to handle low hazard. This kind of fire extinguisher may find better application in cars. However, fire extinguishers for homes and commercial settings are expected to have more content about 4-5 pounds (without the weight of the cylinder) so as to handle potential fire incidents effectively. If the fire fighting agent is liquid, the content would be measured and designated in litres or centilitres.
The range it can cover
While engaging a fire extinguisher to put out the fire, the discharge content has a maximum range it can cover. This is usually measured in square foot and is written together with the UL ratings. It is usually printed by the manufacturer on the cylinder. For example, a fire extinguisher with an underwriter laboratories rating of 3A:40BC means it can cover 40 square foot range during discharge.