The Homeowner's Guide to Fire Extinguishers [INFOGRAPHIC]

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You've seen the bright red devices everywhere, from local schools to hotels, and even shopping malls.

They sit on the wall, untouched yet ready for action when disaster strikes, acting as the first line of defense in the event of a fire. But if a fire strikes at your home, will you have a fire extinguisher handy? More importantly, will you know how to use it?

Fire extinguishers are an important mode of initial fire protection. They can eliminate small fires quickly, preventing flames from spreading and minimizing property damage. For homeowners in wildfire-prone areas, it may even stop a fire from spreading to your entire community.

Fire Extinguishers: The First Line in Home Defense

It's not enough to simply own a fire extinguisher. You need to know what type of extinguisher to keep at home, how to take care of it, and how to use it.

For instance, you may not realize there are different types of fire extinguishers — some are better suited for businesses, while others are suited for residential homes. A fire sparked by paper or wood behaves differently than a fire sparked by oil or gasoline, and different formulas are used to put each one out. Each "class" of extinguisher is designed to manage specific types of fire.

Not only should you select the right fire extinguisher for your home, but you must also pay attention to the regular maintenance tasks to ensure it’s ready to work effectively in an emergency.

Read our handy infographic below to learn about which fire extinguishers you need in your home, how to properly maintain them, and how to use them to protect your family. Our homeowner’s guide to fire extinguishers will give you the confidence and knowledge to defend your home from the unpredictable threat of fire.

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