When properly used, a portable fire extinguisher can put out a small fire, or control a small fire until the fire department arrives. Choose the quantity based on your residence type:
- Apartment: One mounted in the kitchen, close to the exit
- House: Two – one in the kitchen, another in the workshop or utility room
- Business: A minimum of one. Phone the Fire Prevention Office of Vancouver Fire and Rescue Services for details
Type of fire
Portable fire extinguishers are labeled with letters – A, B and C – or symbols. This label shows the extinguisher has been tested against one or more of the three types of house fires:
- Class A: Ordinary combustibles such as wood, cloth, paper, rubber, and many plastics
- Class B: Flammable liquids such as gasoline, oil, grease, tar, oil-based paint and lacquer, and flammable gas
- Class C: Electrical equipment such as wiring, fuse boxes, circuit breakers, machinery, and appliances
Read the fire extinguisher labels
The label on a portable fire extinguisher shows the type and size of fire the device can extinguish.
Tip: Vancouver Fire and Rescue Services recommends an ABC multi-purpose dry chemical extinguisher with a minimum 2A 10BC rating.
Warning: Portable fire extinguishers - of any size - are not designed to fight large or spreading fires.
Fire extinguisher installation
Install portable fire extinguishers where they can be seen, but above a child's reach. Install at least one in the kitchen, one in the basement, and at least one by every exit of the house.
Fire extinguishers are pressurized cannisters. Keep them away from any stoves or heating appliances.