Fire extinguishers space much better known in the united state than fire blankets, yet they both have a location in her fire safety and security plan

Both fire blankets and also fire extinguishers deserve to extinguish small fires—so, how do castle differ and what should you know about each? Let"s compare how they do in regards to ease the use, reusability, and appropriate use cases.

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Feel cost-free to take it a look at our choice of abc dry chemical and CO2 fire extinguishers. Speak to us in ~ +1 (888) 361-6662 or email to find out much more about our selection of fire blankets.

Fire extinguishers room a go-to piece of fire safety tools for a reason

Fire extinguishers are possibly the best-known method of fighting tiny fires in their at an early stage stages. With choices ranging native the flexible ABC fire extinguisher, which have the right to tackle a variety of typical fires, to CO2 extinguishers, which execute not leave residue and work ~ above fires including flammable liquids, gases, and electrical equipment, there’s a fire extinguisher for almost every application.

Unfortunately, numerous homes don’t even have a fire extinguisher, though cooking fires alone brought about “an average of 471 home … fires every day” throughout a duration studied between 2012 and also 2016. In contrast, extinguishers are typical at work and also in publicly spaces because they’re forced by fire codes throughout the united state in commercial buildings. Fire extinguishers are also a an excellent idea for vehicles and, in some cases— such as commercial trucks, tractors, and also buses—they’re required.


This 5 pound abc fire extinguisher is a good choice for a house or vehicle.

The pros of fire extinguishers

They are an extremely effective when supplied properly

Fire extinguishers are reasonably easy come use, and also a study by the nationwide Association that Fire devices Dealers (NAFED) verified they were “effective in extinguishing fires 95 percent that the time.” This, of course, uses when a fire is in a relatively early, containable stage. However even once a fire extinguisher might not totally put the end the fire, the study uncovered that the often limited damage and detailed some level of control over the case until firefighters could arrive.

A wide selection of sizes are obtainable for various structures and also threats

When secs count, fire extinguishers deserve to either protect against a fire or give you time come retreat safely. We carry ABC fire extinguishers v capacities ranging from 2.5 pounds of dry chemical to 20 pounds. The capacities that the CO2 models variety from 5 pounds come 20 pounds. Because that both the 2.5 pound abc dry chemical and the 5 lb CO2 fire extinguishers, the continuous discharge time is rated in ~ 9 seconds. In the 20 lb versions, the alphabet fire extinguisher is rated to discharge consistently for 27 seconds, and also the CO2 model have the right to discharge consistently for 20 seconds.

The smaller extinguishers space recommended because that vehicle, home, or office use, while bigger ones are essential for enlarge areas and also those with more combustible materials, like warehouses or manufacturing environments. The capacity essential for a specific fire extinguisher is identified by nationwide Fire protection Association (NFPA) standards and also codes, which we comment on in much more detail in this guide.


Approaching the base of a fire with a fire extinguisher indigenous a reasonably safe distance. Source: BoatU.S. Foundation

Fire extinguishers allow you to fight a fire native a safer distance

The variety of a fire extinguisher also varies through its size and also capacity, but all of them permit a user to stand off some distance native a fire.’s CO2 fire extinguishers space all rated because that 4-8 feet the range, whereas alphabet models gain a little much more distance together they gain larger. For example, the 2.5 lb Buckeye abc fire extinguisher is rated because that a range of 9-15 feet, while a 20-pound model is rated for 15-21 feet—allowing you to open up up ~ above the fire native the recommended street of 8 to 10 feet. You have the right to then job-related your means to the basic of the fire if possible, or retreat if you are not able come contain it.

Fire extinguishers: cons and also considerations

Using them calls for some training

A fire extinguisher can be provided by many people, however employing one safely and effectively does speak to for a little bit of training. Keep in mind that work-related Safety and Health management (OSHA) regulations need formal maintain for infrastructure under your jurisdiction.

The right means to usage a fire extinguisher is often defined by the acronym P.A.S.S:

P – pull the Pin.A – target the Nozzle at the basic of the Fire.S – squeeze out the handle Together.S – Sweep back and Forth.

While act this, you need to take treatment to begin spraying if standing in ~ a for sure distance, also if the spray is not fairly reaching the basic of the fire. You deserve to move closer if the fire is dying out as you advance.

The P.A.S.S. Technique is explained and also demonstrated in this video:

Larger volume fire extinguishers are heavy

The larger a fire extinguisher is, the much longer it will be able to fight a fire—and the more heavier it will certainly be. World who absence upper human body strength might struggle to pick up a larger fire extinguisher prefer a 20 lb. Model or take it it turn off a wall surface bracket safely. A 5 lb. Model deserve to be taken on by most people, but it is, the course, reduced in capacity and range.

Cleanup after discharge have the right to be significant

If you’ve acquired a choice between a fire and also a mess, you’ll select the mess every time. But the cleaning compelled after utilizing a fire extinguisher is something to consider. Our “Guide come Fire Extinguisher Clean Up” details the steps that you have to take ~ a discharge.


This photo shows the residue left ~ fire extinguishers were discharged in an act of vandalism. The Bellingham Herald reported the this damages to 3 dormitories in ~ a disability camp ranged indigenous $12,000 to $15,000. Source: The Bellingham Herald

Cleanup demands vary through type, and also common abc fire extinguishers, unfortunately, leaving a residue that is among the more daunting discharges to handle. You may need professional assist cleaning increase after a discharge, particularly if the residue has obtained into ductwork—the dried chemical is toxic, and also you should avoid acquiring it into any waterways.

Fire extinguishers must be replaced or recharged after ~ use

Once a fire extinguisher is used, it should be changed or recharged, even if it was not completely discharged. Commercial grade fire extinguishers can regularly be serviced and also recharged after ~ use, yet many inexpensive extinguishers, prefer those sold in retail stores, room designed because that one use only and must it is in replaced.

The expense of instead of a fire extinguisher varies. For example, ours variety from a little over $30 because that a 2.5 lb. Buckeye alphabet fire extinguisher to end $300 for our 20 lb. Buckeye CO2 model.

In contrast, recharging and doing full trial and error on a fire extinguisher usually varieties from around $20 come $70. Thus, it’s an ext cost-effective to recharge bigger fire extinguishers, whereas smaller sized ones are frequently simply replaced. This is due to the fact that much that the servicing cost is labor and parts—elements i beg your pardon are comparable in cost regardless that capacity.


Fire blankets: a great option because that containing fires and also protecting people from flames—but not for fighting a fire that’s already spreading

Fire blankets work on a simple principle: smother the fire and also deprive that of oxygen. To execute this effectively, they have to be nonflammable themselves and provide as much of a barrier for heat and oxygen as possible. A modern commercial fire blanket will contain a fiberglass great to accomplish this purpose and the blanket will be designed to save the fiberglass from comes in call with skin.

A fire blanket need to be an installed on a wall near (but not straight over) the area where it might be needed. Because that example, NFPA codes and standards stipulate that fire extinguishers be put within 30 feet of food preparation equipment, and also it’s ideal to location a fire ceiling within this variety as well. A fire blanket generally comes through a protective covering that clearly identifies it and also instructs the user on exactly how to extract the blanket.

Pros of fire blankets

They can be supplied for personal protection

If a person’s hair or clothes is ~ above fire, pack them up in a fire blanket can be vital part that the “stop, drop, and also roll” an approach which is taught to minimization burns and injury. According to NFPA, blankets are especially valuable if the person connected is not physically may be to relocate rapidly as result of age, medical condition, or physical limitations.

In a comparable situation, discharging a chemical fire extinguisher about a person’s face could cause serious lung irritation, which might compound problems caused by smoke inhalation.

If a fire is the end of control and you room surrounded by flames, a fire blanket may also aid protect you and also those you are helping if you have to evacuate near areas exposed to flames.

Fire blankets contain fires in beforehand stages, especially cooking fires

Cooking fires often start v a fairly small lot of grease in a container prefer a pan or pot. World are regularly reluctant to discharge a fire extinguisher because of the cleanup effort and also expense involved, and Class K fire extinguishers space specifically required “for fires involving combustible food preparation media (vegetable or pet oils and fats).” Sometimes, world pour or litter water top top a grease fire, with damaging effects.

Putting a lid or pan end a fire in a container is the right idea—if excellent effectively, it will certainly smother the fire. However it deserve to be risky, because you might not have sufficient protection from the flames together you bring this cover under over them.

Using a fire ceiling lowers this risk. FIRST, revolve off the resource of heat, if possible. A high quality fire blanket will have straps to aid you wrap your hands up totally to safeguard them. You must conveniently drape the fire ceiling over the fire without throwing the or fanning the flames. Once it’s on, leave it in place until you’re certain the fire is out.

This video from the fire room in new South Wales, Australia provides wonderful demonstration of exactly how to use a fire ceiling on a cooking fire:

Fire blankets deserve to be supplied by human being who can have difficulty with extinguishers

If upper-body toughness is an issue, fire blankets sized favor the Wilson and Cousins 60” x 78” fire blanket are conveniently handled, together they commonly weigh no an ext than 2 to 3 pounds.

Some people are concerned around what will take place when they use a fire extinguisher and also are confused by the different types of extinguishers available; they may not know precisely which one have to be deployed. When these concerns can and should be addressed by training, utilizing a fire blanket may be a much more straightforward decision if a fire is small enough.

Cons and considerations of fire blankets

They room a one-use item

Fire extinguishers need to be changed or recharged after every use, conversely, fire blankets should constantly be replaced after any kind of use in a fire, also if they show up to it is in intact.

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Older fire blankets may contain asbestos

The EPA describe a partial ban on assets containing asbestos in 1989 since of the serious dangers of lung condition associated v the material. Asbestos to be extremely usual in fire blankets prior to that time. If you have any old fire blankets in your house or rectal that you suspect might contain asbestos, call an asbestos remove specialist. Don’t usage them, manage them, or disturb them.