Determining Fire Extinguisher Sizes

You might not think that a fire extinguisher is important for the home. Any fire extinguisher might do for your home. Although it can be an embarrassing and easy-handled portable fire extinguisher, it can better than watching your home burning to dust completely. If you have a home that you took your time in creating and making it a home for you and your family then you will definitely wasn’t to preserve it for a long time and you will also want to prevent it from being damaged.

We cannot expect fire to let us know before it happens as it can happen from dropped cigarettes, wiring mismatch, cooking grease or many other sources. Fires take us by surprise when it happens. Sometimes we don’t know how to react if we don’t own a fire extinguisher. Throwing pails of water does not work when heavy fires happen.

You will need a different type of fire extinguisher to put off the fires from different sources. For instance, an “A” rated fire extinguisher puts out ordinary combustible materials while “B” class for flammable liquid and “C” class extinguisher to combat electrical fire. You will need a larger and more potent fire extinguisher for larger rooms or just rooms with a higher risk of fire. When you purchase a fire extinguisher, you can read all the information that you need. Here are the steps on how to determine the different sizes of a fire extinguisher.


  1. Check your home and determine your fire extinguisher’s needs.
  2. Keep a 2-pound of fire extinguisher in cars, a full of 10 pound extinguisher in workshops and garage and a 5-pound extinguisher in the kitchen and laundry room, as recommended by “This Old House”.
  3. Visit your home supply store to check the fire extinguishers.
  4. Check the label outside the fire extinguisher to determine the weight of the fire extinguisher when the content is full.
  5. Lift the extinguisher to feel whether it is too heavy for you to use effectively during a fire emergency.
  6. Check the number next to the extinguisher’s A and B ratings. The extinguisher is more effective against any type of fire if the number is higher. Choose a smaller extinguisher with more potent firefighting materials if you feel that a 5-pound or 10-pound extinguisher is too heavy for your use.
  7. Weigh the carbon dioxide extinguishers to determine how much of the gas still remains after using it. Due to the nature of the chemical, carbon-dioxide extinguishers cannot use a pressure gauge like other types of extinguishers so they stamp the weight of the empty container on the outside of the extinguisher.
  8. To check this; weigh the extinguisher and then subtract the weight of the container to determine how much of the gases inside still remain.

Image Credit:

Flickr CC

Additional Reading:

Design of Special Hazards and Fire Alarm Systems

Refresher for Operating Safely in Hazardous Environment, Second Edition (Worksafe)