When you keep a fire extinguisher in your home, it is important that both you and your children know how to use it. Fires can start out of the blue. All it takes is for a charging phone to overheat out of sight, and before you know it, you or your children could be trapped. In August, 2017, a 12 year-old girl managed to save herself and her brother from a fire that had started while they were asleep.
She was smart enough to get her and her brother out of the house before the flames could spread. However, not everyone is so lucky. That is why it is essential that your children and anyone else in your home knows how to use a fire extinguisher.
Fires Don't Give You Time to Read Instructions
A house fire can engulf a room in a paltry 166 seconds. That leaves very little time for a child to read the instructions on a fire extinguisher. However, if they already know how to use one, and are drilled regularly, using one should be second nature.
Using the Wrong Type of Fire Extinguisher is Dangerous
Although it would be a good idea to invest in multi-purpose fire extinguishers, your children should still know the difference between each type of extinguisher. That knowledge could come in handy anywhere. Using the wrong fire extinguisher could be deadly. For instance, using a water extinguisher on an electrical fire caused by a charging phone could result in an electric shock.
Likewise, C02 extinguishers are deadly because they deprive fires of oxygen. In a confined space then, where the smoke is thick, discharging a C02 extinguisher could cause suffocation.
Modern Homes Burn Faster
Research shows that newer homes which contain furniture that is more flammable, allow only 3-4 minutes for a person to escape during a fire, whereas in the past, it was around 17 minutes.
Therefore, a nearby fire extinguisher could allow for your children to escape in the event that a fire spreads quickly.
Fires Happen in Schools Too
Your children need to be ready to use a fire extinguisher where ever they are, not just at home. If a fire was to break out at their school, for example, the knowledge of how to use a fire extinguisher properly could save their lives and the lives of their classmates and teachers.
As well as ensuring that you have well-maintained and fully functioning fire extinguishers on each floor of your house, you should also ensure that your children know how to use them. Make sure they know the PASS method, i.e. pull, aim, squeeze and sweep.