The 8 Best Fire Extinguishers

Updated March 17, 2018 by Brett Dvoretz

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When you're on fire, the stop, drop, and roll method is an old standby that's tried and true. But when something or someone else is alight, it's best to use a fire extinguisher. If ever your kitchen or something else in your household becomes ablaze, there's a model here that will serve you well. Just remember, safety first, and in case of a real emergency, call the fire department ASAP. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best fire extinguisher on Amazon.

8. Kidde FA110

The Kidde FA110 is a compact, affordable, multipurpose dry chemical extinguisher, making it a must-have for offices, dorms, nurseries, and more. It comes with a mounting bracket, which is useful for quick access. Just remember to replace it every six years or so.
  • costs under 20 dollars
  • easy-pull safety pin
  • plastic handle may fail
Brand Kidde
Model FA110
Weight 3.6 pounds
Rating 3.6 / 5.0

7. Max Pro Fire Gone

Treat yourself and your family to a case of 12 canisters of Max Pro Fire Gone, so you can keep one in every room in the house, and an extra in your glovebox. One 16-oz. can could make the difference between a small incident and a major house fire.
  • made with aqueous filming foams
  • compact and portable
  • only suitable for contained fires
Brand Fire Gone
Model 7209
Weight 3.2 pounds
Rating 3.6 / 5.0

6. Kidde 466204 Pro

In a bright cherry red that matches the trucks that will show up should you ever need to use it, the Kidde 466204 Pro is a basic and reliable solution for homes, schools, offices, and more. It has an easy-to-read gauge that ensures you it's charged and ready for use.
  • discharge range of 20 feet
  • 10 pounds of extinguishing agent
  • too large and heavy for kids to use
Brand Kidde
Model 408-466204
Weight 17.2 pounds
Rating 4.1 / 5.0

5. Amerex 240

The Amerex 240 is a water-based model for class A blazes. Powerful and easy to use, it utilizes the cooling, soaking, and penetrating effect of a 50-foot stream and discharges in 55 seconds, making it perfect for inexperienced operators when fires flare up.
  • all metal valve construction
  • ideal for flaming wood coal or paper
  • cannot be used on electrical fires
Brand Amerex
Model 90-240
Weight pending
Rating 4.0 / 5.0

4. Think Safe 911-83700

Smother small fires with the Think Safe 911-83700. This polyester blanket is covered in fire-retardant material to ensure blazes get put out fast, and it comes in a handy bright orange bag with a Velcro closure that mounts to the wall for storage when not in use.
  • restricts oxygen supply to flames
  • hangs from hooks or pegs
  • instructions printed on bag
Brand First Voice
Model pending
Weight 3.7 pounds
Rating 3.8 / 5.0

3. Amerex B260

The Amerex B260 uses a wet chemical solution designed for putting out grease fires. As such, it is a must-have for commercial kitchens and a should-have for each and every home kitchen. Just stand 10 feet back, aim the nozzle at the base of the flames, and let 'er rip.
  • discharges in 53 seconds
  • includes wall bracket
  • canister is rechargeable
Brand Amerex
Model 90-B260
Weight pending
Rating 4.9 / 5.0

2. Kidde 468003 Pro Plus

Ubiquitous in schools, offices, and hospitals, the Kidde 468003 Pro Plus is one of the most powerful and reliable units available. Its all-metal construction and easy-to-read gauge are worth trusting in situations when you need to depend on the tools in your arsenal.
  • safety pin is quick to remove
  • 20 lbs of extinguishing agent
  • picture instructions on unit
Brand Kidde
Model 408-468003
Weight 2.3 pounds
Rating 4.5 / 5.0

1. Badger Advantage 21007866

At 6 pounds, the aluminum Badger Advantage 21007866 is small enough that even a child can use it in case of emergency. It expels nitrogen at 195 psi and can be used up to 18 feet away from the base of the fire, so you can keep a good distance to ensure your safety.
  • heavy-duty metal siphon tube
  • no-scratch hose straps
  • large pull pin for easy removal
Brand Badger
Model pending
Weight 9.5 pounds
Rating 5.0 / 5.0

Quelling The Savage Flame

Fire is one of the oldest and most dangerous chemical reactions known to man. If left unchecked, it causes rapid devastation of an extremely high magnitude. The potential dangers caused by fire necessitate an integral need to understand its dynamics, to learn about the available resources for containment, and to prevent (or mitigate) a disaster before it occurs or escalates. While professional firefighters undergo extensive training with special equipment to combat fires and other hazards on a large scale, the lay person doesn't always have these things at their disposal. The fire extinguisher serves an important role for ordinary consumers and business owners forced to deal with such eventualities in a domestic or professional capacity.

A fire extinguisher is a handheld, cylindrical-shaped device made from steel and typically red in color. Armed with one of several pressurized agents, the device is designed to put out small blazes that erupt in the home or place of business. The particular agent chosen for the extinguisher depends on the type of environment in which the device is to be used, as well as the class of fire it's designed to extinguish. Each individual agent works in tandem with a particular propellant inside the device to remove at least one element from the combustion triangle that defines the driving forces of a fire's energy.

Although extinguishers are available in several types, three major categories include water, dry chemical, and carbon dioxide. The water extinguisher is the most common type and uses compressed air as its propellant to remove a fire's heat source. A dry chemical extinguisher consists of a tank full of either foam or dry powder with compressed nitrogen for a propellant. Instead of removing heat, the dry chemical extinguisher smothers the fire, cutting off its fuel source from the surrounding oxygen. The carbon dioxide extinguisher contains a mixture of carbon dioxide in both its liquid and gaseous states. Carbon dioxide must be stored under high pressure in order to remain in its liquid form. When that pressure is released by the device, the gas expands and cools significantly, smothering the fire's oxygen and removing the flame's heat source at the same time.

Fire extinguishers are divided into several categories: A, B, C, D, and K, each one representing the corresponding type of fire it is meant to fight. Class A extinguishers handle fires caused by ordinary solid combustables like wood, cloth, and paper. Oil, gasoline, and paint fall into the class B category, while electrical equipment and tools constitute class C. Class D extinguishers handle fires caused by flammable metals, while class K devices are dedicated to quelling flames caused by cooking or vegetable oils.

Avoid Feeling The Burn

Safety for one's self, loved ones, and colleagues is the most important consideration to make when first installing a fire extinguisher in a home or place of business. Proper practical knowledge combined with an understanding of the different classes of device available, and the specific fires they're meant to combat, are all vital ingredients to remaining informed, prepared, and safe from danger. Your life will depend on it. Armed with the knowledge that a class C fire constitutes electrical equipment as the source, for example, one is ill advised to use a water extinguisher to combat at electrical fire. Everyone in the family should also be taught how to operate the device in the event of an emergency. Installing the fire extinguisher in a location that is easy to access and close to an exit is also beneficial, so you don't have to run past any flames to leave the area if the fire gets out of control.

The fire extinguisher chosen should be lightweight enough for anyone in the family to grab quickly and easily. A good canister weight is between five and 10 pounds, which provides enough extinguishing agent to take care of most kinds of domestic fires. The device chosen should also be equipped with clearly-indicated instructions on its outer canister and an easy-to-read pressure gauge.

One must consider whether a rechargeable or disposable extinguisher works best around the house. Rechargeable units are typically more durable and expensive than disposable units. They are equipped with metal valves and are relatively easy to refill, which are qualities that come in handy when you need to place several extinguishers around the house and you don't want to have to replace them each time they're used.

A Brief History Of Fire Extinguishers

Although human curiosity for controlling fire has a deep-seeded history that dates back over one million years, the first rudimentary fire extinguisher didn't appear until 1666 during the Middle Ages. A device known as a squirt was used as a simple jet of water applied to the base of a fire. Functioning like a bicycle pump, the device's nozzle was dipped into water and used to suck up the liquid with plunger-like action. The nozzle was then directed toward the base of a fire and used to eject the water.

The first automatic fire extinguisher was patented in 1723 by English chemist Ambrose Godfrey. Godfrey's device consisted of a cask filled with an extinguishing agent and a pewter chamber of gunpowder connected to a series of fuses. Igniting the fuses caused the gunpowder to explode, dispersing the extinguishing agent.

The modern portable fire extinguisher was invented by British Captain George William Manby in 1818, which consisted of a copper vessel containing a solution of potassium carbonate and compressed air.

By 1924, the first carbon dioxide extinguisher was invented by the Walter Kidde Company as a response to a previous request for a non-conductive chemical for extinguishing fires coming from telephone switchboards.

Recent developments since the middle of the 20th century have included the expanded use of pressurized extinguishing agents, water mist extinguishers, and aerosol systems.

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Last updated on March 17, 2018 by Brett Dvoretz

A wandering writer who spends as much time on the road as behind the computer screen, Brett can either be found hacking furiously away at the keyboard or perhaps enjoying a whiskey and coke on some exotic beach, sometimes both simultaneously, usually with a four-legged companion by his side. He hopes to one day become a modern day renaissance man.

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