Here are some commonly asked questions and answers about fire extinguishers. Call the Minnetonka Fire Department at 952.939.8598 if you have further questions.
Caution: Never put yourself or anyone else in jeopardy by trying to extinguish a fire which may be too large to handle. Instead, sound an alarm to other occupants and leave the building, closing all doors behind you. Then, call the 9-1-1 to report the fire. Go to your designated meeting place and wait for firefighters to arrive. Never go back into a burning building!
- How do you use a fire extinguisher?
- Before attempting to put the fire out, call the fire department at 9-1-1 to report the fire. Always follow manufacturer’s instructions as listed on the extinguisher. General instructions for most extinguishers: Operate the extinguisher in an upright position. Remove the safety pin. Aim at the base of the fire from the distance recommended by the manufacturer. Squeeze the handle using a sweeping motion.
- Where can I buy a fire extinguisher?
- Most hardware outlets and discount stores (Target, Wal-Mart, etc.) sell extinguishers that are suitable for home use.
- What type and size of fire extinguisher should I have?
- The recommended extinguisher for home use is a "Dry Chemical" type, rated at least 1A-10BC. This information is listed on the extinguisher's label.
- Where should I store my fire extinguisher?
- Store your extinguisher away from the stove, near the exit from the kitchen. Mount the extinguisher on the bracket that is supplied with the extinguisher. In your workshop, mount the extinguisher near the exit.
- Are the contents of a dry chemical fire extinguisher harmful?
- No. Dry chemical extinguishers are usually filled with mono ammonium phosphate, which is a nontoxic substance. However, large amounts of this powder in the air can cause breathing difficulties. Leave the area after discharging a dry chemical fire extinguisher then call the fire department at 9-1-1 to ensure the fire is completely extinguished.
- How often should I have my fire extinguisher recharged?
- Fire extinguishers should be recharged after each use, or if the gauge shows a loss of pressure. For servicing companies, refer to the Yellow Pages of your local phone book.
- How do I get rid of an old fire extinguisher?
- The fire department accepts old and discharged fire extinguishers. Drop them off anytime during normal business hours at Station 1. There is no charge for this service.