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Best Fire Extinguishers

last updated Feb 11, 2019

We are going to cut to the chase: every single household needs to have at least one fire extinguisher. House fires are something that can flare up out of nowhere, even if you are incredibly careful. The most common cause for these mishaps comes from exactly where you would expect: the kitchen. Not using small appliances properly, or being distracted when cooking on the stove is the most common occurrence that will send those smoke detectors blaring. Other reasons include candles, curious children, faulty wiring, overloading outlets, smoking, and portable sources of heat. Often, these flare-ups start out small enough to be able to be tackled on your own without calling those handsome fellows in the bright yellow jumpsuits. Having a fire extinguisher on hand will be able to squash a flare up before it gets out of hand, and potentially save your home and your family. In this buyer guide, you will find some of the best products on the market to ensure that you are geared and ready in the event of a fiery accident.

In a Hurry? The test winner after 4 hrs of research

icon
First Alert
88/100 our score
Features
90
Materials
86
Ease of Use
91
Weight
85
Value
88
First Alert
Why is it better?

Affordable

Trusted brand

Easy to use

In a Hurry? Editors choice:
First Alert
Test Winner: First Alert
Amazon Link
Sorting Options
Features Materials Ease of Use Weight Value By Default
Rank
PictureProduct
Name
Rating
Shops
#1
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
88
Features
90 %
Materials
86 %
Ease of Use
91 %
Weight
85 %
Value
88 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (22.09.19)
Amazon Link
$21.99
#2
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
87.8
Features
87 %
Materials
90 %
Ease of Use
91 %
Weight
85 %
Value
86 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (22.09.19)
Amazon Link
$76.99
#3
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
86
Features
86 %
Materials
85 %
Ease of Use
91 %
Weight
80 %
Value
88 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (22.09.19)
Amazon Link
$50.75
#4
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
85.6
Features
90 %
Materials
88 %
Ease of Use
86 %
Weight
87 %
Value
77 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (22.09.19)
Amazon Link
$44.73
#5
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
84.2
Features
89 %
Materials
85 %
Ease of Use
88 %
Weight
84 %
Value
75 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (22.09.19)
Amazon Link
$186.00
#6
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
83.6
Features
86 %
Materials
85 %
Ease of Use
90 %
Weight
82 %
Value
75 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (22.09.19)
Amazon Link
$22.33
#7
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
83
Features
84 %
Materials
80 %
Ease of Use
90 %
Weight
82 %
Value
79 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (22.09.19)
Amazon Link
$24.99
#8
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
80.6
Features
80 %
Materials
88 %
Ease of Use
85 %
Weight
78 %
Value
72 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (22.09.19)
Amazon Link
$49.63
#9
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
78.6
Features
80 %
Materials
86 %
Ease of Use
76 %
Weight
72 %
Value
79 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (22.09.19)
Amazon Link
$15.75
#10
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
74.8
Features
79 %
Materials
89 %
Ease of Use
71 %
Weight
69 %
Value
66 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (22.09.19)
Amazon Link
$173.21

Top 10 Picks

1. First Alert

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
88
First Alert
Amazon Link
Features
90
Materials
86
Ease of Use
91
Weight
85
Value
88
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$21.99
Pros:

Affordable

Trusted brand

Easy to use

Cons:

Some users have reported receiving their units with an empty gauge

First Alert is another one of the companies that is another one of the big players in this market. They were founded in 1958 in Illinois, and have been making high-quality safety products that include smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors as well What we loved about this design is that is it small and compact, and it is really able to pack a punch. Plus, it comes in at an affordable price point.

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Features:

This unit has a color-coded gauged along the top that will indicate to users when their unit is full, and when it is due for a recharge. It uses a commercial grade hose and trigger that is durable and also effective and has been U.S. Coast Guard approved. Plus, the metal pull pin reduces the risk of an accidental discharge.

Materials:

The canister is made from a lightweight material, and the trigger and hose are made from high-quality metals as well, and all of the components are corrosions resistant.

Ease of use:

All of the instructions that you will need to use this device is found clearly written on the side of the unit. Plus, the label is waterproof so if your unit is ever exposed to water or high humidity, you won’t have to worry about the instructions fading.

Weight:

This is one of the lightest units on the market, weighing in at just over 5 pounds.

Value:

One of the most handsome features of this design is that it comes in at an incredibly affordable price point that will likely only cost you the same price as having a pizza delivered.

Overall:

This is a great option because it comes from a trusted brand, comes in an easy to use and durable material, and has a lower price point that will allow users to easily buy one for every room in their home.

2. Kidde Pro 21

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
87.8
Kidde Pro 21
Amazon Link
Features
87
Materials
90
Ease of Use
91
Weight
85
Value
86
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$76.99
Pros:

Trusted brand

Clearly labeled and easy to read instructions

Can work 10-15 feet away

Affordable

Cons:

Some users received their products with a half-empty canister or faulty gauge

Kidde is one of the big names of manufacturers on the market, and if you are shopping around for one of these products, you are going to see their name a lot. They were founded in 1917 and have been providing consumers with effective products for over 100 years. We like the Pro 21 because it checks all of the boxes: it is easy to use.

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Features:

From the time that you pull the trigger, this unit will begin work in about 13-15 seconds and will release chemicals at about 100 PSI. What users really like about this model is that it can be effective to 10-15 feet, so you will not have to get very close to the flames to work this unit.

Materials:

The canister is made from a high-quality aluminum that has been powder coated with corrosion resistant materials so that it will not rust. Users can leave this unit under the sink in their kitchen without worry that the canister will become weak or damaged.

Ease of Use

The directions to use this model are printed very clearly on the side of the cylinder in easy step by step instructions that break it down easily, even for panicked minds. This unit is designed to fight class A, B, and C flames.

Weight

Due to the fact this unit is composed of aluminum, it is incredibly light and only weighs about 7 pounds.

Value

Our favorite aspect about this design is that it comes in at an incredibly affordable price point that might set you back about the same amount that you would spend on that Thanksgiving turkey.

Overall

The Kidde Pro 21 is a great choice to keep in your kitchen or RV in the instance of small flare-ups. Users love that it comes in at an affordable price point, and is incredibly easy to use even for panicked minds.

3. Amerex B500

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
86
Amerex B500
Amazon Link
Features
86
Materials
85
Ease of Use
91
Weight
80
Value
88
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$50.75
Pros:

Easy to read instructions

Includes wall bracket for mounting

Users like that the trigger is metal instead of plastic

Cons:

A little expensive

Some found it loses its charge rather quickly

Amerex is a company that was founded in 1971 in Alabama that makes high-quality gear for commercial as well as for home use. What we liked most about this design is that is it incredibly powerful and easy to use, but it does come at a slightly higher price point.

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Features:

One thing that we liked about this model is that it comes with a wall mount included with purchase so that you will be able to put this unit in the perfect spot for easy access if the time ever comes when you will need to use it. It also is able to work incredibly fast and will start deploying chemicals about 14 seconds after you pull the trigger.

Materials:

The canister as well as the value is made from high-quality aluminum that is considered to be corrosion resistant so it can be used for many years and still stay strong.

Ease of use:

Our favorite feature of this design comes in the form of the instructions that are printed along the side. Instead of having a list of instructions on how to use, the Amerex design using brief descriptions while also including pictures that are perfect to read even for panicked minds that are under pressure.

Weight:

This unit weighs in at 10 pounds, making it just a little bit heavier than some of the other options out there on the market.

Value:

The cost of this design is just a little bit more expensive than some of the other models, but the slightly higher price point is well worth the larger and commercial design.

Overall:

If you want something that is a little bit bulkier and designed for commercial as well as residential use, we find that this unit is an excellent option.

4. Badger 22430B

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
85.6
Badger 22430B
Amazon Link
Features
90
Materials
88
Ease of Use
86
Weight
87
Value
77
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$44.73
Pros:

Easy to use

Trusted brand

Comes with metal mounting bracket

Cons:

A little expensive

Badger is a company located in Virginia that has been making safety products for over 100 years. This model is one of the best out there on the market because it is small and compact, but incredibly powerful and easy to use.

Read more

Features:

What we liked about this model is that it comes with a mounting bracket that is included with the purchase that makes it easy to place in the perfect spot in each and every room. It is able to tackle flames in the A, B, and C class.

Materials:

No need to worry about the quality of materials used for this option, because it isn’t composed of any plastic parts. The canister is made from a coated steel material that is considered to be impervious to dents, corrosion, and punctures.

Ease of use:

The instructions for this unit are found on the side of the bottle and are clearly numbered with the addition of pictures.

Weight:

This unit is pretty lightweight and weighs just over 2 pounds, and it makes it one of the lightest options out there on the market.

Value:

Coming in at a price point that is slightly higher than some of the other options, we feel that this unit is well worth the slightly higher price point based upon user reviews and the quality of materials used.

Overall:

If you are willing to pay just a little bit more for a design that is considered to be lightweight, effective, and easy to use, this is going to be an excellent option to give you a little piece of mind while at home.

5. Buckeye Halotron

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
84.2
Buckeye Halotron
Amazon Link
Features
89
Materials
85
Ease of Use
88
Weight
84
Value
75
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$186.00
Pros:

Easy to use

Lightweight

Made from high-quality materials

Trusted brand

Cons:

Very expensive

Some users had issues with the mounting hardware

Buckeye was founded in 1968 in North Carolina and makes some of the industries leading products when it comes to keeping your home safe and secure. We liked this option because it is of professional grade, it has a pretty high capacity, and it is lightweight and dependable. The only downside to this design is that it is one of the more expensive items out there.

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Features:

This has a spraying capacity of about 100 PSI, and it is all in a pretty lightweight container. It also sports a color-coded gauge located on the front to let users know how charged the tank is and will dictate when it needs to be recharged again. Once in use, it can spray about 10-15 feet in front of you, allowing a safe distance between you and the flames.

Materials:

What we really like about this option is that it is made from some of the highest grade materials out there on the market. The canister is made from an anodized aluminum that is considered to be corrosion resistant and is incredibly sturdy in the face of dents or possible punctures.

Ease of use:

Users love that the instructs on this unit are printed in large print that comes with a step by step guide with pictures for proper use. Once the trigger is pulled, it will take about 10-15 seconds for the product to begin to spray.

Weight:

The great news about this powerful option is that it is incredibly lightweight. It is a little bit bigger in diameter than most, but it only weighs in at just over 2 pounds, making it easy to use by anyone in your family.

Value:

The bad news here is that the price of this unit will likely set you back more than what you spent on your microwave. However, if you want something that has commercial power in your household, this is a great price.

Overall:

Sure, the cost of this unit might make you flinch, but the quality of materials used, as well as pleased users reviews, makes this unit well worth the padded price tag in our opinion.

6. First Alert GARAGE10

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
83.6
First Alert GARAGE10
Amazon Link
Features
86
Materials
85
Ease of Use
90
Weight
82
Value
75
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$22.33
Pros:

Easy to read instructions

Affordable

Trusted brand

Cons:

Not ideal for class A flames

Comes with an unstable plastic mount

First Alert is making our list year again with their GARAGE10 design. This option is made to be used in garages only, because it is certified for only class b and c, meaning it isn’t ideal for wood and paper flare-ups. This is used mainly for electrical and liquid flames, like those that would come from a garage.

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Features:

This unit has a solid barn red exterior with a gauge mounted on the top of the handle. This gauge will indicate to users when then need to power up their unit to ensure that it will work properly when they will need it. It is also important to note that it has been approved by the U.S. Coast Guard.

Materials:

First Alert uses high-quality metal materials not only for the canister but also for the trigger and handles as well. This means that users will not have to worry about their product becoming corroded, dented, or punctured.

Ease of use:

We found the instructions printed on the side of this can be by far some of the best labelings of any of the other designs out there on the market. Instructions are printed in large and clear letters that have pictures to help demonstrate the best way to use it.

Weight:

Weighing in at just shy of 5 pounds, this is a little bit heavier than some of the other options out there on the market.

Value:

What users really appreciate about this model is that it comes in at an affordable price point that will set you back the same price that you would spend on a large pizza for dinner. Plus, it comes with a 5-year warranty to give you just a little more peace of mind.

Overall:

If you were looking for something to keep in your garage while you are working, this unit is an excellent choice that won’t set you back that much money, and it still comes from a very trusted brand.

7. First Alert Tundra

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
83
First Alert Tundra
Amazon Link
Features
84
Materials
80
Ease of Use
90
Weight
82
Value
79
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$24.99
Pros:

Small and easy to store

Affordable

Easy to use

Comes with a 3-year warranty

Cons:

Does not come in a recognizable container (some feel it looks like bug spray)

Not ideal for larger flames

The option from First Alert is a little bit different from some of the other standard designs that we have seen. This option comes in a pack of two containers, and they are perfect for smaller spaces and for smaller flames. Sometimes it’s the small kitchen flare-ups that users think they can squash with water and a dish towel that often become bigger problems, and this unit is designed to nip small problems before they get out of hand.

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Features:

What users really like about this option is that even though it has a small frame, it is able to discharge longer than your average model- about 32 seconds of fighting the power. The formula that is released from this product is considered to be biodegradable, and once sprayed it can be wiped clean from just about any surface.

Materials:

The materials used for this canister are similar to the can you would use for hairspray or cooking spray. Due to this fact, It isn’t going to have the same puncture resistance as some of the other more heavy duty options out there on the market.

Ease of use:

If you have ever sprayed down a pan with a fine layer of cooking spray, you have all of the skills that you will need in order to operate this product. To use, simply press down on the nozzle and let canister do all of the work.

Weight:

What is great about this option is that it is small, lightweight, and easy to store. Each can weigh about 1 pound, and it is small enough to store in a cabinet or on the shelf in a garage for quick and easy access.

Value:

Users can opt to buy a singular can or a pack of 2. Each can will cost you about what you would spend on a cup of coffee for you and a friend. Plus, First Alert offers a 3-year warranty on their products, giving you no reason not to give this option a try.

Overall:

While it isn’t ideal for larger flames, this design is perfect for small problems before they get out of hand. According to First Alert, flames can double in size every 30 seconds, so taking care of small problems can be the key to saving your life and your home.

8. Buckeye 25614

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
80.6
Buckeye 25614
Amazon Link
Features
80
Materials
88
Ease of Use
85
Weight
78
Value
72
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$49.63
Pros:

Made from industrial grade materials

Easy to use

Trusted brand

Cons:

A little expensive

Included mounting kit is a little less than ideal according to some users

What we liked most about this Buckeye model is that is it really able to pack quite the punch. It boasts the classic exterior shell and comes from a company that has been in the business of making high-quality products since 1968.

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Features:

This unit is suitable for flames that classify in the a,b, and c class, making it an ideal choice to place in just about any room in your house. It also has a gauge the runs on the top of the unit to let you know when the time comes to give it a recharge. When in use, it can emit a whopping 195 PSI and can be used an impressive 18 feet away. Plus, it comes with a mounting kit to place it in the best available spot in your home.

Materials:

There is no need to worry about faulty plastic components on this model because it is composed of industrial grade steel that has a powder coating to make it resistant to corrosion, punctuation, or dents.

Ease of use:

All of the instructions that you will need to operate this unit is printed clearly right on the side of the cannister.

Weight:

What we loved about this design is that despite the fact that it is one of the most powerful units out there on the market, it weighs in at only 2.2 pounds.

Value:

With great power comes an equally great price tag. While this isn’t the most expensive design out there on the market, it will cost you about the same price that you would spend on a low-end microwave. However, considering how this unit is powerful and well made, we find that it well worth the price tag.

Overall:

You can’t really go wrong whenever you select a Buckeye product. We love that this option is well made, powerful, and easy to use. The only downside is that it has a price tag that almost doubles the price of some of the similar First Alert or Amerex designs.

9. First Alert FIAFESA5

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
78.6
First Alert FIAFESA5
Amazon Link
Features
80
Materials
86
Ease of Use
76
Weight
72
Value
79
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$15.75
Pros:

Small enough to it into a glovebox

Thick metal is puncture resistant

Affordable

Trusted brand

Cons:

Instructions are a little less clear than most

Mounting screws are not included with purchase

First Alert knows that flames aren’t something that happens in the kitchen or the garage- they can also happen in the car as well. According to First Alert, there are about 400,000 car fires that happen each and every year, and most of those drivers were caught without the proper tools. This option for First Alert is small enough to fit in your glove box and it still is powerful enough to put out flames.

Read more

Features:

What initially drew us to this option is that it doesn’t quite have the same classic frame like many of the other options. It is smaller and flat so that it can fit into a glove box, and it has a pressure gauge mounted on the top so users will be able to tell when they will need to recharge their unit.

Materials:

What’s different about this design is that the metal canister is extra thick compared to many of the residential models. The reasoning behind this is because, in the event of a crash, you don’t want this unit to become punctured.

Ease of use:

The instructions on how to use this design are a little less clear than some of the other options that we found on the market, but that might just be because the can is much smaller than some of the larger designs.

Weight:

Even though it is small enough to fit into a glove box, it is still considered to be quite heavy. AS we mentioned earlier, this unit is reinforced with a thick layer of metal to ensure that it doesn’t become punctured in a car crash. This design means that it weighs in at about 10 pounds.

Value:

As with all First Alert products, this unit comes in at a very affordable price point that will set you back about as much as you would spend on two cups of coffee before hitting the road.

Overall:

We feel that every car could benefit from one of these units, and this option from First Alert is the perfect way to be able to squash car flare-ups without breaking the bank. In fact, they are so affordable you may feel compelled to buy one for everyone in your family.

10. Amerex B260

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
74.8
Amerex B260
Amazon Link
Features
79
Materials
89
Ease of Use
71
Weight
69
Value
66
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$173.21
Pros:

One of the only options to tackle grease fires

Sleek exterior design

Trusted brand

Cons:

Incredibly expensive

For those that are serious about kitchen safety, this is the end of the line when it comes to these types of products. There is nothing on the market that is going to be able to put out small to moderate flames as the B260 can, but it comes with one of the heartiest price tags of any other design out there on the market.

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Features:

While most units are classified to be class ABC, the Amerex B260 is class A and K. This means that it will be able to tackle flames from wood and paper products, as well as the flame that generate from fats- such as fryer grease or animal fat. It has a gauge on the front that will indicate when you will need to give it a recharge to ensure that your family will always be safe- even if your husband makes the risky decision to deep fry a 30-pound turkey on Thanksgiving.

Materials:

This unit is composed of a high quality polished steel cylinder as well as stainless steel valve construction. Not only is this unit made from strong material that is resistant to puncturing, dents, and corrosion, but it has an interesting style as well.

Ease of use:

The instructions to use this product are printed in large letters that are easy to read, and supplemented by pictures to make it a cinch to use even when under pressure.

Weight:

A downside to this design is that it is one of the heaviest options out there on the market, weighing in at about 22 pounds.

Value:

Another downside to this design is that it comes in at a price point that might just knock your sock off. It will cost you about 6 times as much as you would spend on the more affordable First Alert options.

Overall:

If you are someone that love cooking and experimenting in the kitchen- especially with fats and grease- it may be in your best interest to spend the extra money for this option that is built to tackle even some of the toughest of kitchen flames.

Criteria Used for Evaluation

Features

We wanted to select designs that had modern features that make it easier to use.

We wanted to select products that were able to pack a lot of power, and that came with additional features that would make your life just a little bit easier. Pressure gauges, for instance, will let you know when it is time to head down to the fire station for a refill. If you notice that your canister is low but not empty, and your spouse is getting ready to power up the deep fryer to cook the Thanksgiving turkey, you will know by reading the gauge that you need to get a refill before the big day. Another feature that we liked these products was the addition of amount. For most, they will receive their product in the mail and tuck it in under the sink rather than taking the time to figure out how to mount it to the wall. It is important that your unit is displayed out in the open where everyone can see it so that it can be accessed quickly in the face of flames. We also wanted to make sure that we selected a unit from a well known and established brand because knock-off is just not going to cut it in the face of life and death.

Materials

Superior materials mean that is will still be functional and ready if the time ever comes that you will need it.

The materials that these companies use to make their products is important because you want these to be virtually indestructible. By using industrial metals and aluminum, you can be sure that they will be impervious to puncturing, denting, and corrosion over time so that you don’t feel the need to replace them every few years. Materials are also important when it comes to the head of each unit as well. Companies that use plastics for their triggers, as well as their hoses, run into trouble when it’s time to step up to the plate because they aren’t as reliable as metals. Plastic triggers can break in shaky and panicked hands, and plastic hoses can dry out and crack over years of nonuse. As far as the contents on the inside, most brands we discovered use the same recipe of carbon dioxide and sodium bicarbonate to douse both Class A and Class B and C flames. When shopping around for your next unit, it’s important that you first look at the materials that are used to make up the product, and if you notice that they use plastic on any part- be sure to move on to something better.

Ease of Use

Easy to read instructions is the key for a rapid response time.

This is really important because as we have learned from First Alert, flames can double in size every 30 seconds, so time is of the essence when things start to burn. The last thing that you want to be doing as flames start to move around the kitchen is reading tedious or poorly translated instructions. What we liked when we were researching the best products were designs that had instructions in a clear and bold step by step instructions, and that was typically accompanied by pictures. Some companies even added a waterproof coating to their instruction label so that if it ever became wet, the instructions wouldn’t fade or tear off of the can. Generally, the use of each unit was about exactly the same across the board. Users will need to pull the pin at the top and then just pull down on the trigger. In times of crises, however, it is nice to have a clearly labeled on how to use your unit. We wanted to make it as easy on you as possible if the day comes where you have to actually use it.

Weight

Ensuring that you select a weight that makes it light enough for everyone to use is important.

Generally, the contents of each can are light and barely weighs anything at all. Additional weigh lies in the thickness of the canister. We walked a fine line between keeping it light without sacrificing the quality of the product. For the most part, these units only weighed between about 2-10 pounds, with a few exceptions. Some designs that are a little more heavy duty and can handle class K flames can weigh between 20-25 pounds. Before you make your purchase, be sure that you check the weight of each unit to ensure that it will be light and manageable enough to be used by each and every member of your family when the time comes.

Value

Saving money is important, but not at the risk of your family and your home.

Of course, we want to save you money when we can, but not at the risk of your family and your home. While there were a few generic brands out there on the market, they often used more affordable materials to create a lower price point, and those materials could sacrifice safely. The good news is that many of the big names such as First Alert, Kidde, and Amerex offer small and affordable options that are designed for residential use. The designs that we selected for our list are from some of the top names in the industry, and most have been in business for 50-100 years. If you check the name on the options in public places, you may recognize the name as being one of the brands found on our list. What we really liked about some of our top picks is that they are affordable enough that you will be able to buy one for each floor of your house or even every room without breaking the bank.

Expert Interviews & Opinions

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Weight

It might not seem like it would be something that is very important, but you want every member of your family to be able to use these devices. If it is too heavy, it might not be something that can be used by older or younger members of your family, and that could be a matter of life and death.

Frequently Asked Questions

q: What does class A, B, and C mean?

a:

You might have noticed that many of the residential options are typically classified into an ABC class. So, what does that mean, exactly? Basically, not all materials will burn in the same way, and classifying materials into classifications will help users know if their product will be effective against most sources of flames. Class A is categorized as materials such as paper and wood, and Class C is for electrical equipment. Therefore, when shopping around for something to use in your home, the ABC designs are going to be your best bet for flames for every single room in your house.

q: Where is the best place to mount it?

a:

There are a few things to take into consideration when finding just the right spot to place your product. First of all, you want it to be in a place that easily visible by all members of the family. Stashing it under the sink seem like a smart idea, but not all family members may know that you placed it there. The last thing that you want to do in the face of flames is to frantically open all of the cabinets looking for something to put it out. When it comes to kitchen placement, you shouldn’t mount it too close to your stove even though that might seem like the best spot. The reasoning behind this is because the culprit to many kitchen mishaps lies with the stove, and the last thing you will want to do is to reach through the flames to reach your unit. We recommend putting it next to one of the entrances to exits to your kitchen so that if you find the flames to be unmanageable, an exit will be close by.

q: What is inside of the cannister?

a:

This answer varies from class to class, but we will focus primarily on ABC models because they are more prevalent for in-home use. Class A flames use carbon dioxide which drives away any oxygen in the air- and oxygen is flame food. For class B and C flames, these units also add in a mixture of Sodium bicarbonate, which is basically a dry salt chemical uses to snuff out the flames from electrical units and flammable liquids.

q: Where do I refill it once the gauge indicates that it is empty?

a:

An empty gauge can result from never needing to use your unit, or if your unit is too old. Luckily, almost every design out there on the market has a handy color-coded gauge at the top to let you know when it is time for a refill. So, where can you get them refilled? For most, your local fire department will happily fill your tanks for about the cost of a cup of coffee, and some will even offer to do it for free!

q: Do I need to have one in every room?

a:

The answer to this question relies on a few factors. First, experts say that every home needs at least one, and often that one needs to be placed in the kitchen. But what about the rest of the house? While keeping one in every room will ensure that you are incredibly safe, it might be a little overkill. Many state that smaller, one story homes could get away with having one in the kitchen, and perhaps one in a bedroom on the other side of the home. Larger homes, as well as multiple story homes, are a different story. If you have multiple levels to your home, as well as a finished basement, it is advised to keep at least one unit handy per floor. As always, we feel that it is always better to err on the side of caution.

q: Can I buy a generic brand?

a:

When it comes to simple and fun products that are not tasked to save your life- then generic is typically fine and a matter of personal preference. However, that is not the case when it comes to these types of products. It may seem tempting to opt for the off-brand and more affordable option, but if the time comes that you ever need to use it- you will be wishing that you bought top of the line. We suggest that you stick with the established name brands- like the ones found on our list- to be there for you when you need them. Often with generic brands, they cut corners when it comes to the component parts used such as plastic triggers or thin and faulty hoses. And a faulty hose or trigger can be the matter of life and death when it comes to these devices.

Sources

  1. Tara Summerville, Best Fire Extinguisher, Buyer Guide