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Old 06-28-2020, 10:15 AM   #1
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Fire extinguishers. Single use or reusable?


Hey guys;
I am looking for a fire extinguisher(s). I definitely want one in/near the kitchen that would be effective on grease fires (as well as other types), and I think one upstairs in the hallway that would be effective on all types of fires, including live electrical.


I have done a lot of reading about the different types, and I believe I have a good understanding. But what I am having trouble deciding on is whether to buy a more expensive rechargeable unit or a throw-away.


I have been trying to find a place locally that will recharge them, but so far I haven't found anyone. I called my FD and they don't do it themselves, and could not recommend anyone. They told me to check the documentation that comes with the extinguisher, as it may have a phone number or website to find a local business that does the recharging.


I don't think it's worth the extra money for a rechargeable if it's going to involve a lengthy drive to get to the place, and if cost is more than 1/2 that of a new extinguisher.


I live in Northern NJ.

What are your thoughts / experiences.


Thanks
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Old 06-28-2020, 10:28 AM   #2
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Re: Fire extinguishers. Single use or reusable?


I can't answer you specific question but have info regarding where to put the extinguisher.
Do not put the kitchen one near the stove. If it's on fire you won't be able to get to it. Put it near the door so that when go for the extinguisher if you turn around and decide it too much you can exit quickly. You don't want to be trapped with the fire between you and the door.
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Old 06-28-2020, 10:32 AM   #3
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Re: Fire extinguishers. Single use or reusable?


Phone a local hotel or apartment building ask who looks after their equipment.
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Old 06-28-2020, 10:39 AM   #4
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Re: Fire extinguishers. Single use or reusable?


A single use extinguisher would be best unless you have a lot of kitchen fires then buy two of three. lol
Don't get the smallest one because they don't last long.
The most important thing is get the pan of oil off the burner ASAP. Otherwise the oil may re-ignite. A pair of welding gloves is good for that to avoid burning your hands/arms.
Just for the record I have never had a kitchen fire. How many times does that really happen?
The key is not to turn the burner up too much. Sometimes people turn the burner up because they don't want to wait for the oil to heat up then start preparing food and forget to turn it down.
An ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure.
Hope this helps.
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Old 06-28-2020, 11:25 AM   #5
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Re: Fire extinguishers. Single use or reusable?


I just replaced all of our last year - some of which were embarrassingly old. we do have a safety supply company but I determined that it would cost pretty much the same to have them recharged than to buy new, and 'recharge' never goes on sale. After the bottle gets to a certain age, they have to send it away for pressure testing. A company that looks after commercial properties might not be interested in residential work unless you know a business owner and can jump on with their inventory.


One thing our local FD suggested for dry chemical is once every 6 months or so, hold the extinguisher upside down and give it a couple of whacks with a rubber mallet or dead-blow hammer. Over time the chemical powder can pack at the bottom like flour and might not be picked up by the release of pressure.
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Old 06-28-2020, 11:31 AM   #6
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Re: Fire extinguishers. Single use or reusable?


Quote:
Originally Posted by lenaitch View Post
I just replaced all of our last year - some of which were embarrassingly old. we do have a safety supply company but I determined that it would cost pretty much the same to have them recharged than to buy new, and 'recharge' never goes on sale. After the bottle gets to a certain age, they have to send it away for pressure testing. A company that looks after commercial properties might not be interested in residential work unless you know a business owner and can jump on with their inventory.


One thing our local FD suggested for dry chemical is once every 6 months or so, hold the extinguisher upside down and give it a couple of whacks with a rubber mallet or dead-blow hammer. Over time the chemical powder can pack at the bottom like flour and might not be picked up by the release of pressure.
You have that test half right. If you can't hear it move on it's own it i not serviceable. Shocking it to wake it up may still leave lumps.
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Old 06-28-2020, 11:33 AM   #7
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Re: Fire extinguishers. Single use or reusable?


Either rechargeable or single use will work. Single use often have plastic valves while reusable have higher quality brass or metal valves. The next time you are at a public school or other public venue, take a pic of the tag on an extinguisher. If it has been inspected as required in NFPA 10, it will have a tag identifying the company that services it.
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Old 06-28-2020, 06:55 PM   #8
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Re: Fire extinguishers. Single use or reusable?


Thanks guys for your good advice.
I recall a while back I had a home extinguisher recharged by taking it to work on the day our guy came in. He told me he 'wasn't supposed to do this' but recharged it for me anyway.


It's amazing how many people will put an extinguisher right next to the stove, or other potential source of fire.
We usually keep baking soda in the kitchen - not near the stove, but actually closer to the exit.

The only fire I can remember was when I was a child - maybe 10 yrs old - when a small hand towel hanging over the oven door handle caught fire when something splashed out of the oven. It was easy to put out - my mom just threw the towel into the sink and turned on the water. I seem to recall standing near the exit, which was where we also had a wall phone. I think I was getting ready to call the FD.
But now that I'm an adult, I realize that calling FD from inside a burning house is not the thing to do. One of the great advantages of cell phones... if you've got it on you, which I usually do.
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Old 06-28-2020, 07:04 PM   #9
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Re: Fire extinguishers. Single use or reusable?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Ultrarunner2017 View Post


It's amazing how many people will put an extinguisher right next to the stove, or other potential source of fire.
It's also amazing what the code is for a range gas valve.


And how many valves are behind the range. Now wouldn't that be fun attempting to move a burning 200lb. gas range out from the wall to shut the gas off.


EDIT: EDIT:
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Old 06-29-2020, 11:01 AM   #10
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Re: Fire extinguishers. Single use or reusable?


Quote:
Originally Posted by SeniorSitizen View Post
It's also amazing what the code is for a range gas valve.


And how many valves are behind the range. Now wouldn't that be fun attempting to move a burning 200lb. gas range out from the wall to shut the gas off.


EDIT: EDIT:
Our stove is a countertop, and the shutoff is accessible underneath by opening a cabinet door. I would prefer though, that the shutoff be down in the basement, as I wouldn't want to be anywhere near the stove if there were a fire.
That said, I could just shut off the main valve in the utility closet. Need a wrench to do that, but my wrenches are easy to find.


About the fire extinguisher:
Do you think buying one with a metal valve (rechargeable) would allow the extinguisher to last any longer than one with a plastic valve?
I'm thinking perhaps, even if I'm not going to have it recharged, that I may be better off spending a bit more on one with the metal valve.
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Old 06-29-2020, 12:04 PM   #11
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Re: Fire extinguishers. Single use or reusable?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Ultrarunner2017 View Post

About the fire extinguisher:
Do you think buying one with a metal valve (rechargeable) would allow the extinguisher to last any longer than one with a plastic valve?
I'm thinking perhaps, even if I'm not going to have it recharged, that I may be better off spending a bit more on one with the metal valve.
In that application i'm not seeing an advantage of metal. Lets take a look at freon bottles for instance. Metal body and plastic stem and they seem to do a good job for a long time.




EDIT: EDIT:
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Old 06-29-2020, 03:33 PM   #12
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Re: Fire extinguishers. Single use or reusable?


Quote:
Originally Posted by SeniorSitizen View Post
In that application i'm not seeing an advantage of metal. Lets take a look at freon bottles for instance. Metal body and plastic stem and they seem to do a good job for a long time.




EDIT: EDIT:
OK. Thanks.
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Old 06-29-2020, 03:48 PM   #13
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Re: Fire extinguishers. Single use or reusable?


Baking soda is a good idea. A pressurized blast from an extinguisher can blow burning grease all over the wall, and that usually has a negative outcome.
When I was a kid a lightning bolt hit our tv antenna (remember those?). The tv burst into flames. My father tossed a blanket on it, picked it up and threw it out of the front door. To the day he died, he never stopped unplugging his tv when a storm occurred.
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Old 06-29-2020, 03:50 PM   #14
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Re: Fire extinguishers. Single use or reusable?


Quote:
Originally Posted by SeniorSitizen View Post
In that application i'm not seeing an advantage of metal. Lets take a look at freon bottles for instance. Metal body and plastic stem and they seem to do a good job for a long time.

EDIT: EDIT:

Agree. We had single-use extinguishers in our police cruisers and many would not get used from one vehicle to the next. The gauges were (supposed to be) checked weekly and the rare occasion I had to use one I never had a dude. Ever rattle cans in the shop seem to hold pressure for just about ever.
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Old 06-29-2020, 05:15 PM   #15
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Re: Fire extinguishers. Single use or reusable?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Old Thomas View Post
A pressurized blast from an extinguisher can blow burning grease all over the wall, and that usually has a negative outcome.
Although not the particular subject here, that blast blowing grease all over is from a lack of fire extinguisher training. If a person was to read even the simplest brochure on fire extinguisher use that info. would probably there and may even be printed on some fire extinguishers.
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Last edited by joed; 06-29-2020 at 08:03 PM. Reason: fix quote tag
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