Wondering where to place fire extinguishers at home? Ideal locations include the kitchen followed by the bedroom, and then the main entrance – in the following priority.
Decided on getting a fire extinguisher to help protect your home from unexpected residential fires that have been all rage (pun not intended!) these days? The next all-important question is “where to place fire extinguishers at home?”
The short response to this question is the kitchen, bedroom, and main entrance. However, if you’re keen to learn more about the reasoning behind these placements, read on to learn more.
The three criteria for placing a fire extinguisher
- It should be easy to reach. There’s no point in buying a fire extinguisher if it is placed under a heap of trash. During an emergency, it would be impossible to find or reach.
- It should be easy to check. Checking the pressure gauge once a month ensures the fire extinguisher works as intended when it is needed. Placing it at an area where everyone can see it makes it easy to check the pressure gauge.
- It should be safe to reach. A fire extinguisher should always be placed in a path of escape not in the line of fire. If a fire blocks your path to a fire extinguisher, consider repositioning it to another spot.
The kitchen is the highest priority placing a fire extinguisher
According to SCDF statistics, kitchen fires (due to unattended cooking) are the most common cause of residential fires. Given that a residential fire is most likely to start in the kitchen than in any other part of the home, it makes perfect sense for the kitchen to be the top priority placement for a home fire extinguisher.
Ideally, it should be a fire extinguisher capable of fighting Class F grease fires. This is because grease fires cannot be put out with normal Class A/B/C dry powder fire extinguishers as the extremely high temperature of the grease will automatically reignite the fire.
Wondering whereabouts should the Class F fire extinguisher be placed in the kitchen? Our recommendation would be to place it at the entrance of the kitchen rather than at the far end of the kitchen.
The reason behind this is simple. Due to the fact that most kitchen fires occur due to unattended cooking, the cook is likely to be outside of the kitchen when the fire first begins. As such, if the fire extinguisher is located just at the entrance of the kitchen, the cook can simply grab it and begin firefighting. On the flip side, if the fire extinguisher was located at the far end of the kitchen, the cook will need to find a safe path through the kitchen to even get to the firefighting equipment.
Easy and safe access aside, placing the fire extinguisher at the entrance of the kitchen also allows everyone in the household to have a quick check on the pressure gauge whenever they head to the kitchen. This helps everyone to familiarize themselves with the location of the fire extinguisher – very useful in any emergency.
Apart from the most common grease fires, there is also another fire hazard within the kitchen area that nobody expects – the washing machine and dryer!
With most Singaporean households having their washing machines and dryer located in the kitchen area, it’s important to note that clothes dryer fires can be an equally dangerous hazard. Combining the elements of large amounts of flammable lint collected with the high temperatures of the clothes dryers and you have a surefire way of starting a fire.
Pro tip: if you clothes dryer starts having a “chao tar” burnt smell, immediately stop the machine, and investigate!
The bedroom is the next best place to put a fire extinguisher
While kitchen fires are the most common occurrence in Singapore residential homes, the bedroom should not be neglected.
The bedroom is where most residents spend their time in their homes. Imagine waking up to an electrical fire or fire involving household contents anywhere else in the home. Chances are you will not want to have to leave the safety of your bedroom to reach a fire extinguisher located outside as you would not be certain of the situation. This is exactly the reason why the bedroom is the next most important place for you to keep a fire extinguisher in the home.
Whereabouts in the bedroom should the placement of the fire extinguisher be? The easiest to reach and safest placement would be right underneath the light switch. It’s the most familiar place within the bedroom, and conveniently accessible for regular inspections whether the bedroom door is open or closed.
As a secondary fire extinguisher meant to combat electrical and household content fires, a foam-type fire extinguisher is recommended over the traditional dry powder types.
Why? When fighting fires in small, enclosed spaces like our HDB flats, having a clear line of sight is helpful. Foam fire extinguishers discharge a clear stream of water mixed with foam, making it much easier for firefighters to locate and aim at the base of the fire. Dry powder extinguishers, on the other hand, discharge a lot of powder when in use, and the resultant gusts of powder and smoke make it extremely difficult to see if you have successfully extinguished the fire.
The main entrance is also another good place to put the fire extinguisher
Sometimes, it may not be possible to place the fire extinguisher in the kitchen or bedroom. Maybe there is a toddler in the bedroom or maybe there is simply no empty place left in the room to safely put the fire extinguisher.
That’s when you can consider placing the fire extinguisher under the light switch next to the main entrance. While not as optimal as the above two placements, as it may not always be on the path to safety, it is still acceptable as it fulfils two out of the three main criteria for fire extinguisher placement – being easy to reach and easy to check.
Good Placement gives a good headstart, but…
- Remember to get the correct type of fire extinguisher for the fire.
- Don’t forget your PASS technique.
- Don’t hoard and jam your escape route.
Protect yourselves! Get your home fire extinguishers!
At Fire Armour, apart from servicing a wide range of commercial businesses for their fire safety equipment and systems, we are also increasingly getting more inquiries from Singaporean homeowners looking to protect their residential premises.
With our new e-commerce shop, we aim to make it easy for homeowners to purchase home fire extinguishers and other fire safety accessories to make their homes safer than ever!
Have questions about residential fire safety equipment? Just reach out to our friendly team via live chat!