The title says it all, the one thing I never read about or see in any survivalist or prepper writings. The need for fire extinguishers in your bug out location. Remember there is no 911 after the SHTF. The fire department will not come to your rescue. You most be able to stop any fires before they get out of control, or better yet stop any potential fires from happening in the first place.
Fire Extinguisher Basics:
Class A extinguishers are for ordinary combustible materials such as paper, wood, cardboard, and most plastics.
Class B fires involve flammable or combustible liquids such as gasoline, kerosene, grease and oil.
Class C fires involve electrical equipment, such as appliances, wiring, circuit breakers and outlets. Never use water to extinguish class C fires – the risk of electrical shock is far too great!
fire extinguishers are commonly found in a chemical laboratory. They are for fires that involve combustible metals, such as magnesium, titanium, potassium and sodium.
Class K fire extinguishers are for fires that involve cooking oils, trans-fats, or fats in cooking appliances found in the kitchen.
Water extinguishers or APW extinguishers (air-pressurized water) are suitable for class A fires only. Never use a water extinguisher on grease fires, electrical fires or class D fires – the flames will spread and make the fire even bigger! Water extinguishers are filled with water and are typically pressurized with air. Only fight the fire if you’re certain it contains ordinary combustible materials only.
Dry chemical extinguishers come in a variety of types and are suitable for a combination of class A, B and C fires. These are filled with foam or powder and pressurized with nitrogen.
1. BC – This is the regular type of dry chemical extinguisher. It is filled with sodium bicarbonate or potassium bicarbonate. The BC variety leaves a mildly corrosive residue which must be cleaned immediately to prevent any damage to materials.
2. ABC – This is the multipurpose dry chemical extinguisher. The ABC type is filled with mono-ammonium phosphate, a yellow powder that leaves a sticky residue that may be damaging to electrical appliances.
Dry chemical extinguishers have an advantage over CO2 extinguishers since they leave a non-flammable substance on the extinguished material, reducing the likelihood of re-ignition.
Carbon Dioxide (CO2) extinguishers are used for class B and C fires. CO2 extinguishers contain carbon dioxide, a non-flammable gas, and are highly pressurized. The pressure is so great that it is not uncommon for bits of dry ice to shoot out the nozzle. They don’t work very well on class A fires because they may not be able to displace enough oxygen to put the fire out, causing it to re-ignite.
Water Extinguishers are the only ones that can be reused and have a indefinite shelf life as they can be refilled. All the other ones listed above loose charge over time and may not be there when you need it. Keeping flammable materials away from fire sources is a start to a safe survival retreat.