Sunday, November 7, 2010

In A Pinch, The Kidde 2 ¾ Lb. Fire Extinguisher Can Make All The Difference!

The Good: It works, Comparatively inexpensive, Effective on different types of fires, Light, Easy-to-use
The Bad: May need to be replaced before you need to use it.
The Basics: A great fire extinguisher for the kitchen, workshop or garage, the Kidde 2 ¾ Lb. Fire Extinguisher is light, efficient and works!

There are few products I have around my house that I have had for a long time and not found a way to write about. So, it was actually something of a surprise to me to discover that I had not written about the Kidde 2 ¾ Lb. Fire Extinguisher (44127615). A few years back, I had a fire in my house that was started in my Majestic Sovereign Fireplace (click here for my review of that!). This, as anyone who has had a house fire knows, was a traumatic experience – there’s nothing quite like coming down the stairs to see smoke coming out from places it does not belong! – and I ended up losing a whole wall on my house as a result. I am told I would have lost a whole lot more if it hadn’t been for my use of a fire extinguisher. All that kept more of my home intact were a pair of Kidde Fire Extinguishers!

When I first bought my house, I was very attentive to the fact that I was moving in tens of thousands of dollars worth of collectibles and artwork and that in addition to finally insuring the contents of my home for what they were actually worth, it was about time to surround myself with fire extinguishers. So, my first housewarming gifts to myself were a half dozen Kidde 2 ¾ Lb. Fire Extinguishers. I chose Kidde for two reasons: the first was affordability. We picked ours up on sale for $24.99/ea. at a local convenience store and the hundred fifty dollars we paid for six bought peace of mind for almost three years before we actually had to use them to fight a fire! The second reason we chose the Kidde 44127615 fire extinguisher was the fact that it had a gauge on it.

The gauge is a very simple 1” in diameter disc at the top of the fire extinguisher which has an arrow which clearly indicates to the user what the current status of the contents of the fire extinguisher is. If the extinguisher is full, the little yellow arrow points straight up to the “Full” position. As the contents are expelled or if the fire extinguisher loses pressure and potency over age, the arrow descends toward the red “Empty” position. If the canister is drained ¼ it is considered unusable and should be replaced. While I initially worried about this, the new 44127615s I purchased after the fire all are still firmly rooted with their arrows in the green position after four years! So, worry that these expire inordinately quickly are unfounded in my experience.

The Kidde 44127615 Fire Extinguisher is a very light fire extinguisher intended for home use. It comes in a red finish, so it is very easy to find in one’s home when they need it (the white ones can blend in with most walls). For those who are concerned about style over function, this fire extinguisher comes with a very simple plastic wall hanger. The wall hanger mounts to a wall or cabinet door (I had one mounted inside a cabinet door in the kitchen) with two small screws, which are included. The Kidde Fire Extinguisher comes out of the wall hanger with the flip of a simple plastic latch. This lifts out easily and may be replaced as easily (I recommend trying this a few times as if one is used to getting this off the hanger, it may save time in an emergency situation).

Use of this fire extinguisher is exceptionally easy: pull the plastic safety ring from the top and squeeze the handle while pointing the nozzle at the fire. This is not a fire extinguisher that has complicated hoses or many steps. It is a simple canister with the trigger handle at the top. Once the safety ring is pulled out, the trigger may be fully depressed. In that case, it’s just point and shoot.

This fire extinguisher is intended for kitchen or garage use and utilizes a sodium bicarbonate spray. When the contents depressurize, it shoots forth a white substance (what it is when it comes out is unclear to me because when it hits fire, it creates a lot of steam/smoke and when the fire is gone, it crystallizes; I would not recommend taking notes during a fire to try to characterize the spray better) which is appropriate for use on electric, grease, or virtually any substance one might have in their home or garage. So, for example, it puts out wood fires with exceptional speed and ease. In fact, when this small fire extinguisher is set off, it shoots its contents a little over twelve feet away and once one has it properly aimed at the base of a fire, it can pound the enflamed material for about twenty seconds. This might not seem like a lot of time, but in the life of a fire, it’s a lifetime.

The Kidde 44127615 Fire Extinguisher helped me save my house. Expelling the contents of one full extinguisher actually put out the fire that was in my hearth and using a second one slowed down the fire that was in the wall sufficiently that I was able to get out with my two cats alive. As well, the fire fighters, who arrived within a minute of when I shot off the second canister, said that the bulk of the house was saved from the use of the fire extinguisher. Because this was designed for heavier fire needs than a hearth fire that went out of control, it was overkill but in the case of a house fire, more is better than less.

When all was said and done with my house fire, I replaced the terrible fireplace with a brand new Brentwood Wood Stove (click here for that review!) and I replaced the fire extinguishers I used (thank you insurance money!). The Kidde 44127615 Fire Extinguisher does not just buy piece of mind, it buys an effective fire fighting tool. Anyone who has valuables in their house they want to protect would do well to have one of these in as many rooms as they can!

For other safety equipment, please check out my reviews of:
Kidde Carbon Monoxide and Smoke Detector
Laser Lite Corded Ear Plugs
Kidde Carbon Monoxide Detector


For other home and garden product reviews, please visit my index page for a complete listing by clicking here!

© 2010 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.

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