It’s cold out there. As cold as it is, there’s no more important time to concern ourselves with fire safety than winter. In fact, more house fires occur during winter than at any time of year, owing to the heavy usage of heating equipment. By now, you should know that one of the most crucial aspects of residential fire safety is having a good fire extinguisher or two around your house. But you might be wondering: will your fire extinguisher freeze?
Why Freezing is a Problem
Let’s cut right to the chase: yes, some fire extinguishers will freeze in ambient temperatures below 40 F. This will render your fire extinguisher permanently unusable. So if you have a pressurized water fire extinguisher that you believe has been exposed to temperatures below that threshold, it’s best to err on the side of caution and purchase a new one.
For many homeowners, this doesn’t generally pose much of a problem. Most people keep their homes well above that 40-degree mark even during the cold winter months. But here are a few scenarios where it might become an issue:
- You store a fire extinguisher in a poorly insulated area like a shed or garage
- Your home lacks central heating
- You are a commercial business owner who does not heat the premises at night
There are few things that could be more devastating in the event of a fire than realizing your fire extinguisher will not work because it had frozen somewhere along the line. Next, we’ll explain how this can be prevented.
The most obvious solution to the problem of fire extinguishers freezing is to store them somewhere that freezing won’t be an issue. Even something so simple as moving the device away from a poorly insulated window and into a cupboard can be a good way to do this. If you keep one in your garage, consider placing it just on the other side of the door leading into your house, where it would enjoy the benefit of more insulation.
If eliminating the threat of cold isn’t an option, keep in mind that not all fire extinguisher freeze. Look into fire extinguishers that use dry chemicals as opposed to pressurized water or mist. In fact, there’s a good chance you already have one, as dry chemical extinguishers are the recommended option for most fires. Pressurized water should only be used on Class A fires.
Dry chemical fire extinguishers can endure freezing temperatures with no problem whatsoever. If you’ve verified that your extinguisher isn’t pressurized water or mist, then you can put the threat of freezing out of mind.
Commercial and Residential Fire Prevention from Judd Fire Protection
If you want to ensure your home and business are safe throughout the year, trust Judd Fire Protection, LLC. We have over two decades of experience designing, installing, inspecting, and repairing residential and commercial fire protection systems. We serve clients throughout Maryland, Pennsylvania, Washington, D.C., Virginia, and West Virginia. If you are interested in finding out more about our services and protecting your home and business, give us a call at 410-871-3480 or contact us online. For more fire safety tips, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.