Normally the word “sexy” and “fire safety” don’t exactly go hand-in-hand. Imagine our surprise when we were recently leafing through Wired magazine and found a gorgeous looking chrome fire extinguisher in their “Fetish” feature. We got in touch with the manufacturer, and H3R Performance sent us one to check out in person. It also just so happens that October 9th-15th is Fire Prevention Week. In this post, we’ll not only share some thoughts on the MaxOut extinguisher, but we’ll also provide a few fire safety tips. One of those tips might take you just a minute or two and could very easily save your property or maybe even a life.
I was recently talking with a good friend who has had the misfortune of experiencing two house fires, one due to electrical issues, the other due to an unattended candle (Wiccans and other candle enthusiasts, take heed)! In one of the fires, my friend valiantly sprinted downstairs to grab the house’s fire extinguisher, and then rushed back up to try and extinguish the fire (see below for some fire safety tips related to this). He ripped the safety pin out and then squeezed the trigger. Rather than be greeted by a blast of extinguishing agent, a small dribble was all that came out. It seems the homeowner (not my friend in this case), hadn’t bothered to check the charge on the extinguisher. His experience was a good reminder of some basic safety tips related to fire extinguishers specifically:
- Check the charge on extinguishers regularly, and recharge or replace as needed. I’d suggest doing that right now.
- Keep at least one easy to access fire extinguisher on every floor of your house. If you live in a mansion, you’ll need more than one.
- If there’s a fire, call 911 from a safe location right away if possible. That’s before deciding to fire your extinguisher.
- Make sure everyone has evacuated. That’s also before using the extinguisher if possible.
- Carefully weigh the decision to use an extinguisher yourself . If the fire is not contained or spreads rapidly you can put yourself in great danger attempting to fight the fire. Sometimes quick action with an extinguisher can save your house and possibly other people’s lives. In other cases you could be severely burned or die trying to fight the fire. Put some careful thought into that judgment call. No material goods are worth dying for.
- If you do choose to fight a fire, do so with a safe exit at your back so you don’t become trapped by the fire if it spreads.
- Don’t assume the fire is the only thing that can harm you. Smoke and gasses actually cause more deaths than the fire itself.
- While we’re on the topic, check/replace the batteries in your smoke detectors!
This isn’t a comprehensive list of fire safety tips, but it does cover a few of the basics related to extinguishers. In order to do a little research for this article (and to have an excuse for my daughter to check out a fire engine up close), we cruised by our local neighborhood firehouse last weekend. I fired off (get it) several questions about fire extinguishers, and my daughter and I got a lesson on a few fire topics. One random fact is the difference between fire engines and fire trucks. Fire engines have a large tank of water and can pump that water (and hydrant water) at high pressure. Fire trucks don’t have a water tank or pump mechanism, so if they show up they’re more likely cutting holes in roofs than hosing down the structure. Who knew? Next time you chat with a fireman, you can totally show off this new knowledge.
Being a tool guy I of course asked our friendly neighborhood fireman what his favorite demolition tool was. He thought briefly and then proclaimed, “A cordless Milwaukee Sawzall.” That was followed closely by his trusted chainsaw. So Milwaukee, your Sawzall’s are saving lives and property here in San Diego (and surely elsewhere), thanks to the brave men and women that wield them.
Getting back to the H3R MX250C Maxout Fire Extinguisher (finally). H3R makes several sizes and colors. Although the black looks cool, I would not recommend it for household or shop use since it has the potential to blend in too much. I prefer Red or Chrome, both typical extinguisher colors that really stand out, even in a panicked fire situation. The chrome model we checked out looks downright stylish, and if you opt for the optional billet bracket, you’ll be looking almost as stylish as the folks at Wired. Of course, Wired removed the extinguisher’s sticker, which H3R informed us is very, very naughty. Worse than removing your mattress label for sure, since extinguisher labels actually have information you might need in an emergency. If you don’t order the billet bracket and a mount, the extinguisher still ships with a surface mount that’s very sturdy and perfectly acceptable. If you’re not mounting the unit, then just leave the bracket off for optimal extinguisher sexiness.
One nice byproduct of a fire extinguisher that actually looks stylish, is that you’re more likely to leave it in a place that’s visible. In the heat of a fire scare, visibility can translate into crucial seconds not lost to hunting for the extinguisher. You should make sure the extinguisher you get can handle A B and C fire types:
H3R notes that, “Dry Chemical is not recommended for fires in delicate electrical equipment or aircraft.” So, don’t use it to put out the fire on your supercomputer or in your Lear Jet, ok? They also have a Halotron I extinguishing agent, but it’s not typically recommended for residential use, and has some environmental considerations. They also recommend inspecting your extinguishers monthly, and recharging them after any use. We’ll be covering more details on recharging fire extinguishers tomorrow, stay tuned.
The MX250C Fire Extinguisher has a six year warranty and definitely feels like it’s made to a standard that will likely exceed that. You can find the
MaxOut MX250C Chrome Fire Extinguisher for about $130 from our friends over at Amazon.com. Oh, and if you have any additional fire safety tips, particularly in relation to extinguishers, please let us know in the comments below.