a frowny face drawn in the mess of a fire extinguisher

Is Your Extinguisher Causing More House Fire Damages Than The Fire?

The immediate reaction when a fire breaks out in your home is to extinguish it as quickly as possible. Since the fire department may take time to respond, some homeowners still rely on traditional fire extinguishers that use dry chemicals, water, or foam to combat these emergencies. While any extinguisher will help against flames, traditional ones often contribute significant secondary damage to the property. Understanding the full impact of these extinguishers reveals why choosing a cleaner extinguishing product like Element is a more cost-effective option for protecting your home.

Types of Traditional Fire Extinguishers and Their Impact

Three types of traditional fire extinguishers.

Dry Chemical Extinguishers: These use a fine powder composition to put out the flames. These extinguishers leave a corrosive residue that can severely damage appliances, interior surfaces, and electronics. The cleanup process involves extensive fire restoration to remove the powder. This powder can seep into everything between the ceiling and the floor.  

Water Extinguishers: Water extinguishers are common to extinguish fires involving paper or wood. As you can imagine, the water used to extinguish the fire often leads to water damage, mold growth, and weakening of structural components. This not only increases the amount of damage but also extends the restoration process and repair damage timelines.

Foam Extinguishers: Some foam extinguishers can be used for liquid and grease fires that are common in kitchen fires. The foam from these extinguishers will ruin saturated textiles, carpets, and furniture. You would need expensive replacements or repairs as this renders your impacted belongings unsalvageable. The residue from these extinguishers require specialized cleaning services to fully eradicate. The cost of this obviously adds to the homeowner's burden.

The Real Cost of Cleanup and Restoration Process

The aftermath of using traditional fire extinguishers involves not just salvaging what is beyond repair but also dealing with extensive damage cleanup. Homeowners may find themselves contacting their insurance company frequently, managing claims for smoke damage repair, and coordinating with fire damage restoration professionals. The financial strain can be considerable when the costs often run into tens of thousands of dollars depending on the extent of the damage and the parts of your home affected. 

For instance, dealing with a fire in the living area that was extinguished using a foam extinguisher can lead to extensive upholstery and carpet cleaning costs. On top of that there are costs of replacing the damaged furniture. Similarly, electronics exposed to dry chemical powder might need thorough cleaning or complete replacement. These factors significantly increase the homeowner's expense.

Real-Life Impacts on Homeowners

Colleen Martens

Aftermath of a oven after extinguishing fire with a traditional extinguisher

Colleen's oven caught on fire. She was able to quickly contain it thankfully. While grateful that the fire did not consume their home, the aftermath was nothing short of a nightmare. Apart from the clearly horrid circumstance, she also warns everyone to not inhale in the air around it as it "smells disgusting". 

Chris Chaney

Aftermath of a kitchen after extinguishing fire with a traditional extinguisher

Chris had a grease fire that he tackled with a fire extinguisher. He recalls the mess from the extinguisher being much bigger than the fire itself. Still way better than an unchecked blaze, that would have really hit his renter's insurance! But the residue clean up of the extinguisher will haunt Chris for a while.

A Modern Alternative

In contrast to these traditional methods there is a better fire extinguishing tool to combat home fires. Element fire extinguishers are your cleaner alternative to the messy traditional extinguishers. As a clean agent extinguisher, Element fights all major classes of fire (A,B,C&K) without leaving behind any toxic mess to clean up. It works by releasing a vapor that interrupts the chemical chain-reaction of fire to put it out. There is no added risk of water damage, or corrosive residue. Element uses a solid state extinguishant. This means it does not have any pressurized compartments that you have to monitor through a gauge nor does it need regular inspections or recharging to stay effective. Element is always ready! 

Element Extinguisher resting on a kitchen shelf ready to be used

Choosing an Element over traditional methods means homeowners can significantly reduce the fire aftermath challenges, including moisture-related issues and the tedious fire damage repair process. Save yourself potentially large damage repair bills! Element is a wise decision for homeowners who value both safety and their property's longevity.

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