The Top Fire Extinguishers of 2019

Written by | Updated June 4, 2019
Best for heavy-duty protection
amerex 10 fire extinguisherAmerex B441 Rechargeable 10-lb Extinguisher
  • Fights all fires
  • Can be recharged
  • Mounts on the wall
  • Fights all fires
  • Can be recharged
  • Mounts on the wall
Best for easy operation
amerex 5 fire extinguisherAmerex B500 Rechargeable 5-lb Extinguisher
  • Manageable weight and size
  • Metal construction
  • Manageable weight and size
  • Metal construction
Best for easy cleanup
fire gone extinguisherFire Gone Fire Suppressant Canisters
  • Affordable
  • Comes in a two-pack
  • Easy to use
  • Affordable
  • Comes in a two-pack
  • Easy to use

Whether it’s a house fire, kitchen blaze, or car fire, we’ve got it covered in our 2019 list of the best fire extinguishers. Learn about the pros and cons of different kinds of fire extinguishers—from foam and CO to water and dry chemical extinguishers—and find out which ones are best for your needs.

Things to Consider in a Fire Extinguisher

Fire extinguishers may seem straightforward, but not all fire extinguishers work for all types of fires. It’s important to understand fire extinguisher types and uses when you’re deciding what kind of extinguisher you need to protect your home and family.

Types of Fire Extinguishers

To understand the types of fire extinguishers, you need to first understand the common types of fires. Household fires fall under three classifications, depending on the type of fuel burning. The most common fire extinguisher classifications are A, B, C, and K.

  • Class A: Solid combustibles that are not metals, like wood, paper, cloth, plastics, and rubber.
  • Class B: Flammable liquids, like gasoline, oil, grease, and paints.
  • Class C: Electrical equipment, like appliances and outlets.
  • Class K: Cooking oils and greases, animal fats, and vegetable fats.

Household extinguishers fight specific types of fires. It’s important to know the type of fire that has started before you use a fire extinguisher on it; different extinguishers use different chemical fueling agents to fight fires and are effective only on specific types of fuel. If you use the wrong type of extinguisher, you can make a fire worse. Always check fire extinguisher labels before use, and familiarize yourself with which type of extinguisher is best for each type of fire.

Air-Pressurized Water (APW) Extinguishers

Air-pressurized water extinguishers use pressurized water to fight Class A fires only. These extinguishers are generally about two feet tall and twenty-five pounds when full and have a pressure gauge. Do not use water on Class B or C fires, as it may cause the fire to spread or increase the possibility of electrical shock.

Foam Extinguishers

Foam extinguishers are effective against Class A and B fires. They are not recommended for Class C fires, but are safer than APW extinguishers if accidentally used on a live electrical device. Foam fire extinguishers are generally marked with a blue band and can vary widely in size.

Carbon Dioxide (CO2) Extinguishers

Carbon dioxide extinguishers use non-flammable CO2 gas to fight Class B and C fires. They are not generally effective against Class A fires. These extinguishers do not a have a pressure gauge and can range from 5 to 100 pounds.

Dry Chemical (DC) Extinguishers

Dry chemical extinguishers may be labeled ABC or BC to indicate which types of fires they can be used on. They are generally filled with mono-ammonium phosphate and are pressurized using nitrogen. They range from five to twenty pounds and have a pressure gauge. Most residential fire extinguishers use dry chemicals and are classified ABC to effectively combat all three common household fire types. Rechargeable extinguishers are heavier, but they are sturdier and can be refilled and reused. Disposable extinguishers with plastic valves are lighter and cheaper than rechargeable extinguishers, but they have a shorter shelf life and can be used only once. Cover all your bases and get an ABC fire extinguisher so you’ll be prepared for anything.

Where will you use the fire extinguisher?

Because fire hazards can vary from room to room, it’s smart to select an extinguisher that can combat the type of fire most likely to occur. If you’re looking for a kitchen fire extinguisher, you want to make sure you select one that is rated for Class K fires. However, if you want to protect your wooden shed, a Class A extinguisher that can battle wood fires is the right choice. In addition, there are portable extinguishers for use in cars, on boats, and other remote locations where you may need a fire extinguisher on the go.

Who will use the fire extinguisher?

Another thing to consider is who will need to use the fire extinguisher in the event of an emergency. Some extinguishers are large and heavy, which makes them difficult for smaller family members to properly discharge. If you’re placing a fire extinguisher in an area where younger or older family members may need to use them, consider the weight those family members can reasonably manage. Children should not discharge fire extinguishers, but older teens may be trained to handle them.

How will you store your fire extinguisher?

There are different ways to store a fire extinguisher, but it’s important to make them easy to access in the event of a fire. Many extinguishers come with wall mounting brackets that make it easy to store the extinguisher just about anywhere. If you choose to mount your fire extinguisher, place it approximately four to five feet above the floor, where it can’t be tampered with by little ones or pets. Another option is to store the fire extinguisher in a cupboard or other safe place, preferably near an exit and far from the oven or fireplace. Because fire extinguishers typically withstand temperatures up to only 120°F, you don’t want them too near appliances or other heat-producing elements. Before you purchase a new fire extinguisher, scope out where you want to store it and pick one that will securely fit in your chosen spot.

What do fire extinguisher ratings mean?

Fire extinguisher labels include symbols to indicate which types of fires the extinguisher is designed to fight. If there is a circle and a red slash through any of the symbols, that indicates that the extinguisher cannot be used to fight that type of fire. Household fire extinguishers are also rated for the size of fire they can safely handle. The higher the rating, the larger the fire the extinguisher can put out. Class A fire extinguishers are rated 1 to 40, which indicates the equivalency to gallons of water. An extinguisher with a 1A rating has the firefighting power of 1.25 gallons of water, a 2A rating indicates 2.5 gallons, and so on. Class B fires are rated from 1 to 640, to indicate the square footage the extinguisher can handle. For example, an extinguisher with a 20B rating could cover up to twenty square feet. There is no size rating for Class C fires. Note that higher-rated extinguishers are often heavier, so be sure that you (and any other adult household members) can comfortably handle the size of the fire extinguisher you keep at home.

Compare the Best Fire Extinguishers

Product Image
Fire Class
Item Weight
Discharge Time
Discharge Range
Best for heavy-duty home fire protection
Best for easy operation
Best for easy cleanup
Best for discharge time
Best for kitchen fires
Best bang for your buck
Amerex B441 Rechargeable 10-lb Extinguisher Amerex B500 Rechargeable 5-lb Extinguisher Fire Gone Fire Suppressant Canisters First Alert Tundra Fire Extinguishing Spray WilliamsRDM Stovetop Firestop Extinguisher Kidde 466112 Pro Multi-Purpose Dry Chemical Fire Extinguisher
6-year limited 6-year limited Unspecified 4-year limited 1-year limited 6-year limited
Yes Yes No No No Yes
19 lbs. 9.25 lbs 16 oz. 16 oz. 12 oz. 8.1 lbs
20 sec. 14 sec. Unspecified 32 sec. Unspecified 13-15 sec.
15-21 ft. 12-18 ft. Unspecified Unspecified Unspecified 12-18 ft.
Check Price on Amazon Check Price on Amazon Check Price on Amazon Check Price on Amazon Check Price on Amazon Check Price on Amazon

Best Fire Extinguisher Reviews

Amerex B441 Rechargeable 10-lb Extinguisher

The Amerex B441 fire extinguisher is a top-of-the-line multipurpose extinguisher for your home. As the largest home model we’ve found, it’s made of heavy-duty parts and features a discharge shooting range between fifteen and twenty-one feet. This extinguisher complies with National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) recommendations and comes with a six-year warranty.


  • Longest discharge length among traditional home fire extinguishers.
  • Fights All Fires You can use this extinguisher on Class A, B, and C fires.
  • Can Be Recharged Simply take the Amerex B441 to your local fire department and they’ll recharge it for a nominal fee.
  • Mounts on the Wall Keep your fire extinguisher within easy reach with the included wall bracket.


  • Costs More All that power doesn’t come cheap. This is the most expensive fire extinguisher on our list, averaging around $100 per unit.
  • Weighs a Lot Because the Amerex B441 contains a full ten pounds of firefighting chemical, the entire device weighs a whopping nineteen pounds when full. This makes it difficult for some to lift and operate.

Amerex B500 Rechargeable 5-lb Extinguisher

Lauded as the “Cadillac of extinguishers” by reviewers, this fire extinguisher is approved for use on all three classes of home fires. And even though it’s one of the larger models on our list, it’s still small enough to fit under the kitchen sink.


  • Manageable Weight and Size Coming in at just under ten pounds fully charged, this fire extinguisher is easier for people of varying size and age to operate. The lower weight makes it easier to control during discharge.
  • Metal Construction You can trust the solid, metal construction of this home fire extinguisher. It features an aluminum canister and metal valve so you don’t need to worry about plastic parts breaking.


  • Flimsy Wall Bracket While the construction of the extinguisher itself is durable, the included wall bracket is insubstantial. Many customers find it unstable after they mount it, leaving them to abandon it in favor of standing their extinguisher on the floor.

Fire Gone Fire Suppressant Canisters

For something compact and environmentally friendly, check out these disposable aerosol fire extinguishers. Rather than using dry chemical fire suppressant, this extinguisher uses a patent-pending wet chemical that is sprayed just like a can of air freshener.


  • Affordable Pick up a two-pack of this one-time use fire suppressant for around $20.
  • Comes in a Two-Pack We like the two-pack because it makes it easy for you to add fire protection to multiple rooms of your home.
  • Easy to use These handheld aerosol cans work like a can of hair spray. They’re light and easy to use.


  • Not Rechargeable Unlike heftier models, these fire suppressants are one-and-done. They can’t be recharged like traditional fire extinguishers, so you’ll need to buy replacements if you use them.

First Alert Tundra Fire Extinguishing Spray

Like the Fire Gone canisters, the Tundra is also a biodegradable, one-time-use aerosol fire suppressant. More customers report using these extinguishers to successfully put out a fire, so the Tundra boasts a 4.7-star rating on Amazon.


  • The Tundra discharges for up to thirty-two seconds—four times longer than most other aerosol and traditional fire extinguishers.
  • Easy to Clean Up Unlike dry chemical fire extinguishers that leave a fine dust in their wake, the First Alert Tundra spray discharges a water-based foam that is easy to wipe up with a damp cloth.
  • Biodegradable If you like to do your part for the environment, you’ll love this water-based fire extinguishing spray that doesn’t leave behind any dangerous chemical residue.
  • Multifunctional Because they’re so small and portable, you can use the Tundra in your home, garage, or workshop. They’re also ideal to upgrade safety on a boat or RV.


  • Not User Friendly It’s difficult to tell which way the nozzle is pointing. In an emergency, this could cost you valuable seconds. We recommend marking the top of the nozzle so you know which way to spray if you need to act fast to put out a fire.
  • Not Meant to Be Your Only Fire Extinguisher Because it is a small, one-time-use fire suppressant, the Tundra won’t replace a traditional fire extinguisher to protect your home. These are great for extra protection, but you still need a larger, traditional extinguisher.

WilliamsRDM Stovetop Firestop Extinguisher

Nicknamed the “fireman in a can,” this automatic stovetop suppression system has only one job—to put out fires on your stovetop. It’s installed above the range and triggered when a fire is detected.


  • Specific Purpose This is one of the only products on our list designed to fight a specific type of fire. Its small design is ideal to fit above a stovetop, and it relies on good old-fashioned baking soda to smother cooking-related flames.
  • Designed for Stovetop Fires Thanks to a magnet, installation couldn’t be simpler. The can attaches to the underside of your range hood and pops open to drop fire-smothering chemicals. Best of all, you don’t have to worry about contaminating your cook space because the main firefighting ingredient is baking soda.
  • Triggered Automatically Another feature we love is that the Firestop Extinguisher triggers on its own—you don’t have to be present or operate anything to make it work. This safety feature is one reason several people have installed them in vacation homes, RVs, and other places where they can’t always be on watch.


  • We said the installation is easy, and it is—but it’s also specific. If you place it too high, it won’t be triggered by heat. In addition, you need to make sure you get the right model if you have a microwave above your stove.
  • Not for All Fires The Firestop is the perfect stovetop firefighting gadget, but that’s the only kind of fire it can fight. You need to outfit your kitchen with another fire extinguisher that is rated for Class A, B, and C fires.

First Alert FIAFESA5 Auto Fire Extinguisher

Although this pint-sized fire extinguisher was designed for cars, it can fight both Class B and C fires. It comes with vehicle-mounting brackets, so you don’t have to worry about accidental discharge while you’re on the road.


  • An average of seventeen car fires are reported every hour, and that’s why we’re glad this extinguisher is designed with automobile fires in mind.1 It’s small, easy to operate, and approved by the Department of Transportation. Whether it’s your car in trouble or a fellow traveler’s, this little extinguisher can save the day.
  • Compact The First Alert Auto Extinguisher is under a foot long and weighs three pounds, which makes it easy to store under a seat or in the trunk of your car.
  • Affordable Selling for around $15, you can afford to keep one in every vehicle.
  • Not Limited to Car Fires Despite being designed for car fires, this extinguisher is rated for both Class B and C fires, which means it will work on flammable liquids (gas and oil) and electrical equipment (appliances and outlets). One reviewer grabbed it from their car and put out a home’s electrical box that had burst into flames.


  • It’s hard to find much to dislike about the First Alert FIAFESA5, but the fact that it won’t work on Class A fires (wood, paper, cloth, etc.) makes it impractical for household use. Because it looks like a full-service fire extinguisher, be sure to label it clearly so you don’t accidentally use it on a wood or paper fire.
  • Disposable This mini fire extinguisher packs a powerful punch, but it can only be used once. It can’t be recharged, so you’ll have to dispose of it after use and purchase another one.

Kidde 466112 Pro Multi-Purpose Dry Chemical Fire Extinguisher

This Kidde extinguisher is one of the most affordable large fire extinguishers on the market. It provides reliable, all-around protection for your home with approval for Class A, B, and C fires. And even though it’s one of the larger extinguishers out there, it still weighs in under ten pounds.

NOTE: There was a broad recall of Kidde fire extinguishers with plastic handles. We have removed any recalled models from our list but suggest that you check the recall list for the model of any Kidde fire extinguisher that you currently own or any you’re looking to purchase.

This Kidde extinguisher is one of the most affordable large fire extinguishers on the market. It provides reliable, all-around protection for your home with approval for Class A, B, and C fires. And even though it’s one of the larger extinguishers out there, it still weighs in under ten pounds.


  • This is one of the most sturdy, durable extinguishers on our list. It also has a discharge range up to fifteen feet and a discharge time up to fifteen seconds, which make it effective for fires of just about any size.
  • Corrosion-Resistant The powder-coated cylinder and brass valve were designed to resist corrosion. That means you can count on this extinguisher to withstand over time and be ready for action when you need it.
  • Affordable Even though this is a larger multipurpose fire extinguisher, it usually comes in right under $50, which makes it one of the best all-around deals on our list. And because it’s rechargeable, you won’t have to buy another one after you use it.
  • Highly Rated Customers love this Kidde fire extinguisher, and they can’t stop raving about it. Among their favorite features are the great value and solid construction. Their raves have earned this extinguisher more than four stars on Amazon.


  • The biggest drawback right now is the Kidde recall, which has made people question the reliability of this once-trusted brand. Fortunately, the Kidde 466112 Pro wasn’t one of the recalled models, thanks to its metal valve, lever, and handle.
  • Messy It gets the job done, but the wide spray range and dry chemical fire retardant are known to leave a widespread, powdery mess behind. People complain about chemical spraying far outside the fire zone, leaving them with even more detritus to clean up.

How to Properly Use a Fire Extinguisher

While the specifics may vary depending on the model you own, most fire extinguishers operate the same basic way. Stand six to eight feet away from the fire and remember to PASS:

  1. Pull: Pull the pin at the top to break the tamper seal.
  2. Aim: Aim the extinguisher low, pointing the nozzle at the base of the fire. Do not aim at the flames themselves.
  3. Squeeze: Squeeze the handle to release the extinguishing agent.
  4. Sweep: Sweep the extinguisher from side to side, continuing to aim at the base of the fire until it appears to be out.

Keep an eye on the area to make sure the fire does not reignite, and repeat the steps as necessary. If the fire grows larger than the extinguisher can handle at any time, immediately evacuate the building and call 911.

Recommended Storage and Maintenance for Fire Extinguishers

The NFPA recommends a fire extinguisher be installed on every floor of your home and that it be inspected annually. The US Department of Agriculture takes that counsel even further, recommending that homeowners install separate fire extinguishers in their kitchen, garage, basement, and car too. These should be installed in plain view, within easy reach of adults—though out of reach of children—and near an escape route. It’s important to regularly inspect your fire extinguisher. Check your owners manual for specific recommendations for your extinguisher model, but in general, follow these guidelines for regular maintenance:

  • Check pressure regularly. The needle should be in the green zone. Replace or recharge any extinguishers if the needle is in the red zone.
  • Monitor for damage. Make sure the pin and tamper seal are intact. Check for dents, leaks, rust, or other signs of wear.
  • Shake it. If you have a dry chemical extinguisher, many manufactures recommend shaking it monthly so the powder does not settle.
  • Get it tested. Get your extinguisher pressure tested every few years by a professional, as per the manufacturer’s recommendation.
  • Recharge. No matter how much (or how little) was used, if you discharged an extinguisher, it needs to be recharged. Your local fire department may offer this service, or you can find a professional recharging company in your area.
  • Discard. All disposable extinguishers must be discarded after use.

Fire Safety Tips

A two-story house fire can reach unmanageable size in under five minutes, so those first few seconds are critical.2 Residential extinguishers won’t quench a major fire, but they can control small ones that commonly break out in homes. If a fire starts in your home, follow these steps before you attempt to extinguish it on your own.

  1. Make sure everyone has left or is leaving the building.
  2. Have someone call 911 and notify the fire department immediately.
  3. Position yourself with an unobstructed exit at your back, in case you need to escape quickly.
  4. Examine the fire and make sure it is confined and not spreading to a larger area.
  5. Know how to use your fire extinguisher—there isn’t time to learn in the moment. Regularly review the instructions to stay familiar so you can act quickly when it counts.
  6. If the fire is too large to put out with a home fire extinguisher, your priority is to get everyone out and call 911 immediately.
  7. Do not attempt to extinguish a large fire on your own, no matter what extinguisher you have on hand. Remember, you are under no obligation to fight a fire yourself.
Blue lightbulb icon

Don’t Be a Hero!

If the fire grows beyond what the extinguisher can handle, if the air becomes unsafe to breathe, or if you no longer feel comfortable fighting the fire, evacuate the area immediately.

Avoid Common Fire Extinguisher Mistakes

Because we don’t have regular opportunities to practice fighting fires, it’s easy to make simple mistakes when the time comes. Know where most people go wrong so you can avoid making a mistake while under pressure.

Don’t Ignore the Instructions

Thoroughly read the operating instructions that came with your fire extinguisher. Make sure all able members of your home read and understand the instructions. Review them regularly when you conduct fire drills and go over your evacuation plan.

Don’t Use the Wrong Type of Fire Extinguisher

Never use a fire extinguisher for a class of fire that is not indicated on the label. Most importantly, extinguishers that are labeled for Class A fires cannot be used on electrical or grease fires. However, it is safe to use an extinguisher labeled for Class B and C fires on a Class A fire. While Class K fires are technically a subset of Class B fires, other contents in Class B extinguishers can make Class K fires worse, so it’s best to get a separate extinguisher for cooking fires.

Don’t Let Your Extinguisher Go Bad

Fire extinguishers come with an expiration date, after which the extinguishing agent is no longer effective. Know the dates on your fire extinguishers and replace them as needed.

Don’t Forget about Exits

When you decide where to keep your fire extinguisher, make sure it is in an easily accessible location near exterior doors. Also, consider the most common places where fires occur in a home and place your extinguishers accordingly.

Don’t Keep It a Secret

Make sure that everyone in your home knows where the fire extinguishers are kept. Share the location, along with your entire fire escape plan, with babysitters, house sitters, and any long-term visitors.

Beyond the Fire Extinguisher—Products to Help You Make a Clean Escape

A house fire is one of the scariest things to face. In addition to keeping the right fire extinguisher handy, these products can help you get everyone out safely if you need to evacuate.

Kidde KL-2S Two-Story Fire Escape Ladder


  • Easy to use
  • Strong - tested up to 1,000 lbs.
  • Features anti-slip rungs


  • Designed for one-time use
  • Doesn't fit wider windowsills

Baby Rescue Emergency Rapid Evacuation Device


  • Designed by firefighters
  • Tested up to 150 lbs.
  • Also works for pets


  • Designed for one-time use
  • Not fire resistant

Our Approach

We looked at fourteen different fire extinguishers to find our top picks. In addition to consulting the National Fire Protection Association and the US Fire Administration for guidelines and standards, we spent more than twenty-five hours investigating the pros and cons of each fire extinguisher. We used independent research, expert ratings, and customer reviews to help us select the best fire extinguishers on the market.

25+ hours researched
14 products considered
700+ customer reviews read
18 coffees consumed


  1. National Fire Protection Association, “Vehicles, Facts and Figures
  2. Grand Traverse Metro Fire Department, “Fire Spread and Fire Drills

Written by Rebecca Edwards

Rebecca has honed her safety and security skills as both a single mom and a college director. Being responsible for the well-being of others helped her learn how to minimize risk and create safe environments. Learn more

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