Hopefully you’ve never experienced a fire in your home… and, hopefully you never will! But, if the need arises, you should have a fire extinguisher nearby.

Household fire extinguishers are classified: A, B, C or a combination. A is for things like wood, paper and cloth (ordinary combustibles). B is for flammable liquids like cooking oil or gasoline. And, C is for live electricity (it means the extinguishing spray does not conduct electricity).

It’s a good idea to have a fire extinguisher on every level of your home. And, since fires can easily occur in the kitchen, it’s best not to store the fire extinguisher in the kitchen itself since a hot kitchen fire might prevent your access to the fire extinguisher.

Keep in mind that fire extinguishers don’t last forever. Be sure to check yours regularly to make sure it is fully charged. Newer fire extinguishers have a gauge that tells you its status. Just make sure the gauge shows that it’s fully charged. If it’s less than that, it’s time to get a new one, unless you have one that can be recharged/refilled by the manufacturer.

Last, but not least, make sure you know how to use a fire extinguisher before you actually need it. Here’s a simple way to remember how: PASS…

Pull the extinguisher’s safety pin.

Aim the fire extinguisher at the source of the flames, not the flames themselves. You should stand at least 6 feet from the fire.

Squeeze the trigger and hold it. And, keep the fire extinguisher upright.

Sweep the source of the flames until the fire extinguisher is empty.

Household fire extinguishers can be found starting at less the $20 at The Home Depot.