The One Item Every Man Needs In His Home


It’s functional, it’s masculine, it’s a timeless design, it could help you get lucky, and it could save your stuff, yourself, and your loved ones. Every man needs a full-sized, fully primed, commercial fire extinguisher.

The commercial fire extinguisher is designed to perform an important and unambiguous role: to extinguish a fire.  For the love of testosterone do NOT get a “mini” or “designer” or “clever” or “cute” version.  I’ve seen extinguishers festooned with patterns, “fun” colors, disguised to look like booze bottles. Don’t subject yourself to such indignity. The industrial design of a standard fire extinguisher is tasteful, masculine, and timeless. It’s not supposed to blend into your surroundings or match your furniture. And it’s not supposed to express your sense of irony. Its purpose is to signal that you are mature enough to plan ahead, resourceful enough to equip yourself with professional tools, and masculine enough to take control of a potentially dangerous situation.

Sizes and specifications vary. Get one at least 15” tall. They’re priced around $85 for a 195 psi steel cylinder. An aluminum cylinder holds up to 850 psi for more like $200 but if you have the money and like the idea of “upgrading”, it’s a nice option. Whichever cylinder you get, make sure it’s type ABC, since that’s what is most likely to ignite your home. (A is for combustible materials like paper and wood.  B is for flammable & combustible liquids. C is for energized electrical fires). Dry Chemical extinguishers fight ABC fires.  CO2 extinguishers fight B and C fires.  You don’t need a class D extinguisher which fights ignitable metals. If you have magnesium and titanium debris in your home, you’re living in a shop and you need to get a proper residence. If you cook a lot, you may want a K-class extinguisher in your kitchen as it’s specifically for extinguishing ignited cooking oil, grease, and animal fat. K extinguishers smother a fire with potassium acetate which is highly effective but smells really gross.

Grainger and McMaster-Carr’s websites have extensive options to browse and let you sort by price, class, size, manufacturer and other metrics. I advocate you stick with established American manufacturers like Kidde, Buckeye and Amerex.

Once you own a fire extinguisher, MAKE SURE YOU KNOW HOW TO USE IT. Your local fire station probably has classes. If they don’t, ask at the station if anyone has a few minutes to show you some techniques. Firefighters take public outreach seriously, and are very willing to oblige the citizenry.  Make sure you practice so if you ever need to, you can skillfully wield it. And get it inspected and recharged every year. You need this thing to function when you need it.

In addition to saving your ass and your stuff, there are other fringe benefits this extinguisher can bestow upon you. It’s no secret that (many) women revere firemen as brave and strong. It won’t hurt if your fire extinguisher subliminally extends her idealized sentiments to you, if you catch my drift. Wall-mount it by your front door so it has prominence and permanence.  You don’t want it to look like you’re holding it for someone else. When you bring a lady home, you want her to see it and recognize it’s definitely yours. And if her mind imposes valorous qualities onto you, that’s a happy bonus.

Let the standard commercial fire extinguisher serve as an example of how to live your life: with purpose, with integrity, and without superfluous trappings.