Top 5 Fire Extinguishers for Tiny Homes and RVs

Fire safety is a serious matter, particularly in a tiny home or RV. Fires can double in size in just 30 seconds, dangerous in a traditional house and potentially far worse in the confined spaces of a van, RV, or tiny home.

Today we’re reviewing the best fire extinguishers for tiny home dwellers and others living in small spaces. We’ll cover the pros and cons of different models and help you understand why having high-quality extinguishers is so essential.

Keep reading to learn what to look for in a fire extinguisher and tips on how many you should keep in your tiny home and where you should place them.

Amerex has been a trusted name in fire suppression and prevention for over 50 years, and the Amerex B417 showcases everything that brought the company such high levels of respect. It’s a 2.5 lb ABC fire extinguisher designed for small spaces and reliable long-term storage.

The B417 measures just over 15 inches long, perfect for vans and tiny homes with little space to spare, yet offers a 1A:10B:C rating. Amerex uses a highly specialized fluidized and siliconized mono ammonium phosphate dry chemical that effectively combats all types of fires commonly seen in the home.

B417’s easy-to-read gauge makes it a simple task to check the charge. Even better, its rugged aluminum valve construction allows you to recharge it again and again, perfect to reduce the cost of ownership over time.

The Amerex B417 is rugged, durable, and built from the ground up to be the most effective fire extinguisher of its size. It’s pricey compared to many similar extinguishers, but where fire safety is concerned, we highly recommend you pay for the best if possible. Buy the Amarex B417 on Amazon.

Specifications

UL Rating: 1A:10B:C

Capacity: 2.5 lbs

Weight: 5.5 lbs

Dimensions (H/W/D): 15.5” x 5.75” x 3”

Rechargeable/Disposable: Rechargeable

Pros

  • Extremely reliable and durable
  • Packs in a specially formulated dry chemical mix designed to fight common household fires as quickly and effectively as possible
  • Compact, lightweight design makes it easy for anyone to use when needed
  • Sized to fit in small spaces without sacrificing fire suppression ability
  • Includes wall rack for permanent mounting if so desired

Cons

  • Expensive

The Amerex B402 is the top-rated B417’s bigger, beefier brother. It packs in 5 lbs of Amerex’s specially formulated ABC dry chemical without taking up significantly more space.

The B402 is actually about a ¼ inch shorter than the B417. It makes up for its lack of height by being noticeably larger around and nearly twice the weight as its younger brother.

That may sound like too much, but we think the B402’s 3A:40B:C rating more than makes up for it. That’s triple the Class A suppression capability of the B417 and quadruple the Class BC capability.

Where the B417 went with a bare metal nozzle, the B402 provides a directional hose. The hose makes it easier to focus your aim right on the burning material and keep it on target, giving you more flexibility to move your body in relation to the fire.

The B402 has an all-metal valve, easy to read pressure gauge and is just as overbuilt and dependable as Amerex’s other extinguishers. It’s fully rechargeable and lasts over a decade with proper maintenance and inspections.

We gave the Amerex B402 the number two spot on our list because it’s undeniably a high-quality and reliable fire extinguisher. Its larger size makes it a great option as the primary fire extinguisher for your home, particularly when paired with a few other smaller 2.5 lb or specialized extinguishers. Buy the B402 on Amazon.

Specifications

UL Rating: 3A:40B:C

Capacity: 5 lbs

Weight: 9.5 lbs

Dimensions (H/W/D): 15.25” x 7.25” x 4.25”

Rechargeable/Disposable: Rechargeable

Pros

  • Extremely reliable and durable
  • Warrantied for 6 years and usable for well over a decade with basic maintenance
  • Includes wall rack for permanent mounting
  • Large enough to handle more severe fire situations

Cons

  • Heavy
  • Takes up more space in a tiny house or van setting

The First Alert EZ Fire Spray is a pint-sized fire extinguisher for those in truly tiny spaces. Coming in at about the size of a standard cooking oil spray can, the EZ Fire Spray nonetheless offers substantial fire-fighting capability.

The EZ Fire Spray offers ABC suppression capability in a form factor we hadn’t seen before. It was initially designed with cars, boats, and kitchens in mind but makes an excellent complementary fire extinguisher in tiny homes and RVs. It’s also a great choice for van dwellers who just don’t have the space for a larger extinguisher.

The EZ Fire Spray is a disposable extinguisher that comes in a pack of two and offers up to 32 seconds of spray. That’s considerably longer than most standard fire extinguishers, but with an important caveat.

The spray from the EZ Fire Spray is significantly less potent than a traditional extinguisher. It’s best suited for fighting small fires such as a grease flareup in a pan. It can fight other fires but won’t extinguish them as quickly as a larger and more powerful extinguisher would.

The First Alert EZ Fire Spray is a supremely tiny fire extinguisher. While we wouldn’t recommend it as your sole fire suppression source, it’s great to keep in your kitchen or by the bedside in a tiny home alongside a larger and more powerful extinguisher like our top-ranked Amerex B417 or B402. Buy EZ Fire Spray on Amazon.

Specifications

UL Rating: ABC

Capacity: 32 Second Spray

Weight: 14 oz

Dimensions (H/W/D): 2.6” x 2.6” x 9.37”

Rechargeable/Disposable: Disposable

Pros

  • Incredibly compact, perfect for small spaces like vans and tiny homes
  • Very affordably priced
  • Great for grease fires and other small kitchen mishaps

Cons

  • Not as powerful as more traditional fire extinguishers
  • Spray is more diffused than with traditional fire extinguishers
  • No way to check pressure

Kitchen fires burn differently than most other fires. The fuel is usually grease or other cooking fats and the chemicals needed to put them out are different than those used in a wood fire.

The First Alert KITCHEN5 is specially designed to provide the maximum suppressive capability for kitchen fires. It’s a class BC extinguisher filled with sodium bicarbonate and rated to UL 5B:C.

That chemical mix with that rating gives you substantial fire suppression capabilities in your kitchen while taking up a fraction of the space of traditional ABC extinguishers. Even better, the KITCHEN5 is incredibly easy to use and maintain.

It has a push-up pressure gauge that allows you to verify its status with a single touch. If you ever need to use the KITCHEN5 it has an intuitive pull-pin and thumb button nozzle that makes it easy to aim right at the fire.

While we wouldn’t recommend the First Alert KITCHEN5 as your only tiny house fire extinguisher, it’s undeniably an excellent choice for your kitchen fire extinguisher. Buy KITCHEN5 on Amazon.

Specifications

UL Rating: 5B:C

Capacity: 1.4 lbs

Weight: 3 lbs

Dimensions (H/W/D): 10” x 3” x 2.9”

Rechargeable/Disposable: Disposable

Pros

  • Specialized to fight Class BC kitchen and electrical fires
  • Lightweight and compact for easy storage and use
  • Thumb button nozzle design allows for intuitive use when needed

Cons

  • Not suitable to fight other household fires

Being on a tight budget doesn’t mean you have to cut corners on fire safety. The Kidde FA110 is a 2.5 lb ABC fire extinguisher available at a surprisingly affordable price.

It comes in at less than half the cost of our top-ranked Amerex B417 yet offers the same 1A:10B:C suppression capability in virtually the same size and functionality. That’s pretty impressive, but as with anything, it’s not without some caveats.

Kidde has a much spottier record on reliability than many other fire suppression equipment makers. Their extinguishers have been known to lose pressure faster than some other models, particularly the previous generation of plastic nozzle extinguishers.

The FA110 is an upgraded version with an all-metal nozzle and what Kidde reports as major quality improvements. The jury is still out on whether those improvements will hold up to the test of time, but so long as you take a few steps, the FA110 can still be a valuable tool.

Thoroughly inspect your FA110 when you receive it to see if there’s been any leaks in transit or if the pressure is off. So long as it’s in good condition, you should be reasonably good to go.

Despite some reservations, we included the Kidde FA110 on our list because of its value. If you’re at a financial place where you’re deciding between no fire extinguisher and the Kidde FA110, we recommend you go with the FA110. Buy the Kidde FA110 on Amazon.

Specifications

UL Rating: 1A:10B:C

Capacity: 2.5 lbs

Weight:

Dimensions (H/W/D):

Rechargeable/Disposable: Rechargeable

Pros

  • Very affordably priced for its size
  • New all-metal nozzle should improve reliability

Cons

  • Kidde has a history of reliability issues
  • Reports have come out of Kidde extinguishers arriving empty or discharging in shipping
  • Lower quality overall than our top-ranked extinguishers

How Many Fire Extinguishers Do I Need?

Fire extinguishers are a tool that very much falls under the logic of one is none, two is one. It’s recommended that traditional homes have a fire extinguisher for every level, plus one each in the kitchen and the garage.

For tiny homes, RVs, and vans many people think that the small size means you can get away with having a single extinguisher.

We tend to disagree with that viewpoint seriously.

A fire extinguisher is the last line of defense between your family and an uncontrollable blaze. We highly recommend you keep one in your kitchen, one within easy reach of your bed, and another somewhere on the exterior of your home.

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It may seem excessive, but we’ve seen multiple instances where having a fire extinguisher meant preventing a small brush fire or grill flare-up from turning into a major house fire.

Fire Extinguisher Maintenance

A fire extinguisher isn’t a buy-it-and-forget-it product. As an essential piece of safety equipment for your tiny home, you must follow basic steps to properly maintain and inspect your extinguisher.

Check pressure regularly – Fire extinguishers require pressure to work. Make a habit of checking the gauge or push-in on your extinguisher every month to ensure it’s still correctly pressurized.

Give it a shake – Most home fire extinguishers (and all the extinguishers on our list) are dry chemical fire extinguishers. Manufacturers recommend you regularly shake your extinguisher to keep the chemical powders from settling.

Inspect for damage – Regularly check your extinguisher’s pin, nozzle, gauge, and cylinder for dents, dings, or other signs of wear. If you notice any, don’t risk it, replace it.

Test it – Check your manufacturer’s recommended upkeep instructions when you purchase your extinguisher and get it tested as recommended. Many local fire departments will test your extinguishers for free.

If you use it, lose it – Any time you use a fire extinguisher, no matter how short the discharge or what the pressure gauge says, you need to have it serviced and recharged or disposed of in the case of disposable extinguishers.

Tiny Home Fire Extinguisher Buying Guide

Buying a fire extinguisher for your tiny home is relatively straightforward. There are only a few essential points to consider, with the most important being the extinguisher class, the size of the extinguisher, what brand you go with, whether you want a disposable or rechargeable model, and what kind of nozzle you should choose.

Fire Extinguisher Class

Fire extinguishers come in different classes such as ABC, BC, K, etc. These classes determine what kind of fire an extinguisher can put out. The types of fire relevant to home users are:

  • Class A Fires – Materials such as wood, paper, cloth, rubber, trash, and plastics
  • Class B Fires – Flammable liquids such as solvents, oil, gasoline, paints, lacquers, and other oil-based products
  • Class C Fires – involve energized electrical equipment such as wiring, controls, motors, machinery, or appliances
  • Class K Fires – Combustible cooking materials such as oils and grease, usually found in commercial kitchens

For most tiny home dwellers, we recommend Class ABC fire extinguishers.

They offer the best mix of extinguishing capabilities and cover virtually every fire situation you’re likely to encounter in a home setting. You can also pick up small BC extinguishers for use in your kitchen. They do a great job extinguishing flare-ups and other kitchen fires and are small enough to fit easily in virtually any available space.

Another element of fire extinguisher classes is the UL rating. Underwriters’ Laboratory is the premier global safety organization that sets standards for safety equipment such as fire extinguishers.

Fire extinguishers are issued a UL rating based on the water equivalent firefighting ability of each chemical component of the extinguisher. The rating is written out as #A#BC for ABC extinguishers.

A fire extinguisher with a 1A10BC UL rating has a firefighting capability against Class A fires of 1.25 gallons and 12.5 gallons of Class BC fires.

Fire Extinguisher Brands We Trust

Fire extinguishers are essential safety equipment that can be the difference between life and death. We highly recommend you avoid no-name brands and third-party manufacturers and stick with just a few highly regarded and well-established fire extinguisher brands.

Brands we recommend include:

  • Amerex
  • Buckeye
  • First Alert
  • Kidde
  • Ansul

Rechargeable vs Disposable

Fire extinguishers are available in both durable rechargeable versions and disposable versions. Rechargeable fire extinguishers use an all-metal valve and nozzle system that’s designed to be refilled many times after use.

Disposable fire extinguishers have plastic nozzles that cannot be refilled after use. They’re not as long-lasting as rechargeable ones but generally are cheaper at initial purchase.

Rechargeable fire extinguishers make the most sense for the vast majority of tiny home dwellers, RVers, and van lifers. The exception is if you want very small (i.e. the size of cooking spray cans) disposable extinguishers to supplement your primary rechargeable ones.

Capacity and Size

Fire extinguishers are sized based on the pounds of fire suppression material they contain. Common fire extinguisher sizes include:

  • 2.5 lbs
  • 5 lbs
  • 10 lbs
  • 20 lbs

2.5 lb extinguishers are the best starting point for tiny homes as they provide a significant suppression capability while taking up less space than others. They’re the most affordable traditional fire extinguisher size and are

We highly recommend you consider a 10 lb extinguisher to keep on your tiny home’s exterior for more serious fires.

It’s important to remember that extinguishers weigh more than the listed number of pounds. A 2.5 lb fire extinguisher weighs around 5-6 lbs, while a 10 lb fire extinguisher weighs just under 20 lbs.