First and foremost, you should have multiple fire extinguishers in the home especially in the kitchen and near any fireplaces. It may be a good idea to have an extinguisher in the laundry room and garage, as well as in an upstairs room as well. You should also periodically check the pressure on the extinguishers. Over time they can lose pressure and it would be time to replace them.
Walk around the home and check the pressure gauge on each fire extinguisher. If the pressure has fallen off below the manufacturer’s threshold, replace the extinguisher at once.
If you ever have to use one, pull the pin, aim the nozzle at the base of the fire, squeeze the handle and continue a sweeping motion. There is a great safety training video from eHow.