What Individuals Need to Know About Fire Extinguisher Safety

27 Jun

Portable fire extinguishers are an invaluable resource to help put out fires or suppress them until everyone in the building can escape and the fire department can be called. Having the right extinguisher on hand and securing regular fire extinguisher testing is of the utmost importance.

However, many don't know how to choose which extinguisher will serve their needs best or even how many they should have and other related information to meet safety standards set forth by the government.

Further, they aren't sure what to do in regards to regular fire extinguisher testing and inspections. It's important for whoever is in charge of safety to do the research or employ a professional company to help.

Extinguisher Types

Fire extinguishers come in various classes that are based on the type of fire they can be used on and even fire extinguisher testing is based on the type. They are as follows:

  • Class A: Puts out non-combustible materials like wood, paper, cloth, rubber and plastic.
  • Class B: Can be used with flammable liquids like gasoline, oil and grease.
  • Class C: Can be used on fires that are ignited with live electricity such as electronics, tools and appliances.
  • Class D: For use with flammable metals in body shops, industrial sites and factories.
  • Class K: Used on appliances that have oil related fires.

About the Rating

Not only are fire extinguishers distinguished by class but they also have a number called a rating. The rating number comes before the class letter and is found right on the extinguisher.The larger the rating the better quality the extinguisher is.

A professional can help determine if the class and rating are suited for the location. Then securing fire extinguisher testing at regular intervals one can be sure they are always up to government standards.

Rechargeable vs. Disposable

Rechargeable extinguishers are more expensive but the fact that they can be refilled and used again is a priceless commodity for most. The disposable type must always be replaced after use. It's basically a shot in the dark as to which would end up being more expensive. If the location is a restaurant or site that is prone to fires breaking out then rechargeable may be a smarter choice.

It's also smart to choose an extinguisher that's easy enough for anyone to handle but large enough to take out a fire in its location. Keep in mind the weight labeled is just for what's inside, not the canister.

Fire Extinguisher Testing

The best bet for extinguishers is to have them checked monthly. This service performed by skilled professionals and combined with weekly visual checks will ensure the extinguishers are effective at all times.

Installing them close to the exit is smart, because it enables the user to keep their back to safety in the event the fire is so out of control it can't be contained. The regulations also stress that there should be someone in charge of ensuring the building is cleared, as well as the right amount of individuals skilled in using the extinguishers the correct way.

To make sure they know what they are doing, fire extinguisher testing companies often conduct classes that teach reliable individuals just what to do in any emergency involving fire. Preparation and prevention is the key when it comes to keeping everyone safe.

This is yet another reason why securing professional help with extinguishers as well as alarms, signs and other products for fire detection and control should be at the top of every homeowner's and business owner's list of important tasks. They will analyze the structure and make recommendations.

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