Due to lack of use, fire extinguishers can often go overlooked as they easily blend-in and go unnoticed among the other office wall decorations, fire alarms, and emergency exit signs. However, they should not be taken for granted. In the event of a fire, an extinguisher is a business owner’s first line of defense and having a working knowledge of how to operate a properly-inspected, fully-functioning fire extinguisher can save valuable, time, resources, and lives. Here are a few things business owner need to know about fire extinguishers.
There are Different Extinguishers for Each Type of Fire
A fire can ignite from a variety of flammable materials both wet and dry. Therefore, fire extinguishers are designed in many different shapes and sizes to combat each different type of fire. For instance, ordinary, electrical, and flammable liquid fires require a multi-purpose ABC dry chemical fire extinguisher while grease fires call for wet chemical fire extinguishers. There are also carbon dioxide and water mist fire extinguishers to put out fires while protecting any surrounding lab or electronic equipment from further damage.
Some Fire Extinguishers Can Be Recharged
Because some fires only require a small amount of extinguishing agent to be doused, rechargeable extinguishers were designed so that partially-used fire extinguishers no longer had to be disposed of after each use. With no expiration date, rechargeable extinguishers can be refilled and reused as often as needed so that they remain topped-off and fully charged in case of emergency.
Fire Extinguishers Require Proper Disposal
Empty extinguishers must be disposed of properly at local fire departments, steel recycling plants, or hazardous waste disposal facilities. Disposable extinguishers do not expire but should be replaced every 12 years as their contents and pressure can weaken over time. If unsure if your canister is empty, extinguishing agent and pressure can be tested during its annual fire protection inspection.
Fire Extinguishers Require Regular Inspections
While regular service inspections are required annually by the NFPA, visual inspections must also be performed each month to ensure that each extinguisher is in optimal working condition. Monthly inspections include:
- Inspecting the pressure gauge
- Confirming each extinguisher’s location
- Examining the canister for signs of damage or tampering
- Ensuring the operating instructions are clear and easy to read
Fire Extinguishers Need Extended Maintenance
Every six years, each extinguisher is taken apart and emptied so that each part can be completely checked. Afterwards, they are reassembled and recharged. Every 12 years, the extinguisher is again broken down and emptied, and a hydro-test is performed in which the canister is inspected for flaws and defects.
Professional Fire Extinguisher Maintenance
To ensure the safety of your business, it’s important to keep your fire extinguishers inspected and tested. Whether you need to purchase new extinguishers, schedule an annual inspection, or recharge your canisters, CSG offers the fire extinguisher services you need to keep your building safe and code compliant. Call us today for a free consultation at 407-814-0225.