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Fire Extinguisher FAQs

Posted on: February 28, 2011

Over the past few weeks, we’ve answered commonly asked questions about fire sprinkler systems, fire alarm systems, and even Halon fire suppression systems. But most of those things go off automatically – you don’t need to manually activate them. Fire extinguishers, on the other hand, need to be operated by hand. As a result, having the best information you can about NJ fire extinguishers could someday save your life!

How many fire extinguishers do I need in my building?

While the exact number of fire extinguishers required for each building varies based on the hazard level of your building, as a general rule of thumb you space Class A fire extinguishers no more than 75ft from each other and Class B fire extinguishers no more than 50ft between from each other.

Do I need to provide fire extinguisher training to my employees?

According to the Code of Federal Regulations, every building that has fire extinguishers available for employee use must also provide training programs to teach their employees how to use them. Even if fire extinguisher training weren’t required, it is one of the smartest things you can do as a business owner – giving your employees the skills and confidence they need to use fire extinguishers properly could save your building one day!

How often do I need fire extinguisher inspection?

Fire extinguisher self-inspections are required once a month to make sure there is no obvious damage to the device and that the fire extinguisher pressure is adequate. These inspections can be easily and satisfactorily performed by business owners. During a monthly fire extinguisher self inspection, you should make sure that:

  • The fire extinguisher is in the right place
  • There is nothing in the way of the fire extinguisher
  • The extinguisher label and operating instructions are facing outward
  • The seals and tamper indicators not broken or missing.
  • The fire extinguisher is full
  • There is no obvious physical damage, corrosion, leakage or clog
  • The pressure gauge reading or indicator in the operable range or position.
  • Verify the need for the 6 and 12 yr. Maintenance (from the date of manufacture).
  • Keep a log of the date inspected and initials of the person performing.

In addition, full fire extinguisher maintenance is required once every year and a fire extinguisher hydro test is required every 12 years.

What kind of fire extinguisher do I need in my commercial kitchen?

If you own a restaurant, you already know that you need a special type of fire suppression system to keep your kitchen safe from fires. But did you know that you also need a special type of fire extinguisher too? Fires that commonly occur in commercial kitchen, such as grease fires, are referred to as Class K and require a special Class K fire extinguisher to knock them down and prevent reflash.

What is the best type of fire extinguisher for sensitive electrical equipment?

If you have sensitive electronic equipment, such as in a computer room or data center, you probably don’t want to put out fires with a water based fire extinguisher. Instead, use a clean agent fire such as a Cleanguard FE 36 (made by Ansul) or a Halotron I (made by Amerex) fire extinguisher.

Halotron I – Halotron I discharges as a rapidly evaporating liquid that leaves no residue. It does not conduct electricity and is suitable to fight Class A, B and C fires.

Cleanguard FE 36 – the Cleanguard FE 36 is quickly proving to be a suitable replacement for Halon 1211. The Cleanguard extinguisher has comparable performance and efficiency to Halon 1211 but is less toxic and has zero ozone depletion potential.

Knowing as much as you can about your fire extinguisher can be extremely beneficial when it comes time to use it. If you need fire extinguisher inspection or maintenance in New Jersey, Delaware of Philadelphia, call Confires today!

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