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Fire Extinguisher Safety Guidelines

Posted on: October 14, 2013

In a matter of seconds, a single spark can turn into a deadly blaze, putting people and property at risk. Fire extinguishers are crucial to keeping your building protected, but if you don’t take proper safety measures with your extinguishers, they won’t do you much good! There are a number of important things you should know about your fire extinguishers that will help you use them as effectively as possible. And remember—if you need fire extinguisher service in New Jersey, Delaware, or Philadelphia, call Confires today!

Fire Extinguisher Safety Guidelines

Have the right types of extinguishers—different types of fire extinguishers are available to put out different types of fires. For instance, a water fire extinguisher can be used to put out wood or paper based fires, but should never be used on electrical fires.

The fire extinguisher should be easy to reach—we’ve written in the past about how many fire extinguishers are needed in a commercial building, but remember that those extinguishers should also be easy to see and mounted within easy reach, 48 inches off the ground.

The fire extinguisher must be fully operational—annual fire extinguisher inspections from Confires are required to ensure your fire extinguisher will work properly as soon as you need it. The only thing worse than having a nonworking fire extinguisher is thinking you have one that works and finding out at the last second that you were mistaken!

Your staff should know how to use the extinguisher—fortunately, using a fire extinguisher is pretty easy. That said, it’s important that at least some of your employees have been trained on how to use one. The last thing you want is someone panicking and putting themselves and others in danger because they don’t know what to do.

Types of Fires

As we mentioned above, there are many different classifications of fires based on the materials involved. Different types of materials work best for different types of fires, so make sure you take your situation into account when buying fire extinguishers.

  • Type A fires involve ordinary combustibles such as paper, cloth, wood, rubber, and plastic.
  • Type B fires involve flammable liquids like gasoline, oil, grease, lacquers, paints, and solvents.
  • Type C fires involve energized electrical equipment.
  • Type K fires involve cooking oils, which include vegetable oils, animal oils, and fats

Types of Fire Extinguishers

ABC Dry Chemical – these fire extinguishers are effective against almost all types of fires. You should be careful when using them, however, because they tend to be corrosive and can damage sensitive equipment.

Class K Wet Chemical – these extinguishers work best in commercial kitchens where grease fires may occur. They use a fine spray that cools the appliance while preventing grease splash.

Carbon Dioxide or CO2 – these fire extinguishers cool the fire quickly and are non-corrosive, making them ideal for extinguishing electrical and mechanical fires.

Pressurized water – water fire extinguishers should only be used on Class A fires.

The more you know about your fire extinguishers, the better you will be able to keep your building protected. If you need any fire extinguisher services in New Jersey, Delaware, or Philadelphia, call Confires today!

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