Fire extinguishers are among the most effective and affordable means for protecting your business from fire damage. Many fires begin small, at a single location, and can often easily be suppressed using the appropriate type of fire extinguisher. This proactive response can save people and property from harm or contain the fire until emergency response professionals arrive.
Installing fire extinguishers at your place of business can help prevent small fires from becoming large devastating fires. Train your employees on how to use extinguishers and make sure they know where all the extinguishers are located. If they are maintained regularly, a fire extinguisher can last up to 10-12 years. NFPA standards say that you should consider replacing extinguishers every 12 years. Make sure your fire extinguishers stay in proper condition by having them inspected by Valiant Security every year.
A fire extinguisher is your first line of defense to stop the spread of the fire. However, there are a few mistakes people make when using fire extinguishers. Fire extinguishers are easy to use but it is crucial to learn the proper, effective, and safe way to extinguish a fire. Here are a couple of mistakes to avoid in case you need to use a fire extinguisher.
Not Pulling the Extinguisher Pin - Pins exist for a reason on fire extinguishers and that is to prevent an unintended discharge. The pin is located on the handle. Always remember to pull the pin or you will not be able to use your fire extinguisher. Fire extinguisher tamper seals protect the pin from being accidentally pulled from a fire extinguisher and can be used to identify a fire extinguisher that has already been discharged. When you see the tamper seal on a fire extinguisher, simply twist and pull the pin and you will be good to go.
Standing Way Too Close to the Fire - Maintaining the right distance between the fire extinguisher and the fire is one of the most important things you can remember to do. If you are too far away, the fire extinguisher’s discharge will be far too weak, and the fire may not go out. If you’re standing too close, you could potentially burn yourself or even help spread the fire. It is recommended that you stand approximately eight feet from the flames. This will give you the correct amount of discharge power from the extinguisher and not excessively disperse the extinguishing agent so the fire can be extinguished.
Aiming the Discharge Too High -People frequently make the mistake of starting from the top point of a fire and sweeping downwards. This is not what you want to do. Doing that won’t extinguish the fire. You’ll want to aim the discharge at the base of the fire where the fuel is. Sweep along the base, and you will put the fire out.
There are many different types of fire extinguishers and Valiant Security is here to provide you with information about each of them:
Water Extinguishers: Water is one of the most used extinguishing agents for type A fires. You can recognize a water extinguisher by its large silver container. They are filled about two-thirds of the way with ordinary water, then pressurized with air. In some cases, detergents are added to the water to produce a foam. They stand about two to three feet tall and weigh approximately 25 pounds when full.
Water extinguishers are designed for Class A (wood, paper, cloth, and certain plastics) fires only.
CO2 – Carbon Dioxide Extinguishers: This type of extinguisher is filled with Carbon Dioxide (CO2), a non-flammable gas under extreme pressure. These extinguishers put out fires by displacing oxygen or taking away the oxygen element of the fire triangle. Because of its high pressure, when you use this extinguisher pieces of dry ice shoot from the horn, which also has a cooling effect on the fire.
Multi-purpose – Dry Chemical Extinguishers: Dry chemical extinguishers put out fires by coating the fuel with a thin layer of fire-retardant powder, separating the fuel from the oxygen. The powder also works to interrupt the chemical reaction, which makes these extinguishers extremely effective. They contain an extinguishing agent and use a compressed, non-flammable gas as a propellant. Dry Chemical extinguishers will have a label indicating they may be used on class A, B, and/or C fires.
Class K – Wet Chemical Extinguishers for Kitchen Fires: Due to the higher heating rates of vegetable oils in commercial cooking appliances NFPA 10, Portable Fire Extinguishers, now includes a Class K rating for kitchen fires extinguishers which are now required to be installed in all applicable restaurant kitchens. Once a fire starts in a deep fryer, it cannot always be extinguished by traditional range hoods or Class B extinguishers. These extinguishers will be found in commercial cooking operations such as restaurants, cafeterias, and other locations where food would be served.
At Valiant Security, we want to make sure your fire extinguishers are ready in case they need to be used. Therefore, we offer many services that help guarantee their proper function.
Maintenance Inspections - Each year, we can do a complete examination of your extinguisher where we identify anything that needs to be repaired.
Recharge - If you have used your extinguisher, we can refill it and make sure it is ready to use again.
Service - To assure your extinguishers adhere to local, state, and national codes, including six-year and twelve-year required services, we can perform routine service.
Hydrostatic Testing - To validate the structural integrity and safety of your extinguisher, we offer hydrostatic testing.
If you would like more information on all our extinguisher services, please contact us at 313-318-3867