Fire extinguishers are used to smother unexpected fires in residential, as well as commercial buildings. While it is crucial to ensure the proper working of a fire safety device at home, your responsibility increases manifold as an employer.
If you are a business owner, you have one or more fire extinguishers in your building. But, are they up to code? Do they comply with the fire safety standards? In order to know these things, take time to brush up on following six things-
Different Fire Extinguishers Are Designed For Different Types Of Fire
Grease fires are different from electrical fires, thus require different methods to get rid of them. This is why it is important to look for a fire extinguisher to match the types of fire blazes that are most likely to affect your workplace.
Some of the common fire extinguisher types include-
- Water Mist Fire Extinguisher
- Multi-purpose Dry Chemical Fire Extinguisher
- CO2 Fire Extinguisher
- Class K Fire Extinguisher
- NaCl Fire Extinguisher
Consult a professional to know which type of fire extinguisher fits your needs best.
A Fire Extinguisher Needs To Be Recharged Regularly
Keeping a check on the fire extinguisher is important to make sure that your building is safe. If you have recently used some amount of extinguishing agent to fight against fire, it is necessary to get the extinguisher recharged.
By prioritizing a fire extinguisher refill, you prepare the device for the next time, a fire emergency strike. Look for professional fire extinguisher services that offer highly trained technicians to inspect the fire fighting devices.
OSHA Mandates Regular Fire Extinguisher Inspections
The inspections that are performed annually by a fire protection company are the most important ones. But, OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) mandates monthly inspections of fire safety equipment, as well.
You can hand this task to a staff member without requiring any rigorous training. The elements of inspection are-
- Check the pressure gauge.
- Confirm the location and presence of a fire extinguisher.
- Ensure that the operating instructions are legible.
- Make sure that the canister has no sign of damage, etc.
You can also hire a fire extinguisher service to get the device inspected or recharged monthly.
Fire Extinguishers Expire Too
Though canisters don’t have an expiration date, it is crucial to keep up with the testing or fire extinguisher replacement needs. Moreover, rechargeable canisters may last for decades. But, they should qualify a hydrostatic test every 12 years in order to be used.
However, disposable extinguishers can’t be refilled. You need to replace them after 12 years as per the NFPA (National Fire Protection Association) standards. Thus, as a business owner, you must keep all the fire safety devices working in accordance with the NFPA.
You Can’t Dispose Of The Fire Extinguisher In Open
When it comes to disposing of a fire extinguisher, you can’t throw it in the trash. The best way is to call the fire department and ask about dropping off the used canisters at the firehouse. If they don’t provide this option, take the extinguisher to a waste disposal body.
But, if the extinguisher is nearly empty, first squeeze the lever and make sure that no pressure is left inside. Remove the head of the extinguisher to see if the canister is completely empty now. Then, call a local recycling facility to know if you can drop off the shell or not.
Know Whether You Should Refill Or Replace The Fire Extinguisher
If you have recently used a fire extinguisher, you can either replace or refill it. But which option is right for you? Well, most of the fire extinguishers can last for a decade, provided you get them inspected regularly. This means you can simply recharge the extinguisher as long as the shell is in good shape.
That being said, replacing a fire extinguisher isn’t a bad idea either, especially for the smaller ones. Remember, it is essential to refill the extinguisher even if you have used a very small amount of extinguishing agent. Otherwise, it won’t be able to protect you next time.
If you are still unsure whether you should replace or refill it, contact the fire equipment professionals. They will inspect your device and let you know which option is the best for you.
These are some of the things a business owner must keep in mind about using a fire extinguisher. It will help keep the workplace safe and code compliant.