If you look on your fire extinguisher and see what looks like an incredibly cryptic, unreadable code that looks something like 3A:21B:A, those numbers simply indicate the size rating of the agent inside the extinguisher itself. Also, the codes can tell you how effective the extinguisher is relative to other fire extinguishing apparatus.
Here’s the breakdown:
Class A size ratings discusses Water equivalency. So on the code the first number is 3A. Each number on that code represents 1 ¼ gallons of water. So above, our extinguisher is as good as 3 ¾ gallons of water. So 3A is the same as 3 ¾ gallons of water.
Class B Rating lets you know the range or square footage the agent can cover. On this code, it says 21B. The number is simply the range relative to feed. So if we took this extinguisher and sprayed it all over, we could cover about 21 square feet.
Class C rating is simply the class of fire extinguisher you’re using. In this case, it’s for ordinary fires.
Therefore, the full code: 3A:21B:A basically lets you know that this particular extinguisher shoots an agent the equivalent of about 3 ¾ gallons of water about 21 square feet – and is best used to put out ordinary fires.
So now you know! And if you need help trying to figure out what extinguishers are most relevant to your surroundings, please contact Protegis Fire & Safety.
Simply put, fire safety should be everyone’s responsibility at the workplace. Whether you are the first person through the door in the morning or the last one out at night.
Identifying those things that pose a threat vary greatly from space to space and workplace to workplace. However, there are some commonalities they share. Everyone should be conscious of the commonalities to help avoid the threat of a fire.
That’s why we’re here today. We are going to help train your eye to be wary of hazardous assets and elements.
Beware of smoking
We all know the health risks associated with smoking, but we should also be aware that it can pose a fire safety risk as well. Many workplaces have designated smoking areas and mark them with signs. When identifying this area, you should make sure it’s far enough away from the building, there isn’t anything potentially flammable around and there’s always a safe space to both extinguish and deposit the butt.
Heating & cooking equipment
You should always have an electrical inspection every year. A big part of that is to check on the things that create heat. Wherever there’s extremely high temperatures, there’s a chance for fire. We’re talking about things like heat lamps furnaces and boilers. But we’re also talking about things you might not be thinking about – things like stoves, hot pots, coffee pots, toasters and the like. Due to their frequency of use, it’s always good to make sure smaller appliances are unplugged before you go home at night – and the bigger appliances that are more essential are cared for and serviced & inspected regularly.
If there is a single element where quality varies radically in commercial spaces, it’s the wiring. Some workplaces have complex, precise build outs that are safe and built to meet even the most rigorous demands. Others are literally slapped into walls, particle board is plopped over it and there you go. Again, get an inspection before you move into any space, but also check outlets and switches yourself. Electrical fires can spread in mere seconds and faulty wiring is almost always the culprit. Keep your ears peeled for buzzing sounds, that’s always bad. Occasionally place the back of your hand on switch covers and outlets to see if they’re warm. If they are, you might want to get them checked.
Computer equipment is fast becoming another fire safety issue, not because they’re inherently dangerous, there’s just more of them and they consume power at a greater clip with each generational iteration. Always check your server areas frequently as overheating and electrical issues can be common. Be sure they’re built out correctly and in a way that they can’t contain too much heat.
Like we said at the outset, fire safety needs to be everyone’s responsibility. Understanding the risks is half the challenge, but also being aware of casual, ongoing check-ins and their importance can go a long way towards creating a safer, less flame-friendly work environment.
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