Fire Extinguisher Knowledge Base

Fire extinguishers are among the most effective and affordable means for protecting your property 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.

But there are many different types of fire extinguishers and Protegis Fire & Safety is here to provide you with information about each of them.

Water Extinguishers: Water is one of the most commonly 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.

Regular testing and inspection is the only way to be certain. Our technicians can perform a physical and visual inspection of the extinguisher and update the necessary documentation at the required regular intervals. Let our technicians evaluate your facility, including the type of fire hazards you may face, and recommend the right fire extinguisher solution for your operations.

The Scoop on Fire Inspections

Every year, fire safety pros conduct thousands upon thousands of safety inspections of homes, businesses, and facilities all over the country. The reason we do these inspections is to catch any potential fire hazards before they become catastrophes. Those catastrophes could be anything from the loss of property to the actual loss of life.

We know that every business and homeowner does what they can to make sure their facilities are up to code, but there’s always a learning curve for these kinds of things and always something to learn.

For those of you who are new to the process, here are some of the basics of fire inspections and what you can expect when it’s time for you to get one done. Let’s jump right in!

Preparation

In order to get ready for your inspection, it’s a good idea to make sure you have a checklist of all the things you need to have inline so you can rest assured that at least the basics are covered. It’ll help you stay on track of the maintenance you’ve already conducted as well as some of the things that you still need to do.

Also, annual fire inspections are random, sometimes unscheduled events. That means it’s important to be prepared at all times to make sure your building is safe.

Why inspections are good

Fire inspections are important because of what they do – but in many ways, they’re more important in terms of what they say: that you’re a responsible person who provides a safe working environment for employees, residents, and customers who will go to and from your building.

It’s also important to your security. Even if you’re the owner, the statistics on fires in small businesses is sobering. In fact, 80% of small businesses that experience even a small fire will never reopen. In addition, a building that is well maintained has better resale value and can help you save on insurance premiums.

The actual inspection

Inspectors will check a variety of things in your building to ensure they are working as they should. Access points to the building should be free and clear of any obstructions. Means of egress should be accessible and easy to see as well as in good, working order. Electrical components should be properly labeled and installed. Exit signs should be lit, you should have backup power in the event of a power outage and all your alarms need to be both maintained and easy to get to.

If you have any questions on this topic or any other fire protection topics, please feel free to contact Protegis Fire & Safety. Since we are an essential business, we can be here for you. We wish you and your families continued good health. Take care.