1. Fire Extinguisher Types:
Fire extinguishers are a crucial means of protection that can control fires and prevent them from spreading excessively. Portable fire extinguishers are convenient to use at the onset of a fire. Fire extinguishers are suitable for any facility including offices, apartment buildings, homes and restaurants and are classified by type. Extinguishing agents are categorized according to the type of fire they put out and are marked by specific symbols.
Class A Fire Extinguishers: These put out fires that begin on combustible material including paper, wood, rubber, cloth and various types of plastics.
Class B Fire Extinguishers: These are used against fires produced by flammable liquids including grease, oil, gasoline and oil-based paints.
Class C Fire Extinguishers: These are used to control fires that are caused by electrical equipment including tools and appliances.
Class D Fire Extinguishers: These are used in industrial situations on flammable metals and must be used according to the specific type of metal.
Class K Fire Extinguishers: These are designed for use during fires caused by vegetable oils, animal oils and other fats used in cooking equipment. Class K extinguishers are used in commercial kitchens including restaurants, cafeterias and catering facilities. They can also be used in residential kitchens.
Note: Having the right type of fire extinguisher is critical for controlling the spread of a fire immediately.
2. How do I use my fire extinguisher?
The operating instructions for fire extinguishers are clearly noted on the extinguisher label, and in the Owner's Manual that came with the extinguisher.
Note: The following instructions are of a general nature, intended to familiarize the user with the basic operating techniques of hand portable extinguishers. All operate by removing the ring (safety) pin and squeezing the handles together. Since extinguishers differ, the extinguisher nameplate must be consulted for specific procedures and starting distances.
1. HOLD THE EXTINGUISHER UPRIGHT AND PULL THE RING (SAFETY) PIN breaking the plastic seal.
2. STAND BACK FROM THE FIRE (the minimum distance stated on the nameplate) and AIM AT THE BASE OF THE FIRE NEAREST YOU.
3. Keeping the extinguisher UPRIGHT, SQUEEZE THE HANDLES TOGETHER to discharge and SWEEP FROM SIDE TO SIDE. Move closer as the fire is extinguished but not so close as to scatter the burning material or liquid.
4. When the fire is out, back away while watching for possible re-ignition.
5. Evacuate and ventilate the area immediately after use. The fumes and smoke from any fire may be hazardous and can be deadly.
REMEMBER THIS SIMPLE WORD: PASS
Note: What to do After Use: Once the fire extinguisher has been used you should replace it or have it serviced and refilled as soon as possible to be properly prepared in the event of another fire.
3. I had a really minor fire and used just a little, do I have to get it recharged?
The answer is YES. Although the extinguisher may feel heavy, like its still full, or still shows some pressure on the gauge (if it has one!) most likely there will no longer be enough pressure to expell the chemical next time something happens and you need it. There are also other problems that need to be checked as well, such as powder stuck in the discharge hose, the valve not seating right, etc. Call us. We will respond to your building with a "loaner" for you to use free of charge while we service and recharge your extinguisher.
4. What are the inspection and maintenance requirements for my extinguisher?
Install, inspect, maintain and test your fire extinguisher in accordance with the National Fire Protection Assoc. Standard No. 10 "Portable Fire Extinguishers."INSPECTION should be performed monthly or more frequently if circumstances dictate. The extinguisher should be checked to see that it is not damaged, the discharge outlet is not blocked, that it is fully charged, the seal is not broken and that the operating instructions are clearly visible.ANNUAL MAINTENANCE is a more complete inspection of the extinguisher and should be done professionally. It will reveal the need for hydro testing which must be done on Dry Chemical and Halotron I extinguishers every TWELVE YEARS. Most local authorities require special tags be attached to the extinguisher to verify this service.
Fire extinguishers should be maintained at regular intervals (at least once a year), or when specifically indicated by an inspection. Maintenance is a “thorough check” of the extinguisher. It is intended to give maximum assurance that an extinguisher will operate effectively and safely. It includes a thorough examination and any necessary repair, recharging or replacement. SIX YEAR MAINTENANCE - Every six years, extinguishers requiring a 12 year hydro test shall be emptied and subject to thorough examination of: mechanical parts, extinguishing agent and expelling means. When applicable maintenance procedures are done during periodic recharging or hydro testing, the six-year requirement will begin from that date.RECHARGE should be done professionally immediately after any use by your local fire service company who has the trained personnel, extinguishing agents and equipment to do it properly. This extinguisher must be recharged with the extinguishing agent specified on the nameplate. Substitutions could cause damage or injury.
5. How can I tell if I am due to have my fire extinguishers checked?
Look at your fire extinguisher tag. It will be punched with a month and year. Your extinguishers are due for annual required service 1 year from that date. Dont have a service tag? Call us and we will provide you with a professional and fast service.
6. What can happen if a fire extinguisher is not properly maintained?
The resulting consequences of negligent, or lack of, fire extinguisher maintenance could be grave. In order to avoid problems that could arise at the moment when someone is in desperate need of a fire extinguisher, maintenance should be carried out at least once a month. The disaster of a small fire in a home, restaurant, or office building can be avoided; a flame can be immediately doused with a properly functioning fire extinguisher.
7. Where should a Fire Ext. to be installed?
The extinguisher should be visible and easy to reach. Mount the bracket on a strong, stable surface, sloping, vertical or horizontal position. The most common places to mount a fire extinguisher are on the wall close to exits.
Do NOT mount it in an area where a fire can make it inaccessible: where the extinguisher will get a build up of grease, oil or dirt where the extinguisher will be exposed to high temperatures.
8. What is NFPA 10?
The National Fire Protection Association's "NFPA 10," "Standard for Portable Fire Extinguishers" specifies minimum requirements that must be met for a fire extinguisher to be considered safe. The requirements in NFPA 10 acquire the force of law in states by virtue of adoption or reference in states statutes, regulations, or through references in building and fire codes that are the law in those states.
Regarding dry chemical portable fire extinguishers, NFPA 10 requires the following:Section 1.3.1 states, "Portable fire extinguishers used to comply with this standard shall be listed and labeled and shall meet or exceed all requirements of one of the fire test standards and one of the performance standards shown below:"
Fire Test Standard-ANSI/UL 711, Standard for Rating and Fire Testing of Extinguishers, and
Fire Performance Standard-ANSI/UL 299, Standard for Dry Chemical Fire Extinguishers.
"Listed" in NFPA 10 means "equipment, materials, or services included in a list published by an organization that is acceptable to the authority having jurisdiction and concerned with evaluation of products or services, that maintains periodic inspection of production of listed equipment or materials or periodic evaluation of services, and whose listing states that either the equipment, material, or service meets appropriate designated standards or has been tested and found suitable for a specified purpose."
"Labeled" in NFPA 10 means "equipment or materials to which has been attached a label, symbol, or other identifying mark of an organization that is acceptable to the authority having jurisdiction and concerned with product evaluation of products or services, that maintains periodic inspection of production of labeled equipment or materials, and by whose labeling the manufacturer indicates compliance with appropriate standards or performance in a specified manner."
Section 1.3.2 of NFPA 10 states, "The identification of the listing and labeling organization, the fire test, and the performance standard that the fire extinguisher meets or exceeds shall be clearly marked on each extinguisher."
Use of the term "shall" in NPFA 10 denotes a mandatory requiremen
9. What is a hydrostatic test?
Pressure testing of a fire extinguisher to verify its strength against unwanted rupture performed by a facility that is approved by the D.O.T. to requalify cylinders.
10.How often is a hydrostatic test required?
Dry/Wet Chemical 12 years
Water, AFF, FFFP 5 years
Halogenated Agent 12 years
Carbon Dioxide 5 years
11. Who should service and maintain special hazard fire suppression systems?
Maintenance and servicing of special hazard fire suppression systems should be performed by a licensed and insured special hazard fire suppression servicing company with Factory trained and Certified Service Technicians..
12. How often should my systems be inspected?
13. What is a fusible link?
Fusible links are temperature sensitive fire protection devices designed to be part of a fire protection system. The Fire Suppression System is activated when the ambient temperature increases to the point that causes the fusible link to break apart.
14. How often do fusible links need to be replaced?
15. What is UL-300?
UL-300 (Underwriters Laboratories Inc. ) is the Standard for the Testing of Fire Extinguishing Systems for Protection of Restaurant Cooking Areas, effective since November 21, 1994. All new restaurant cooking area fire protection systems manufactured after the effective date must comply with UL-300 for a UL listing.
Still have questions? Please contact us anytime!
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