What Business Owners Should Know About Fire Extinguishers

What Business Owners Should Know About Fire Extinguishers

April 24, 2020

Maintaining fire extinguishers is a large component in any list of fire safety tips in Los Angeles, CA. Even a business located in an office needs a fire extinguisher, as it is never known when equipment may overheat or a fire may start near a heating duct. However, keeping fire extinguishers will not help in fire prevention unless they are used and maintained properly. Here are six things every business owner should know about fire extinguishers:

  • You must have the right type: Fire extinguishers are not all the same. Putting out an electrical fire requires a different suppressant than extinguishing a kitchen fire. Your environment also matters. For example, a fire extinguisher for a server room contains water mist, since most suppression chemicals will damage equipment. Multi-purpose extinguishers address ordinary, flammable liquid and electrical fires in normal settings, but cannot suppress fires in commercial kitchens or industrial settings. The wrong chemical can make the fire worse, so make sure you install the right type for your work environment.
  • They require maintenance and inspection: Fire prevention in Los Angeles, CA does not stop with obtaining the right extinguisher. Once you are equipped with them, you need to schedule regular maintenance and inspections. Official inspections must occur once a year, and an informal visual inspection must be completed by you or an employee once a month. This is required so your extinguisher works when it is needed.
  • There is an expiration date: Fire extinguishers do not last forever. The normal replacement cycle is every 12 years, even if you have a rechargeable canister. Chances are, if you cannot remember the last time your fire extinguishers were replaced, it is likely time to do so. Also, fire suppression technology evolves, so you want to have the best and most modern product on the market.
  • Recharge after using: When used, fire extinguishers must be recharged. Even if fire suppressant remains inside the canister, that does not guarantee there will be enough if another fire occurs on your premises. The best practice is to recharge after every use to ensure you have a fully functioning extinguisher in case there is another fire.
  • Location matters: You want fire extinguishers in high-risk spots, like near kitchen facilities, community hot plates or welding areas. However, you have to consider employee safety, too. Fire extinguishers should be easily accessible to all employees. It does not do any good if you have one locked in a restricted area. Keeping extinguishers near exits helps people escape safely.
  • Proper disposal is a must: If you use a fire extinguisher and assume it is spent, do not merely throw it away in your regular dumpster. Even completely disposable extinguishers require special handling. When it is time to replace a fire extinguisher, drop the old one off at a hazardous waste disposal facility or see if your local firehouse handles them. If you partner with a fire extinguisher service, call them to safely dispose of your spent canisters.

US Fire Protection can help you find the right fire extinguisher for your Los Angeles, CA business. For complete fire protection systems that meet all the fire safety tips above, contact us today to start extinguisher service or learn more.

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