Posted on: 28 June 2018
Whether it's a requirement or a personal decision, having a fire extinguisher around is an important step as far as fire safety is concerned. All it takes is one fire for everything you've worked for to go up in smoke. Regardless of what measures you might have taken to prevent fires, it's still important to have a fire extinguisher available just in case.
However, fire extinguishers are not all the same. Before you rush to buy one, you should pay attention to a number of features first.
Class of the Extinguisher
There are different types of fire extinguishers depending on the class of fires they are designed to fight. Class of fires range A to F (mode of classification may differ in certain areas) depending on the material that is burning.
For example, water type fire extinguishers are designed for class A fires (i.e. combustible solids full of carbon such as wood and paper). These same extinguishers may cause more harm than good if they're used on other classes of fire, which is why multiple classes and type of extinguishers exist. Before choosing a fire extinguisher, you should have a good idea which type of fire your building is most at risk of.
Size of the Fire Extinguisher
A small fire extinguisher seems like a good idea because it can be easily carried to the location of the fire, and they can also be stored without any issue. However, due to their size, they also hold a limited quantity of fire retardant. Therefore, unless you're only expecting to only deal with small fires, you should have a relatively larger fire extinguisher. The extra volume will give you a better chance of completely putting out a fire.
You'll also have to find a place to mount the extinguisher on the wall to ensure its easily accessible when needed. So consider your available space when choosing a fire extinguisher as well.
Imagine noticing a fire somewhere in your building and rushing to get the fire extinguisher only to realize it's almost empty. This can be a nightmarish experience for you, but it is thankfully one that you can avoid if your extinguisher has a visible pressure indicator. A pressure indicator will give you an idea of how full the extinguisher is when you inspect it.
Rechargeable or Disposable
Fire extinguishers can be designed to be used either once or multiple times. It's less expensive to refill a fire extinguisher than to buy a new disposable one. Rechargeable extinguishers make more effective long-term fire suppression systems.
For more information about the types of fire extinguishers and how to use them, contact a fire safety service in your area, such as Amerisafe.Share