Everything you need to know about Portable Fire Extinguishers

Fire extinguishers are not a luxury as they are not an accessory just hanging on a wall. Fire extinguishers are a vital and potentially life-saving piece of equipment that ought to be present in every household. Not only households, every office, rather every space that is occupied by individuals should be equipped with a comprehensive fire-prevention plan which should always include fire extinguishers and other fire safety devices.

Also important to understand is that only placement is not enough; people should be well-trained on proper use, and they should be tested periodically by using reliable organizations such as Jims fire extinguisher testing services to ensure good working conditions.

Are there many types of fire extinguishers?
Yes! There are different types of fire extinguishers. They are distinguished on the basis of their ability to put out fires that have been caused by different materials. Water-Air pressurized Water Extinguishers (APW) are filled with water and pressurized air. Some of these also include detergents. They are used primarily to put out fires of the “A” category.

These are fires that are caused by paper, cloth, wood, rubber and some plastics. These extinguishers function by removing the heat of the fire by cooling the surface of the fuel. Carbon dioxide or Dry Chemical Extinguishers are another type of fire extinguishers that are used to put out fires caused by “B” or “C” category substances. These are usually flammable liquid and electrical fires only. Dry chemical extinguishers starve the fire of oxygen and as the fire cannot blaze without it, it dies out.

Multi-purpose Dry Chemical Extinguishers can be used for all three categories. Their function is based on the premise of separating oxygen from fuel. Class K Extinguishers are those that are used to put out grease fires, also known as kitchen fires. These extinguishers are usually found installed in areas where cooking is being carried out on a commercial scale such as restaurants.

Where fire extinguishers should be placed?
In a commercial set-up, there are guidelines, rules and regulations that need to be adhered to regarding the placement of portable fire extinguishers. According to OSHA, Class A extinguishers should be placed every 75 feet and Class B extinguishers should be placed every 50 feet. The basic principle behind this is that in case of an emergency, extinguishers should be accessible and within reach. This is what needs to be kept in mind when considering the installation of extinguishers at home as well. They should be present in an area that is within reach and is easily accessible by everyone.

Is there a requirement for training?
In the interest of ensuring safety of employees at work and people around us in general, a basic training to coach the rudimentary basics is necessary. Remember. Knowledge is power. And in situations where the basic fight or flight risk is activated, training is what keeps us functioning in a way that benefits us as well as others.

Do they need to be tested?
Every man-made thing is prone to errors. If unused, portable fire extinguishers may become unfit. It is also important to understand that fire extinguishers are crucial and their maintenance, testing and upkeep should only be entrusted to reliable and certified companies such as Jims fire extinguisher testing.

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