Whilst you are most likely conscious that fire extinguishers are necessary for commercial buildings, did you know that there are a lot of different fire extinguishers to choose from? Each variety of extinguishers is fashioned for a specific type of fire, and may only be suitable for a few different conditions. Fireline is here to assist you find out what type of fire extinguisher is best for your commercial building to maintain you and your building residents safe.
ABC Dry Chemical
This type of commercial fire extinguishers can be used on class A, B, and C fires. This extinguisher uses a particular powder which aid put out fires started by common flammable solid objects, burning gases and liquids, and electrical fires, making it an outstanding choice for office settings. The discharge time differ from 8 to 25 seconds, and the maximum range is 5 to 20 feet. The negative of this type is that the dry chemical powder is corrosive and can create a mess, but have to be cleaned up quickly
Class K Wet Chemical
Wet Chemical extinguishers are mostly used for fighting cooking fires, making them an enormous alternative for your commercial building’s kitchen. The release time is 30 to 85 seconds, and the maximum range is 8 to 12 feet. Whilst gas fires can’t be extinguished with the ABC type, Class K extinguishers get the work done and create a foam blanket to stop reigniting the fire.
In buildings with sensitive devices, for instance a healthcare facility or hospital, pressurized water extinguishers are an excellent option. Given that hospital equipment is so costly and valuable, using an ABC type is not a good idea, as the corrosive agent might damage important equipment. A water mist extinguisher will safely get rid of the fire without causing harm to equipment.
C02 extinguishers get rid of oxygen and heat from a fire by the use of a cold discharge. This type works pretty well in laboratories, but can’t be used on fires caused by metals. In addition, these extinguishers can’t be used on Class B and C fires, and should not be used in a close or small room. The release time is approximately 8 to 30 seconds, with a maximum range of 3 to 8 feet.
Also called D-type, these extinguishers work well on class D fires, which are caused by metals including titanium sodium, or magnesium. This type also works well in laboratories, as metals are frequently in use in a lab scenario. The extinguishers use a sodium chloride agent to smother the fire, with a release time approximately 8 to 25 seconds, and a maximum range 3 to 6 feet.
How to Choose Commercial Fire Extinguishers
Below are the minimum business suggestions from the National Fire Protection Association Standard for Portable Fire Extinguishers (NFPA 10). Many cities and states needs fire extinguishers with a minimum UL rating of 2-A:10-B:C in buildings. Ensure with your local fire authorities for the building code needed in your area.
Low Hazards (PRO 210) – A 2-A: 10-B:C rated rechargeable unit. For offices, churches, assembly halls, classrooms and hotel guest quarters. Class A-B-C
Medium Hazards (PRO 340) – A 3-A:40-B:C rated rechargeable unit. For light industrialized facilities, dining areas, showrooms, garages and storage areas. Class A-B-C
High Hazards (PRO 460) – A 4-A:60-B:C rated rechargeable unit. For manufacturing facilities with procedures involving flammable liquids, boat and vehicle services, and woodworking processes. Class A-B-C
How to Use Fire Extinguishers
Stand 6 to 8 feet away from the fire and follow the four-step PASS procedure suggested by the National Fire Protection Association:
P - Pull the pin and grip the extinguisher with the nozzle pointing away from you.
A - Aim low at the centre of the fire.
S - Squeeze the lever gradually and evenly to release the extinguishing agent. (When the agent first hits the fire, the fire may temporarily flare up. This should be normal).
S - Sweep the nozzle from side to side, moving cautiously toward the fire. Keep the extinguisher aimed at the centre of the fire.
When to Use Commercial Fire Extinguishers
Keep in mind that fire extinguishers are only one element of an entire fire survival plan. Only use your extinguisher after making sure:
- All occupants have been evacuated to safety
- The fire department has been informed
- There is a clear exit at the back of the person using the extinguisher
Use your extinguisher only to maintain a small self-contained fire from rising, only when the room is not packed with smoke, or to make a safe pathway out of the building. Be sure to read the directions and become familiar with your fire extinguisher's parts and process before a fire starts.
Also, it's important to have your fire extinguishers properly and regularly inspected.