ESC not only installs and services fire detection systems of all kinds as well as automatic fire suppression systems for commercial kitchens, manufacturing, and other purposes, but we also provide a manual means where you can fight a fire where and when it begins–fire extinguishers.

If you own the property, or if  you are the renter, it’s your responsibility to see that the fire extinguishers in your controlled area are properly inspected and cared for. However, the person who does the inspection must be trained and certified to do the work.

“Persons training to become certified shall be permitted to perform maintenance and recharging of extinguishers under the direct supervision and and in the immediate presence of a certified person” (7.1.2.1.1, NFPA 10).

“Certification requires that a person pass a test administered by an organization acceptable to the AHJ (7.1.2.1.2, NFPA 10).”  

According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) of Quincy, Mass., “A portable fire extinguisher can save lives and property by putting out a small fire or containing it until the fire department arrives; but portable extinguishers have limitations. Because fire grows and spreads so rapidly, the #1 priority for residents is to get out safely” (http://bit.ly/2Hw49KM).

Use the Right Fire Extinghisher

A long time ago, the fire protection industry recognized the need to classify extinguishers according to the many kinds of burning materials encountered in a fire. For example, Class A, water-type fire extinguishers cannot be used on the electrical fires because the extinguisher operator could be seriously injured by the conduction of electricity by the stream of water from their extinguisher. Instead, a Class C fire extinguisher will work best. Another example, a raging fire in a manufacturing plant with flammable metals, such as magnesium, should be fought with a Class D fire extinguisher (see chart below).

Classes of Fire

Knowing the type of fuel helps determine what kind of fire extinguisher to use and how to use it. There are five common classes of fires:

Class Fuel
A Ordinary combustibles such as paper, cloth, wood, rubber, and many plastics
B Flammable liquids (e.g., oils, gasoline) and combustible liquids (e.g., charcoal lighter fluid, kerosene)
C Energized electrical equipment (e.g., wiring, motors) – when the electricity is turned off, the fire becomes a Class A fire
D Combustible metals (e.g., aluminum, magnesium, titanium)
K Vegetable oils, animal oils, or fats in cooking appliances
Source: U.S. Fire Administration

Additional Resources:

If you have any questions, please use the handy form below. I look forward to serving your fire extinguisher needs. –John Larkin, ESC Senior Partner.

 

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