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Top Tips For Cleaning Dry Fire Extinguisher Chemicals

by Norman Holden on 11/13/14

Portable fire extinguishers are widely used by many homeowners and business operators as well. They are ideally helpful when it comes to putting out small fires. With its portability, you can easily grab it and use it to put off fire. Whilst it is easy to use portable fire extinguishers, it would often be difficult to clean up the chemicals it leaves behind. With the following tips to bear in mind, however, the entire job can be easily done.

First things first, you should identify the category of the portable fire extinguisher you own

Before learning how you can clean up the residues left behind by the fire extinguisher after you used it, you should understand what type of portable fire extinguisher you own. There are two basic categories to consider. The first one is the water-based version that is easy to clean up with no actual special steps required. The second basic category (which we will talk more about in this page) is the dry fire extinguisher. These ones contain a variety of chemicals that are considered dangerous to anyone's health.

In case you own more than one fire extinguisher, it is relatively important to establish the category they belong to whether water-based and/or dry. Knowing this will prevent you from an increased risk of chemical-related injuries that may arise as you clean up the affected area.

Proceed to vacuuming the mess

When your dry fire extinguisher has either potassium bicarbonate or sodium in it, the safest way to clean up the chemicals it will leave behind is through vacuuming. Proceed to vacuuming only when you have geared up and worn a dust mask, a pair of gloves and safety goggles. You will need these gears to prevent toxins from dust and fumes that you may inhale later on. From gearing up, you can now sweep up all the larger debris and place them inside a trash bag. This should be thrown in a place where it will not affect other individuals.

Once the larger debris are removed, it will now be easier to vacuum the area. Vacuum the surface until there are no visible powder residues on them. You need to re-vacuum the space just to make sure that no chemical residues are left behind.

Proceed to cleaning the foam-like substance released from the fire extinguisher

There are certain types of fire extinguishers that release foam-like substances once they are sprayed over a surface or structure. This substance cannot be removed by merely vacuuming the space. What you will need is the usual water-soap combination to wipe off these foam-like substances.

Make sure you are working in a well-ventilated area

Dry fire extinguishers contain ammonium phosphate, a chemical that is very unpleasant once it is breathed in and gets into your eyes or gets in contact with an open wound. With this chemical in mind, it is important then that you should have proper ventilation in the area where cleaning of the chemicals need to be done.

Know what you should avoid when cleaning up

As much as possible, you should avoid sweeping the chemicals indoors since this can combine with other fire residue and indoor dust. This is the best way by which you will be saved from inhaling the powder residue. Also, you should not add fresh water to that of the chemical water discharged by the extinguisher.

The above-mentioned tips will help you clean up dry fire extinguisher chemicals all by yourself. However, if you do not want to put your life at risk and want a good cleanup, you should consider asking the help of professionals like us to do this job for you!

Understanding The Carbon Dioxide Fire Extinguishers

by Norman Holden on 11/13/14

Carbon dioxide fire extinguishers are gaining a name for themselves simply because they are proven effective against many flammable liquids like solvents, petrol, butane and propane. Additionally, they are also good in putting off fire that has been caused by electrical equipment. Apart from knowing these things, there is yet more to know in order to understand what CO2 fire extinguishers really are.

There are different size varieties for CO2 fire extinguishers

You can get CO2 fire extinguishers in portable and heavier varieties. The portable type is available in a wide range of sizes from 2 to 5 kilograms. You can also have the trolley-type extinguisher with a weight of over 5 kilograms. For offshore and airport needs however, you can obtain the double cylinder extinguisher that weighs 45 kilograms.

There are also many uses for CO2 fire extinguishers

Carbon dioxide fire extinguishers are popular choices when putting up either electrical or Class B fires. This gas is favoured by many simply because it poses no harm to any type of electrical equipment. They can be used in offices, night clubs, workshops and all other business premises that rely much on using electrical components. You can also use them if you have a welding shop. CO2 fire extinguishers work without leaving any mess behind thus making them a clean option.

What makes CO2 fire extinguishers work?

This type of fire extinguishers works through the help of liquid pressurised carbon dioxide. Once the extinguisher is let off, the pressurised container will then release the carbon dioxide. The gas released from the container will now stop oxygen from causing fire. Oxygen is noted to be one of the elements that cause fire to burn and with the CO2 fire extinguisher's capability to reduce oxygen, you can definitely rely on it whilst you put out fire. Thanks to the ice cold temperature possessed by CO2. You now have an efficient and effective way to fight fire.

It operates well with the so-called frost-free horn

You should get CO2 fire extinguishers with frost-free horns. The frost-free horn will prevent you from cold burns or any other serious injury that results from touching a non-frost free surface. These horns are noted to work by withstanding CO2's freezing effects and make it easier for you to hold the extinguisher container.

Never use fire extinguishers if you find no horns in them. You can rely on these components when you want to reduce the force that comes with the release of CO2. Any fire extinguisher that has no horn will cause you to break your wrists whilst operating them.

They do not have pressure gauges

Once you have seen CO2 fire extinguishers, you will certainly notice that it does not have a pressure gauge unlike the usual fire extinguishers you see. The only thing you can do to determine whether the container is low on pressure is by weighing it. You can also look at the overall weight that is stamped typically at the shoulder of the CO2 fire extinguisher.

They should never be used in confined spaces

We all know that carbon dioxide is always present in the air we breathe in every day. This makes it safe to inhale. However, you have to note too that when the exposure to carbon dioxide increases, the chances of suffering from carbon dioxide intoxication increase as well. This is why it is important not to place CO2 fire extinguishers inside confined spaces.

Now that you have come to know about CO2 fire extinguishers, you may be ready to use one for your home or for your commercial establishment. You may also want to know more about the different types of fire extinguishers you can avail. Simply browse our catalogue for more information on these fire-fighting tools.

Signs Indicating That You Should Update Your Commercial Fire Protection System

by Norman Holden on 11/13/14

Fire systems, like anything else, can age too. It is therefore important to update what you have for your commercial business as this will save you time, effort and most of all money. How then would you know that it is time to get an upgrade for your commercial fire protection system? Consider the following warning signs.

It has already aged

You may have owned your commercial fire protection for quite some time now, say, 15 years already. Remember that whilst it has no expiration date, it will never last forever. Note that the industry has already considered making upgrades in fire prevention technologies. You can consider these new technologies as helpful in upgrading your old system. If it has been a while since you have last updated your fire system, then you must already be missing on something new when it comes to fire prevention technology.

You have been making too many service calls just recently

If you have been calling your service provider every now and then just to check on your fire alarm system in your establishment, you should take that as a sign to upgrade your existing system. Upgrading will not only help save you from too much operation cost. It will also benefit your workplace and increase protection from fire. If you want your system to function properly, now is the right time to upgrade.

You have made changes in your business establishment

If you have made some changes on your business area and that change has affected the fire code regulation within your locale then you have to keep your act together and call for a fire system upgrade. The upgrade, specifically, will be of much help if you have relocated your flammables to a different place within the building. It will also be crucial if you have added elevators or made adjustments to your room sizes. Upgrading your system will ensure that you are complying with your locale's fire code.

You have been spending too much on fire monitoring services

You may not be aware of it but sometimes it is true that you are already paying too much for your regular fire monitoring services. When this happens, then you need to make an upgrade. It is true that you may have to spend on upgrading your commercial fire protection system. Later on, however, you will realise how much you will be saving from fire protection maintenance since it does not have to be done as regular as it used to before. Perhaps, the routine maintenance can be done every once in a while depending on your agreement with the provider.

One of the components in the system fails

Upgrading your system will be required as soon as one of the system components already fail. You do not have to wait until such time that the entire fire protection system no longer works for you to call for a service upgrade. You need to be very vigilant about this. Otherwise, there will be an increased risk for fire hazards later on.

Some of the components in the system are no longer available

As mentioned awhile back, the industry has been making frequent updates on their fire protection systems. This being the case, there are certainly some obsolete components that are no longer available today. When a part of your fire protection system is no longer available for purchase, you will certainly need to upgrade it.

Do not wait for such time that your fire protection systems no longer function for you to make an upgrade. Also, if you want these systems to serve you better, you can always call us and hire our services. We live by our mission to protect you and your property from fire at all times!

Understanding Fire Protection: Sprinkler Systems

by Norman Holden on 09/29/14

Sprinkler systems as a form of fire protection dates back to the late 20th century. Though this technology remains quite basic, it is still an important means of fire protection in all types of buildings. It plays an accurate and necessary role in the fire protection.  Over the years, fire sprinkler systems have come in more than one form. So fires in buildings can be well prevented by having any of these devices installed.

Automatic sprinkler systems

These are set to activate once a preset temperature range is reached. For example, when a bulb gets overheated or another material gets melted exceeding the set temperature, the sprinkler system automatically gets activated allowing a flow of water to start. The flow of water continues until the fire threat is deemed eradicated.

How does the automatic fire sprinkler system work?

Today’s sprinklers operate in one direction: downwards. They are set to start one after the other in a sequence. They do not all get activated unless it is absolutely necessary to do so. It should be noted that open office fire safety sprinklers work a little differently from the systems that are installed in the factories. There is no temperature detection with office fire sprinkler systems, meaning that the level of heat is not a factor.

One thing to note with sprinkler systems that use bulbs is that there is a color code that dictates how the temperature of operation works. With these, temperatures are set depending on the type of expected fire hazard. The system then gauges the severity of the situation, and then acts from there.

The actual number of activated sprinklers depends on how near they are to the fire, or the alarm, or the immediate fire occurrence. The technology has been well thought over the years and has gotten only better with time, putting out fires within buildings as soon as they happen.

Are fire sprinkler systems reliable?

Fire protection is a necessity in all environments. Fire sprinklers systems in this case are a reliable way of preventing fires from harming people and damaging their properties. The world today heavily depends on fire safety equipments as a reliable and effective means of fire protection. The best thing about these fire safety devices is that they never fail to do their job and they do it well. Most commercial and residential buildings today have these fire protection systems installed in them.

Sprinkler systems coupled with other fire safety devices such as fire extinguishers make for a formidable setup in fire fighting and prevention. While getting water soaked from the sprinklers is very inconveniencing to all that happen in the way, it is something all building owners would rather have happen than the alternative.

Sometimes, people have to take the good things with the bad ones. In this case, everyone is better off with sprinkler systems because they are an invaluable means of fire safety. Fire sprinkler systems are one of the most reliable fire protection devices out there in the market for your selection. But to assure their continued proper functionality, sprinklers like any other fire safety devices need to be well inspected, serviced or maintained throughout their lifespan.   

All in all, it goes without saying, protecting yourself from fires is better than the alternative. It is therefore important to have things such as sprinkler systems, fire extinguishers and others well placed, installed and unobstructed in your building for safety of all and everything in it. It is advisable to be vigilant and aware of what is around you, as well as have a healthy respect for things that could result into a fire eruption. In the end, this could end up saving your life, and not forgetting your property. No doubt about this!

Are You On Task With The Fire Extinguisher Maintenance Routine?

by Norman Holden on 09/29/14

Fire safety and fighting equipments should be well maintained to ensure that they are properly functioning when needed.  In this regard, smoke detectors, sprinkler systems and alarms on emergency exists all need to be checked on a regular basis and all damaged parts as well as batteries changed or replaced if need be. Fire extinguishers should be expertly tested at recommended intervals and discarded or replaced at the end of their life spans. It is also important to ensure these devices are never obstructed in a building.

Fire extinguishers are necessary safety equipments during fire emergencies. So they need to be monthly or annually inspected and maintained by expert fire safety service providers to ensure that they are ready for immediate use when needed. It is a good idea to start an in-house maintenance and inspection routine for all fire safety equipments in a building. To make sure that the inspection is properly done, a qualified individual need to be hired.

What happens if fire safety equipments are not properly maintained?

If fire safety devices are not properly inspected or regularly maintained, part or full failure might occur when they urgently needed, something that may result in severe injuries or even death. There is unfortunately no universal fire equipments inspection or maintenance code in most countries. Most places however require that fire safety equipments such as fire extinguishers be inspected on a monthly basis to guarantee that they are not obstructed and that proper pressure is present.

Full inspections conducted yearly are also required; however, these should only be carried out by qualified fire safety inspectors. For CO2 and water based models, a hydrostatic pressure test need to be done after every five years. For dry chemical models, the test should be done every twelve years.

Why opt for electronic fire safety monitoring?

A few years ago, the National Fire Protection Association in the U.S. voted to get rid of monthly inspections in favor of electronic monitoring. From the association’s view, this system keeps a constant electronic log at its computer systems. This mode of monitoring however requires constant attention and supervision. It monitors or checks for the same things that the monthly test looks into. If and when problems are found, the system instantly notifies officials who then quickly remedy the occurrence. The monitoring is available in both wireless and wired modes.

Internal maintenance

Here are the United States’ fire safety equipment maintenance standards. For internal maintenance, extinguisher types such as listed below are monitored following these timetables.

  • Water based: Annually
  • Foam based: Every three years
  • CO2/Wet Chemical based: Every five years
  • Clean Agents/ Halon/ Dry Powder: Every six years
During the inspections, the extinguisher is purged of all chemicals to check for accuracy. After passing all the tests, the device is then replenished and placed strategically for use once again.

Full maintenance inspection

This inspection should be done in a yearly basis. All types of fire extinguishers save for the water based varieties must be annually recharged. The devices must be checked on a regular basis to make sure the pressure is normal and that the extinguishing agent is at its recommended volume. The device must be weighed by the technician during the inspection. Furthermore, the device must also fall within the set hydrotest guidelines and meet the internal maintenance criteria. Proper functionality test in all parts is also done during the inspection.  

Why is fire extinguisher inspection and maintenance important?

Fire extinguishers are important in that the devices are the first line of defense against fire catastrophes. A properly functioning and thus well maintained extinguisher can save the day in most cases. Without its proper working, you and everyone else in a building could be in serious trouble. It is therefore crucial to ensure that this very important fire safety equipment is well inspected, maintained and working right at all times throughout the year. Remember with fires, you can never be too careful!