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Do You Know How A Monthly Fire Extinguisher Inspection Is Carried Out?

by Norman Holden on 09/29/14

Before carrying out a monthly fire extinguisher inspection, it is extremely important to make sure that the property is well equipped with the right fire preventive equipments. These equipments should all be placed in locations where they are easy to access. Apart from the fire extinguishers themselves, there should be smoke detectors that are well distributed throughout the property. All commercial buildings should also be equipped with sprinkler systems. There should also be several well placed smoking receptacles to allow unwanted tobacco products to be safely disposed of.

When is fire prevention equipment most effective?

Fire extinguishing equipped is most effective when it is installed in adequate numbers so as to sufficiently cover the needs of a given property. Someone with enough knowledge in the installed fire prevention equipment should then be assigned the duty of inspecting, maintaining and ordering replacement parts for the equipments. This professional is responsible for completing the inspections in the best of his abilities.

Fire extinguisher monthly inspections  

Proper inspection of the installed fire extinguishing equipments is highly recommended so as to assure the safety of all people in the building. This requires that the fire extinguishers and other fire prevention equipments be professionally inspected, tested and tagged on a yearly basis. But since fire prevention equipments are designed to be a quick-response way of defending the property against fire catastrophes, they need to work at a moment’s notice throughout the year. So in addition to the normal annual inspections, monthly checks should also be carried out. Here is how to go about the inspection.

  • The first step is to verify that all extinguishers are clearly visible, in their designated locations and unobstructed. 
  •  A physical verification of the extinguisher’s locking pin should then be carried out. Confirm that the pin is unbroken and that the tamper seal unbroken.
  •  An examination for obvious damages on the container, clogged nozzle, leakage and corrosion should then be performed. If any is found, then the extinguisher or parts in question must be immediately replaced.
  •  A confirmation of whether the pressure indicator or gauge is still in operable position or range need also to be performed. While at it, the extinguisher needs to be physically lifted to make sure that it is still filled.
  •  The operating directives on the nametag should then be verified as facing outwards and legible.
  •  The last servicing date on the nameplate or tag should at this stage be checked out. An expert and fully qualified fire safety equipment maintenance contractor should have inspected the equipment within twelve months.
  •  After completion of the inspection, a date and name of the inspector must be put down at the back of the containers or on a tag so as to maintain a proper record.
While personal monthly fire extinguisher inspections are important, it is good to remember that they should not be taken as a substitute for regular expert maintenance. A properly carried out monthly inspection however ensures that all installed fire prevention equipments are operable and can be used immediately they are needed. This said, individuals who are inexperienced in fire extinguisher inspections must never be allowed or left unsupervised to complete tasks that involve highly inflammable or fire fighting materials or even perform the inspections.

All in all, to prevent fire hazards in buildings, people should not be allowed to develop irresponsible or careless habits, for example, cigarette smoking in places where flammable materials are used or stored. All fire extinguishers in the world not matter how well they are inspected or maintained can not cope or be effective in these kinds of situations. Properly inspected fire prevention equipments work best where people are careful and responsible with their day to day actions.

Top Tips To Help You Enhance Fire Safety At Home

by Norman Holden on 09/10/14

According to a recent survey, it was stated that almost eighty five percent of fire deaths occurred in home due to the negligence on the residents’ part. This raises importance of creating awareness among people to take all the preventive measures that are necessary. Here are some of the tips which you can consider for fire prevention and keep your loved ones safe at home. All these tips are generated based on the most common causes of fire in home.

Cooking equipment

  • You must make sure that your appliances are well cleaned. To keep them in a perfect condition, it is recommended to wipe the surfaces after spills regularly. Similarly, you must have a habit of cleaning ovens and stove on a regular basis.
  •  You should wear tight fitting sleeves when working in kitchen. It is better to roll your sleeves up when cooking so that the chances of catching fire are considerably reduced.
  •  Items that are flammable like curtains, dish towels and pot holders should be kept at least three feet away from the stove.
  • The chimneys, fireplaces, coal and wood stoves must be inspected by a professional on annual basis and must be cleaned as per the professional’s advice.
  •  If you have a microwave, you must ensure that it has 'breathing' space. All its vents must be cleared of obstructions.
  •  At anytime your microwave catches fire, you must turn off the heat and keep its door closed. If the situation gets out of control, you must call the fire department right away.
  •  A grease fire tend to occur when greasy foods or oil are heated and get ignited. To control such situation, the easiest thing to do is to simply slide the lid over the pan and turn off the burner. There is no need to move the pan. Just keep the lid on it till the time your pan cools down. Baking soda is known for controlling such situation as well. It is important to mention here that you must never put water on a grease fire.
Heating equipment

During winters, heating equipments can turn out to be the leading reason of home fires and therefore you should learn how to handle them.
  •  It is better to purchase those heaters that have automatic shut off features.
  •  Special attention must be given to the ventilation of the gas fuelled heating devices. If you have unvented gas space heaters, never dare to put them in your bedroom or even in your bathroom.
  •  Always make sure you switch off the heater when you leave your room.
  •  If you have space heaters, you must keep them at least three feet away from the objects that can catch fire.
  •  It is highly recommended to avoid the usage of extension cords with space heaters. These heaters require a large amount of current and can easily melt the extension’s cord and cause fire.
  •  When lighting a gas space heater, you must always strike your match first and then turn on the gas.
  •  Always keep in mind that gas range is not a substitute of a space heater or a furnace.
Electrical distribution equipment

It is a fact that electrical devices, circuit breakers, switches, outlets and wirings are known to be one of the common reasons of home fires and even fire deaths.
  •  If there are any loose cords on any electrical device, repair or replace them as soon as possible.
  •  At anytime you feel the switches or outlets are warm, simply shut off the circuit and call a appliance repair professional for its inspection.
  •  It is better to avoid the use of extension cords. If you feel that extension wires are necessary, make sure you use the one that is not frayed. It is also really unwise to run the extension wires under the carpet and around the doors.

Understanding The Different Categories Of Fires

by Norman Holden on 09/10/14

There are many people who will be surprised to know that even the classification of fire comes in different types. Fire is formally categorized into five main groups namely Class A, Class B, Class C, Class D and Class K. Knowing the type of fire is quite necessary especially when you have to choose a fire extinguisher for yourself. This is because there are different types of fire extinguishers in the market that are designed to control a specific type of fire.

In case you are not sure about the type of fire you are dealing with, it is highly advised that you activate the fire alarm and leave the rest to the professionals. On the whole, the types of fires have been categorized according to the material or the fuel that is being burnt. Extinguishers are also properly labelled as to which of the types they are meant for. If you examine the fire extinguisher closely, you will see that they are properly coded with either a standard pictogram or with a letter to give the user a better idea on what they are using.

1. Class A fire

This type of fire comprises of ordinary combustibles likes trash, paper, plastics, wood, cloth or any other thing that leaves an ash. Oftentimes, water seems to be the best solution for putting off such type of fire.

2. Class B fire

These types of fires are generally fuelled or ignited by the combustible liquids. Examples of such flammable liquids include paint, oil, petroleum, gasoline and etc. It is important to mention here that this category also includes the flammable gases like butane and propane as well. Fires resulting from grease and cooking oil are not considered under Class B fires. In order to control Class B fires, you have to look for a solution that can smother the effects that deplete the oxygen supply.

3. Class C fire

Fires resulting from energized electric equipment fall in the category of Class C fires. This may include appliances, transformers and motors etc. The only difference in this class of fire is the application of power. In order to control this type of fire, you will have to de-energize the circuit and later use an extinguishing agent that is non-conductive. The usage of carbon dioxide is highly recommended in this sort of a situation.

4. Class D fire

If there is a fire that involves combustible metals, it falls in the category of Class D fire. Titanium, magnesium, aluminum, sodium and potassium are the most common types of metal fires. It is highly advised not to use water whenever there is metal that has ignited. Usage of water will only make the situation go worse. Under such circumstances, you must only use a dry powder extinguishing agent to bring the situation under control. Dry powder agents are known for their heat absorption qualities.

5. Class K fire

If there is the involvement of animal fat, grease or cooking oil then this fire falls in the Class K fire. There are galley extinguishers available in the markets that are meant to bring such situations under control.

It is highly important that you know about these types of fire and teach your children about them as well. Unpleasant situations can arise anytime and you must know how to tackle such emergency situations in a perfect manner.

Once you read about them in detail, you will see that there are some types of fire extinguishing agents that can easily be used for more than one type of fire. If you have a fire extinguisher, you must read the warnings stated on it before operating. The manufacturers are bound to label the extinguishers properly so that people get to know under which situations it would be dangerous to use a specific type of extinguisher.

A Guide To The Different Types Of Fire Extinguishers

by Norman Holden on 09/10/14

No one can deny the importance of fire extinguishers in the present world. They are known for saving the lives of people and also help in preventing the damage to the property.  Because of their immense demand, the manufacturers have introduced various types of fire extinguishers in the market and each is used for a different situation. The common types are listed below:

1. Water and foam fire extinguishers

These types of fire extinguishers are very popular these days. The best part about them is that they tend to take away the element of ‘heat’ from the fire triangle. The foam agents are known for separating the oxygen element from the rest. The experts are of the view that water extinguishers should only be used for Class A fires. There is absolutely no need to use them on Class B and C fires. The primary reason behind this is that the discharge stream can easily spread the flammable liquid in a Class B fire. Similarly under Class C fires, they can easily create a shock hazard.

2. Dry chemical fire extinguishers

These types of extinguishers control the fire by simply disrupting the chemical reaction of the fire triangle. The best part about multipurpose dry chemical fire extinguishers is that they can easily be used on Class A, Class B and Class C fires and are highly effective as well. The experts believe that the in case of Class A fire, dry chemical extinguishers tend to create a barrier between the fuel element and the oxygen element. On the other hand, the ordinary dry chemical fire extinguishers can only be used for controlling Class B and C fires only.

It is highly important that you use the right type of fire extinguisher for the specific type of fuel. If ignored, you will see the fire being re-ignited after being extinguished.

3. Carbon dioxide fire extinguishers

There is a very cold discharge from the carbon dioxide fire extinguisher when used to control fire. It not only removes the heat element from the fire but also takes away the oxygen element from the fire triangle. It is important to note that Carbon dioxide fire extinguishers cannot be used on Class A fires but are very much effective when used on Class B and C fires.

Wet chemical fire extinguishers

These types of extinguishers have recently been introduced in the market and can remove the heat element from the fire triangle. Furthermore, it also assists in preventing the re-ignition of the fire by creating a strong barrier between fuel and the oxygen. There are times when these extinguishers are used in commercial kitchens during a Class A fire.

5. Clean agent extinguishers

They are also known as halogenated extinguishers because they have halogen agents in them. The best part about them is that they are less hazardous to the ozone layer. They work by disturbing the overall chemical reaction of the fire triangle. They are ideal and highly effective for Class B and C fires. However, there are times when they are also used on Class A fires as well.

6. Dry powder extinguishers

There is not much difference in the dry chemical extinguishers and the dry powder extinguishers. The only difference is that the dry powder extinguishers tend to separate the fuel from the oxygen and also removes the heat element from the fire triangle. It must be emphasised here that the dry powder extinguishers are meant for either combustible metal fires or for Class D fires. For other classes of fires, they are completely ineffective.

7. Water mist extinguishers

These extinguishers have recently been developed and are meant to be used on Class A fires. Some people also believe that they can easily be used on Class C fires as well.

A Look At The Top Methods For Putting Out Fire

by Norman Holden on 08/18/14

There is a saying - it is better for a house to be robbed than burnt. If you get robbed, you only lose a few things. But if your house suffered from a fire, there is a huge chance that you will lose everything in it. Fires spread easily. That is why it is very important for you to know how to put it out in its early stages. Read on and find the various methods in dousing fire:

*    Cut off power supply - Most fires are caused by electrical faults and short circuits. One of the first things that you have to do in preventing fires is to simply cut off the power supply. If the appliance is disconnected from the outlet or if the main power is turned off, it would definitely be a lot easier and safer to stop the fire with various methods.

*    Use water - Water is easily accessible especially in areas like the bathroom or the kitchen. Of course, it is a very good element in extinguishing fire. Put out fire by throwing water at its base. The amount of water should be sufficient enough to wet the item that is caught on fire. But remember that water is only effective for small flames. Never use it for very large flames.

*    Use blanket or towel - If there is a blanket within the affected area, use it to smother the fire. Use the blanket to prevent the fire from accessing oxygen. Fire needs oxygen to continue. Take note that there are commercial fire blankets – special blankets that are designed for killing fires effectively. You might want to have one

*    Use a fire extinguisher - Of course, the safest way to extinguish fire is to use a fire extinguisher. It is very important to have at least one fire extinguisher for every floor of the house. Pull the safety pin, aim the nozzle at the base, squeeze the handle and spray the nozzle from side to side. Fire extinguishers are very effective in putting out both small and huge flames.

When should you stop fighting fire?

A good warrior is one who knows when to stop fighting. Remember that whenever fighting fire or trying to put it out, always put your safety at the highest priority. These are clear indications that you need to stop fighting the fire and start escaping towards the outdoors for safety.  

*    If you are engulfed with flames - If you think that there is flames at your front, at your sides, and even at your back, never hesitate to look for the nearest exit. Putting your life at risk is not worth it in a scenario like this.

*    If the flame is emitting toxic fumes - You would not want to breathe toxic fumes that are being caused by the flames. You can collapse on the spot and burn eventually. Or, you can suffer from very serious lung damage. The fire is too big for you to fight if you are having a hard time breathing anymore.

House fires can surely be prevented if you know how to prevent them at their early stages. Again, having a fire extinguisher around and knowing how to use it is not only encouraged but it is also required by law. If you ever need new fire extinguishers or if you ever need your old ones replaced, contact Northern Academy Fire Protection INC.