Choosing the right fire extinguisher for your Hamilton
business can make the difference between a small fire that’s under control and
a rapidly-spreading inferno.
Types of Fires
Before you choose a fire extinguisher for your Hamilton
restaurant, retail store, warehouse or other type of business, it’s important
to understand how the different
types of fires
are categorized. Different types of fires are assigned a
letter, ranging from A to D. When you choose a fire extinguisher, look at the
letter classification and choose the right fire extinguisher for your
Class A fires involve most ordinary combustible material,
such as wood, clothes, or trash. Water, chemical foam, and dry chemical powders
can be used on these fires.
Class B fires involve flammable liquids, like oil or grease,
gas, or paint. Carbon Dioxide, aqueous film forming foam (AFFF), dry chemicals,
and halon can be used on class B fires.
Class C fires are electrical fires, usually involving live
electrical equipment. Carbon dioxide, dry chemicals and halon are used for
class C fires.
Class D fires involve combustible metals like magnesium and
titanium. These fires need a dry powder
that is designed to handle the type of metal in question.
Types of Fire
Once you know the type of fire you may face in your Hamilton
workplace, you can find a fire extinguisher that suits that class of fire.
There are many different types of extinguishers, but don’t be intimidated.
Understanding how fires are classified makes finding the right fire
extinguisher much easier.
A water extinguisher has pressurized water that is released
through a pump. It’s used to cool class A fires. A water fire extinguisher
cannot be used on class B or C fires.
A multi-purpose dry chemical fire extinguisher is a solid
choice for most businesses. This fire extinguisher smothers the flames by releasing
pressurized powder. It’s good for class A, B, and C fires.
Chemical foam fire extinguishers release AFFF, smothering
the flames. It’s useful for both class A and B fires.
Compressed gas fire extinguishers usually have carbon
dioxide or halon. These fire extinguishers use the gas to smother the fire.
These are good for fires that involve flammable liquids (class B) and
electricity (class C). Halon extinguishers are no longer sold but you may find
one in use in your building or warehouse. If a halon extinguisher is used,
always properly ventilate the area before entering. It’s recommended that you
wear proper respiratory equipment before using a halon extinguisher in an
enclosed space. Since halon extinguishers are no longer sold, you may want to consider replacing a halon
extinguisher with a newer extinguisher.
It’s important to properly maintain your fire extinguishers
This involves a monthly inspection to ensure the pressure gauge shows the
extinguisher is still in the green zone. If it’s in one of the red zones, it’s
time to repair or replace the extinguisher. Check the manufacture date on the
fire extinguisher. After six and 12 years, the fire extinguisher needs to be
inspected by a professional
fire protection technician
Choose the right type of fire extinguisher for your Hamilton
business and you’ll be prepared when disaster strikes.