The fire extinguisher hanging on the wall of your Vaughan
business will be useless if you don’t properly maintain it. There are steps you
can take to help ensure that the fire extinguisher is properly functioning and
ready in case of emergency.
As the owner of the business or property, it is your
responsibility to ensure that the fire extinguishers are more than just
decoration. A fire extinguisher makes a difference and can prevent a small fire
from turning into a raging inferno.
It’s important to inspect every fire extinguisher in the
building and on the grounds at least once a month. The fire extinguisher
should be within reach for all employees. Check to ensure that it’s not too
high on the wall or buried behind merchandise.
Use the monthly inspection to check if the right fire
extinguisher is in the right place. For example, a water extinguisher cannot be
used on electrical fires so you need to ensure that the right type of
extinguisher is within reach of potentially flammable material.
Take the fire extinguisher down and check the pressure
gauge. The needle should be in the green zone. If you notice that the needle
has drifted into one of the red zones placed on either side of the green area,
it’s time to repair or replace the fire extinguisher.
Many people don’t realize that a fire extinguisher needs to
be inspected by a registered fire protection
after six years and twelve years. You can check the manufacture
date on the bottom of the canister. If it’s not there, check the label for a
stamp from the manufacturer.
Needles in the red aren’t the only reason to replace a fire
extinguisher. You should always do a visual check to see if the safety pin is
in place. If the extinguisher’s canister has dents or deep scratches, you
should also consider replacing it with another fire extinguisher.
Even the best fire extinguisher cannot put out a fire
without the right person behind it. Hold training sessions for all employees
and give each a chance to hold the fire extinguisher. You may have a fire
captain or employees more likely to be by the fire extinguisher in emergencies
but everyone needs to know how to properly use different types of fire extinguishers
on the premises.
During your fire safety meeting, also explain that different
types of fires need different extinguishers. A multi-purpose fire extinguisher
with dry powder can put out fires with most ordinary combustible materials,
electrical equipment, and flammable liquids. Make sure your employees
understand that using the wrong type of fire extinguisher can result in
personal injury and a fire that may spread even faster. For example, using a
fire extinguisher filled with pressurized water on electrical equipment could send
an electric shock to the person holding the extinguisher that could cause the
person to fall unconscious, risking further injury or death in a fire.
There’s more to fire prevention than just hanging a fire
extinguisher in your Vaughan business. Regular fire extinguisher inspections
and proper training can help ensure that your employees and Vaughan neighbours
are safer during an emergency.