To maintain a safe work environment for you and your employees, you might be buying some fire extinguishers and placing them throughout your company's building. This action can seem simple, but if you want to ensure that they are used properly and work effectively when you need them, you'll need to pay attention to these tips.
Choose the Right Extinguisher
You might not know this, but there are many different types of portable extinguishers you can purchase. If you don't pick the appropriate one for the type of fire that could erupt in your building, the extinguisher might not be that effective; in fact, it could make the fire worse. The types include:
- Class A: suitable for fires that involve paper, wood, and other carbon-based items
- Class B: suitable for flames resulting from paint, kerosene and other flammable substances
- Class C: for electrical fires
- Class F: for fires involving fats or oils
Be aware that each type contains different materials that make them effective for certain fires; Class A extinguishers might have water in them to fight carbon-based fires, for instance, but that renders them ineffective with electrical fires. Therefore, before you buy an extinguisher, you need to have some idea of where in the building you will place it so that it is most useful. For example, you might want to put Class A extinguishers in the offices of your building, while using a Class F extinguisher in the employee break room.
Have Training Sessions
It's one thing to have all the extinguishers in the building available, but if a fire breaks out, fear may take over and employees might be too flustered to figure out how to get the extinguishers to work. That's why it's smart to have periodic training sessions to make certain that everyone knows how to deploy an extinguisher. You might pair these sessions with fire drills or other regular group meetings.
Check for Expirations
Another thing you may not know about extinguishers is that they are less potent over time. Each extinguisher you purchase will come with an expiration date, and to be safe, it is wise to not have expired extinguishers on hand. Know the expiration dates of the extinguishers in your building so that you can replace them as needed.
After becoming aware of the information laid out here, you should have a better plan in place regarding fire extinguishers in your company's building. Talk with fire safety companies like Echo Fire Protection to get more pointers.