No one has to convince you that having fire extinguishers in the workplace is a good idea. Along with keeping your business in compliance with local safety regulations, those extinguishers will help minimize damage and prevent injuries if a fire should break out. While you understand the basis, there are other things that you need to know about these important safety devices. Here are a few facts that you can put to good use.
Fire Extinguishers Don’t Last Forever
While durable, no extinguisher is built to last forever. They can often be recharged and remain functional for up to 16 years. The thing is that many business owners lose track of how long the units they currently own have been in place. A good rule of thumb is to assume it’s time to replace them if you honestly can’t verify how long they’ve been around.
Monthly Checks and Annual Inspections Are Only the Beginning
You’ve done a great job of arranging monthly checks that ensure the tanks are in good shape and the pins are in place. There’s even someone who comes out and tests the extinguishers once a year to make sure they are still working properly. While that’s great, there’s one more strategy you should employ if you want to make sure those are ready for any emergency. That strategy is arranging for a complete breakdown and a full internal inspection every five to six years.
As with the annual checks, you want a professional from a fire services company to manage the five year inspection. The same firm that conducts the checks every twelve months will also offer the breakdown and inspection every five years. If there are any issues, they can be corrected and ensure the units are operating at full capacity once more.
You Need at Least Two Extinguishers Per Floor
One of the questions many business owners have is the number of extinguishers they should position throughout the company space. In an office suite that takes up most of a single floor, there should be at least two extinguishers present. Depending on the layout and the nature of the business, there may be the need for more. The local fire inspector and a local fire protection company can conduct a full assessment of the space and recommend the quantity and the placement for those extinguishers.
Your Employees Need Training
Are you assuming that everyone knows how to pull a pin and operate an extinguisher? Now is the time to stop that. Having a fire protection expert demonstrate how to use an extinguisher and then having each employee actually operate one is a smart move. In fact, make this part of your new employee training. Everyone who works for the company must be trained and then go through refresher training on an annual basis. All it takes is one fire to justify the time and effort put into the training.
When was the last time you took a good look at the fire extinguishers, , and other key elements of your fire protections system? If it’s been more than a couple of years, arrange for an expert to come in and make a fresh evaluation of your efforts. It may be time to update some equipment, rethink where the alarms are placed, and in general improve the plans for getting people out if a fire should start.
Herbert Williams Fire Sprinkler System, Fire Extinguishers, Fire Protection
- 70 IronsideCrescent , Unit 1, 2, 3 & 4
- M1X 1G4
- +1 416-292-8630