class b fire
Check the Extinguisher Expiration Date
Many extinguishers have an expiration date. Between changing safety standards and obsolete technology, extinguisher expiration is not cut and dry. An expired extinguisher does not comply with NFPA code. The first test is the 1955 rule: all extinguishers manufactured before 1955 are obsolete. The safety powers-that-be have determined which types and corresponding years require an extinguisher to be removed from service. If your extinguisher is from 1984 or before, you’ll need to check its type to make an informed decision about the expiration. Double check with your certified professional about any extinguishers manufactured from 1955 to 1984. Here’s a guide to some of the years and types to look out for.
Extinguishers to Replace
To replace an extinguisher or not? Old, banned technology and defective units must also be removed from service. Some extinguishing chemicals that were once widely used have been banned. In addition, any damaged extinguishers must be removed from service. Here’s a list of what you don’t want in your extinguishers.
So, What Now?
If your extinguishers are no longer compliant, a certified professional must replace the equipment. If you need an extinguisher professional, you can connect to one here.
Please note, while this post may be very informative, every case is individual. We recommend discussing your needs with a certified professional. You have everything to gain and little to lose with a quick, free call or email. Click here to contact a certified extinguisher professional now.
What Does P.A.S.S. Stand For?
If you have a fire extinguisher and are unfamiliar with PASS, you’ll probably need training before you use the equipment.
Click here to learn about extinguisher training. Until then, here’s a quick review of what to do:
Determining if your extinguishers are compliant can be confusing. Fear not, here’s the breakdown to clarify the basics.
Choosing your Extinguisher: Step One
Not all extinguishers are created equal. Extinguishers serve different purposes. You may have noticed letters and color codes on your equipment. What does it all mean? More importantly, are your extinguishers the best choice for the area they are serving?
The first step is to survey the location in question. Peek into your crystal ball and inventory all potential hazards. Note substances or equipment that will burn. This information will determine the classification of extinguisher you will need.
The Extinguisher Alphabet?
Extinguishers are classified based on the hazard type. Classifications are A, B, C, D, K.
ABC is the most commonly used extinguisher and will serve most areas well. In certain instances however, an ABC extinguisher is insufficient. These cases may require a less common classification such as a D or K. In ever rarer cases, a more specific extinguisher may be required, i.e. a magnetic area requires a non-conductive extinguisher.
Choosing your Extinguisher: Step Two
The second step is to inventory your equipment and surroundings. Extinguishers hold different suppression agents—some of which leave moisture or a mess. You wouldn’t put a foam extinguisher in a data room. The foam would destroy the servers in the process of smothering the fire. On the other hand, a carbon dioxide extinguisher would be ineffective in an outdoor area. One gust of wind and the fire would have enough oxygen to keep burning.
The most common types of extinguishers are as follows:
Water-Only use these on class A fires. Honestly, in most cases a water extinguisher is probably not a smart investment.
Dry Chemical-These work great for A, B, and C class fires. They leave a non-flammable substance behind to keep the fire from reigniting. They will make a mess so avoid using these in data rooms or computer labs.
Carbon Dioxide-Use these on B or C fires. They are great for extinguishing electronics without harming them, and leave no mess. They are not as effective for the outdoors.
The extinguishers listed above are not the only ones available, and you may be in a position to have a more robust extinguisher on site.
If you need an extinguisher professional now, you can connect to one here.
If your equipment is up to code, you’ll probably need to be trained to use the equipment. Click here to learn about extinguisher training.