January 31, 2020

What You Should Know About Fire Extinguishers

If you own a business in Vancouver, you already know how important it is to have fire extinguishers in your building along with fire protection equipment that is up to code, but have you ever wondered why it’s so important to have fire extinguishers in your building?

To start with, different fire extinguishers in Vancouver are designed for specific types of fires. For example, grease fires have different qualities than electrical fires and require a different method to put out the fire. If your business is more likely to have a grease fire, it’s important to make sure you have a Class K wet chemical fire extinguisher that is made for putting out grease fires in commercial kitchens. Other types of fire extinguishers include:

Multi-purpose ABC dry chemical fire extinguishers are for Class A, B and C fires. Those include ordinary, flammable liquid and electrical fires under normal circumstances. If you have sensitive equipment that could be damaged by chemicals found in ABC fire extinguishers, look for a water mist extinguisher instead.

If you work in a laboratory or similar environment, look for a carbon dioxide fire extinguisher. If you work in an industrial setting, look for a sodium chloride fire extinguisher that can put out a Class D fire of flammable metal.

In order to be in compliance with the BC Fire Code, fire extinguishers must be inspected and tested regularly. One easy way to ensure compliance is to have a certified ASTT technician keep your equipment operational and up to date according to the Code.

If you have had to use your fire extinguisher in Vancouver recently, make sure you recharge it after use. Keeping it fully charged is an important part of making sure you are ready in an emergency.

In keeping with that thought, it’s important to remember that fire extinguishers don’t last forever. While they may have an expiration date, without regular testing it is impossible to know if they are still working. If you don’t have a rechargeable cannister, remember that disposable extinguishers cannot be recharged and need to be replaced annually.

If you have an old cannister that needs to be disposed of, make the right call and properly dispose of it. Call your local fire department to see if they take old cannisters for proper disposal. If not, take it to a hazardous waste disposal facility. If the cannister is fully empty, you may be able to drop it off at a local steel recycling facility, but be sure to call first to confirm.

Fire safety is something everyone needs to take seriously. Having a working fire extinguisher is an easy way to help ensure you’re prepared should a fire occur in your place of work.