Does Your Business Have a Fire Extinguisher? | SERVPRO® of Clatsop, Columbia Counties
A few facts about fires: they’re decreasing in the U.S., but the dollar value of the damage they cause is going up. The most common fires, both in residential and business settings, are cooking-related.
Carelessness comes next as a cause (think about an employee carelessly scuffing out a cigarette and tossing it into a trashcan when the boss looks into the bathroom).
Fire Extinguisher Requirements
To put out small fires in a hurry, keep a fire extinguisher on site at your business. In fact, the National Fire Prevention Association code mandates having one. Fire extinguishers are required to be visible and accessible to the people who might need to use them.
Visible. Your fire extinguisher has to be in plain view. If it isn’t—for instance, if you keep it under the break room sink—you must place clear signs indicating where it is.
Accessible. Your fire extinguisher can’t be too near the floor or ceiling. Also, if you have a larger space, your extinguisher(s) must be within 75 feet “travel distance” from any spot in the building. This distance can be as little as 30 feet from specific hazards, such as gasoline.
Kinds of Fire Extinguisher
For most shops and offices, a Class A fire extinguisher is exactly right. If you have additional hazards, though, you may want a more robust fire extinguisher.
Class B can put out flammable liquids, such as gasoline. Class C also resists electrical conduction, meaning it is used in places where there’s a potential for electrical fires. Class D can put out flammable metals.
How to Use a Fire Extinguisher
Sure, you’ve done it (haven’t you)? It’s never a bad time to take just two or three minutes for a fire extinguisher refresher.
- Pull the pin to break the seal.
- Point the nozzle (tube) at the base of the fire.
- Pull the handle.
- Swing back and forth until the fire is out.
It’s also a great idea to place a “how to use” diagram near your business fire extinguisher, just in case.
From fire to storm to flood, disaster can strike a business at any time. To discuss a SERVPRO® Emergency READY Profile for your business, contact us at any hour for assistance.