Fire Extinguisher - Commercial
CAN MY FIRE EXTINGUISHER BE REFILLED?
Always call 911 if you use a fire extinguisher to put out a fire. The fire department will respond to verify no further hazard exists. If you are unable to use the extinguisher, get out, close the door behind you, stay out and call 911.
All fire extinguishers are single (one-time) use. However, a commercial grade portable fire extinguisher can be refilled and recharged after it has been used. This is done by a licensed fire extinguisher inspector. Small, household extinguishers are very often made of plastic materials, designed for one-time use and disposal.
A commercial grade portable fire extinguisher is made of mostly metal materials and has a useful life of many years when properly maintained and serviced by licensed personnel. In your commercial occupancy, an annual inspection must be performed on the extinguishers. Upon passing the inspection, the inspector will place an inspection tag which is good for 12 months. On the back of the inspection tag are 12 boxes, one for each month. You shall inspect the extinguisher each month and date the inspection tag. Your monthly check is visual, verifying the extinguisher gauge is in the green, this means it is charged and ready for use, the safety pin is in place, the handle, nozzle and canister are all in good repair.
The extinguisher must be mounted on a wall bracket, or in a fire extinguisher cabinet. This is called “mounted and conspicuous” and along the normal path of travel, on the way to an exit.
The information below will give you more understanding about extinguishers.
A B C FIRE EXTINGUISHER
The most common type of extinguisher in a home or office is an A B C extinguisher. This refers to the type of fire the extinguisher can be expected to extinguish.
A is ordinary combustibles, such as wood, cloth or paper.
B is flammable liquids like paint, grease, oil, or solvents.
C is live electrical equipment, such as a toaster. If you unplug or turn off the power, now it is A or ordinary combustible.
The size and weight of the extinguisher is also relative to the size of the fire that can be extinguished. For instance 2A:10B:C. The 2A rating is equivalent to 2 ½ gallons of water. The 10B rating is 10 square feet when sweeping the extinguisher at the base of the fire. There is no rating for class C. Remember, when unplugged or de-energized, a C fire is an A fire.
The extinguishing agent is generally a dry powder that is very fine. It can be a respiratory irritant and it is very messy but will do the job of extinguishing a fire in seconds. In fact, the extinguisher will be empty in less than 30 seconds.
Use the P.A.S.S. System to use an extinguisher. Pull the Pin, Aim the Nozzle, Squeeze the handle and Sweep at the base of the fire.
Fire extinguishers do expire. Replace extinguishers at 12 years.