They’re red, they’re heavy, and they can save your life. We’re talking about Fire Extinguishers! Fire Extinguishers can protect you from life threatening flames and are the most commonly owned peace of fire protection equipment. Extinguishers are the first line of defense when a flame occurs and can be a determining factor in yours and the safety and those around you. Whether it is in an office, restaurant or even your home these large pieces of metal are often ignored but can make the difference between a small fire and complete destruction. With that being said, you probably have seen an extinguisher or passed by one as you walked to your desk this morning. But do you know your extinguishers? Not many people realize, but there are different extinguishers for every type of fire. Understanding the different types of extinguishers can help you be prepared for every type of hazard.
There are 4 main types of fire extinguishers: CO2, Dry Powder, AFF Foam, and Water. First are CO2 extinguishers which are commonly used for flammable liquids and electrical fires. These guys are usually found in locations that have large amounts of electrical equipment like computer server rooms. Next we have dry powder extinguishers or ‘ABC’ extinguishers because they can combat against all three classes of fires. These extinguishers are the most commonly used but beware of using them inside as they make a big mess because of their expelling agents! Dry powder extinguishers can most likely be found in offices, schools, or hospitals. Now AFF foam are good for A and B fires. They can be found in large buildings or warehouses. Finally we have water extinguishers, and these are best for class A fires that deal with paper, fabrics, textiles and wood. You can find one of these near the exit of most buildings made of wood or other organic materials.
Although you may not see all of these types of extinguishers all of the time, it is important to have a basic knowledge of any extinguisher that way you are set for every type of fire. Good knowledge of fire extinguishers can help keep you and your loved ones safe, and safety is top priority!
Fires can be extremely scary, in seconds you can lose almost everything. Knowing what to do when an emergency occurs is crucial to your safety and is why the National Fire Protection Association created Fire Prevention Week some time ago. In 1925 the great Chicago fire destroyed homes and even took lives. In commemoration of those who were lost, this week is now a way to educate and further spread awareness about fire prevention to the surrounding community. Because fires are unpredictable and can spark at any time it is important that all members of your family are properly informed on how to stay safe. Safety is what matters most!
This year’s campaign initiative is “Look, Listen, and Learn. Be aware. Fire can happen anywhere”. Look for places a fire could start and make sure that all things that be potential “fire starters” are taken care of. Items such as lit candles, built up dryer lint, and loose lighters are household items that are usually overlooked but are extreme fire starters. Next make sure to Listen for an alarm. Fires do not have a clock and can start anytime anywhere so to ensure you are ready designate a meeting area that is far enough from the potential flames and get out as quickly as possible. Finally is the learning aspect of it all. Whether you are in school or not it is important to learn your surroundings. No matter where you are, make sure to designate 2 forms of exit should a flame start.
Thankfully technology makes everything easier and so does the NFPA. Using printable information cards, online videos, and Sparky the Fire dog of course, the NFPA has made celebrating this week of knowledge fun and easy. There’s no need to look any further with their many resources. If you are looking for an even better experience of this national celebration, many local fire departments will be participating in this initiative as well. By visiting schools, allowing for fire prevention seminars, and even cookouts the options are endless. Make sure that you research your local fire department to see if there are any events you can be a part of. For more information about Fire Prevention Week and to learn how you can prevent any of your own fires visit nfpa.org.
Why Should I Choose an FM-200 Suppression System?
If you’ve done some research into fire suppression and the most effective methods of fire suppression, you’ve probably run across FM-200 fire suppression systems. Although traditional fire sprinkler systems are still used in many residential and business buildings, a waterless option can result in less cleanup and a more efficient suppression. Here are some of the most obvious benefits of using an FM-200 suppression system as your fire suppression system of choice.
Waterless and Clean
Water-based suppression systems are a great choice for some homes and businesses but can leave the entire fire area dripping wet. Electronics and paper products can be ruined, or it may just make for some tedious and potentially expensive cleanup. The FM-200 suppression system, on the other hand, is completely waterless and doesn’t result in those kinds of consequences. In addition, with the California drought, using a fire sprinkler system may be extremely expensive, especially for large business clients in Los Angeles, and some municipalities may have limits on the amount of water your business can use in a certain time period without incurring fines or other punishments. With an FM-200 fire suppression system, you won’t have to worry about that.
Some fire extinguishing systems use carbon dioxide or certain chemicals to smother the fire. While by themselves these are usually non-toxic if used in certain ways they can be extremely dangerous. Triggering a carbon dioxide extinguisher in a small, enclosed space can cause a lack of oxygen, and some people may react poorly to even non-toxic chemicals in fire extinguishers. FM-200 is formed of carbon, fluorine, and hydrogen, all of which are extremely common chemicals and are highly unlikely to cause a reaction in anyone. The most potentially dangerous side effect is that skin contact with the liquid, which is very rare, can cause frostbite.
Extremely Easy to Clean Up
No matter what type of fire extinguisher that’s used, whether it’s water, chemicals, or foam, there is going to be some cleanup required after the fact. Much of the time, this cleanup is as taxing as the actual fire and can take multiple hours. However, the FM-200 fire suppression system discharges within 10 seconds, then leaves absolutely no residue. It’s gained worldwide acceptance and been installed over 100,000 times, and it’s likely that it’s a great idea for you and for your business.