Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Building Safety Month: Fire Extinguishers

May is building safety month, and Mike Holmes is promoting awareness by posting articles on his website, Facebook, and Twitter accounts about how to maintain a healthier, safer home. Today, Mike posted an article linked to his official website regarding fire extinguishers. When should we use fire extinguishers (as opposed to or in conjunction with calling the fire department)? How many should we have in our home? Where should we keep them? These are questions that Mike addresses in detail in his article, "Fire Extinguishers: A Safety Tool For Every Home." Mike also explains the differences between the three basic classes of fire extinguishers and informs readers of how and when they're used. These are important factors to consider when choosing extinguishers and their placement in your home. Once you have the right extinguisher in your home, it's important to maintain them and have them inspected at least once a year by a professional. However, just as we periodically check the batteries in the smoke alarm, it's important to perform periodic checks on your fire extinguishers to make sure they are operating optimally at all times.

When emergency strikes, it's important to have a game plan. Fire extinguishers are a big part of that game plan and an important piece of safety equipment that no home should be without.

From MakeItRight.ca:

Fire Extinguishers

A safety tool for every home
Thursday May 8th
Fire extinguishers are important safety tools. When used properly they can help put out a small fire or contain it until firefighters arrive.
Fire extinguishers do not replace the need to call Fire Services. No matter how small a fire might seem, you should always call 9-1-1 first.
There should be fire extinguisher on every floor of your home but the total number of fire extinguishers you should have depends on the size and features of your house. For example, every home should have a fire extinguisher accessible in areas where blazes are most likely to start, such as in the kitchen and garage. If a home has more than one kitchen—one on the main floor and perhaps one in the basement—there should be a fire extinguisher located near both, as well as in other areas.


Fire extinguishers should be installed in plain view, beyond the reach of children, near an exit route and away from stoves and heating appliances. Have them handy on every floor of your home, including kitchen areas, the garage/workshop, and at the top of the basement stairwell.


There are 3 basic classes of fire extinguishers—A, B and C. Each class fights a different type of fire, so it’s important to use the right extinguisher for the type of fire you are attempting to contain or put out.
Class A: For fires involving ordinary combustibles, such as paper, wood, drapes and upholstery.
Class B: For fires involving flammable liquids, such as gasoline, oils, solvents, paints and flammable gases.
Class C: Electrical fires that involve class "A" or class "B" materials, as well as live electrical power. This includes overheated wiring, fuse boxes, stoves, etc. No extinguisher gets a Class C rating without a Class A and/or Class B rating.
Some extinguishers can be used on more than one type of fire, so these extinguishers will be labeled with more than one letter appearing in a horizontal sequence, such as A-B-C or B-C. An ABC dry chemical extinguisher can handle most common household fires, from grease to electrical.
There are also Class D and Class K fire extinguishers, but these extinguishers are not common in residential homes.
Class D: For fires involving combustible metals, such as magnesium, titanium, potassium and sodium. For that reason they are usually found in laboratories.
Class K: For fires involving cooking oils, trans-fats or fats that can build-up on (or in) cooking appliances. These extinguishers are usually found in cafeteria kitchens and restaurants.

Every fire extinguisher must be inspected at least once a year by a professional and it must have a tag on it that indicates when it was last inspected and by whom. Check the tag to make sure the extinguisher has not expired.
In Canada, every fire extinguisher must also be tested and listed by the Underwriters' Laboratories of Canada (ULC). Make sure the ULC label appears on the extinguisher.
You should also be checking the extinguisher yourself every month—just like your smoke alarms and CO detectors. A quick check is easy, but always refer to the operator’s manual first.
Fire Extinguisher
To check:
  1. Make sure the pin is intact. The pin is meant to stop you from grabbing the extinguisher and accidentally releasing the agent. Also check the extinguisher for dents, leaks, rust and any other signs that it might need to be replaced.
  2. Check the tamper seal. Its purpose is to verify that the extinguisher hasn’t been tampered with. If it’s broken, it could mean that the extinguisher has been used. If the extinguisher has been used or the seal is broken, replace the extinguisher or have it professionally inspected.
  3. Check the pressure. Every fire extinguisher should have a gauge. If the needle on the gauge is the green zone it means that the extinguisher is fully charged. If the needle is below the green zone, it needs to be recharged or replaced. To recharge or replace a fire extinguisher contact the association that appears on the tag.
  4. Tip it upside down. The agent inside the extinguisher can settle at the bottom—it has the consistency of flour and can easily get packed over time. Turn the fire extinguisher upside down a few of times to break up the agent inside.

Remember “P-A-S-S” when using a fire extinguisher to contain or put out a small fire in your home:
  1. P ULL out the locking pin, which breaks the seal. Some extinguishers use different release devices, so always refer to your operator's manual before using the extinguisher.
  2. A IM the nozzle or hose about 3 metres or 10 feet away from the base of the fire.
  3. S QUEEZE the trigger handle to release the extinguishing agent.
  4. S WEEP the extinguisher from side to side, moving it front to back, across the base of the fire until it appears to be out. Wait and keep your eyes on the area because the fire could reignite. If so, repeat the process. Never turn your back on a fire even if you think it’s out. 

1 comment:

  1. Godt arbeid ... unikt område og interessant også ... keep it up ... ser frem til mer updates.i var virkelig imponert av bloggen din kan du holde på å dele en slik blogg.