It is reported that nearly 80% of fires could have been extinguished by a portable fire extinguisher. Unless employees are tasked with fire safety, they may never actually notice the thoughtfully placed fire extinguishers around the building.
Fire extinguishers are designed to fight small, early-stage fires that present a relatively small hazard to the operator. “Portable fire extinguishers can save lives and property by putting out a small fire or containing it until the fire department arrives…” Fire extinguishers are designed for small, slow to grow fires with minimal smoke and heat.
Portable fire extinguishers require monthly visual inspections to help ensure the extinguisher is in proper operating condition. The best practice is to create a checklist for managing regular visual inspections. The below items should be included on the monthly checklist:
- The extinguisher is easily located in a conspicuous, designated, and unobstructed location
- The locking pin is in place
- Tamper seal is unbroken
- Extinguisher feels full when lifted
- The pressure gauge is within the operable range
- Legible operating instructions are facing outward
- Check the last professional service date is within 12 months
Annual inspections may require additional time and more maintenance or testing to be completed by a certified fire suppression professional.
Protect your employees and business by ensuring you have the right fire prevention and protection in place. From fire extinguishers to automatic sprinklers secured overhead, these are your business’s best bet for extinguishing small, controllable fires.
Contact Harbor America to discuss preparing a unique safety plan specific to your business to reduce risks and keep your employees safe.
 Fireline: The Importance of Fire Extinguishers
 National Fire Protection Association: Fire Extinguisher