Every commercial property needs to be protected from fire hazards according to pertinent codes and regulations. This typically requires the use of highly effective fire extinguishers that are suitable for different types of fire. But which type of fire extinguisher do you need for your commercial property? And how many fire extinguishing units should you have?
In this article, the leading fire extinguisher repair professionals in Orange County will answer some of your fire-related questions and help you protect your business and your employees to the best of your ability. Read on.
What is the most effective fire extinguisher?
There is no single fire extinguisher that is perfect for all commercial properties. Instead, different fire extinguishers are made to combat specific kinds of fire, with some models being able to tackle more than just a single type. Here is a quick rundown of some of the most effective fire extinguishers on the market:
Multi-purpose dry chemical (ABC)
ABC fire extinguishers are designed for use on A, B, and C Class fires. They can extinguish fires caused by solid combustibles, burning liquids and gases, as well as put out electrical fires effectively. Because of their versatility, they are a great choice for commercial buildings. These extinguishers have a discharge time between 8 and 25 seconds, while their range is between 5 and 20 feet. The only downside is that the extinguisher discharge needs to be cleaned up quickly after use as it can be quite corrosive.
Wet chemical (Class K)
Wet chemical or Class K fire extinguishers are designed predominantly for putting out cooking fires, which makes them a good option for the kitchen of your commercial property. Unlike ABC type extinguishers, wet chemical extinguishers can put out gas fires by forming a blanket of foam which prevents the fire from reigniting. Class K extinguishers have a maximum range between 8 and 12 feet, and a discharge time between 30 and 85 seconds.
Hospitals and other healthcare facilities, as well as any other buildings with valuable and sensitive equipment should have a pressurized water fire extinguisher. While the corrosive discharge of ABC type extinguishers could damage the expensive equipment, water mist extinguishers will put out the fire safely without putting the equipment at risk.
In facilities that have a higher risk of electrical fires or fires caused by flammable liquids, the use of CO2 extinguishers is highly recommended. Such buildings may include computer server rooms, laboratories, and so on. Carbon dioxide extinguishers are typically used on B and C fires, but should not be used for Class D fires.
Sand/metal extinguishers (D-type)
D-type extinguishers are made for combating fires caused by metals, such as titanium, sodium, and magnesium (Class D). They put out fires using an agent based on sodium chloride, and have the maximum range of 3-6 feet, and discharge times that fall anywhere between 8 and 25 seconds. This type of extinguisher is often used in laboratory settings.
How many fire extinguishers do I need?
The exact number of fire extinguishers you will need for your commercial building will depend on a number of factors, such as:
- The layout and size of your commercial space: according to NFPA regulations, the extinguishers in the building shouldn’t have more than 75 feet between them.
- The type and severity of fire hazards: different commercial buildings have higher risks of fire than others.
- Whether there are any flammable liquids in the building: if there are any flammable liquids or gases stored in the facility (5 gallons or more), you should place a fire extinguisher (10B rating or more) near the container, no farther than 50 feet.
- The presence of staircases: buildings that have several floors and stairways should have at least one fire extinguisher placed next to the stairwell.
A licensed fire extinguisher technician will be able to quote you the correct amount of fire extinguishers and types for your property!
Contact us for professional fire extinguisher repair in Orange County
Generally, the best way to determine the necessary type and number of fire extinguishers for your commercial building is to consult professionals. The fire protection specialists at Red Truck Fire & Safety will advise you on the right type, number, and placement for your fire extinguishers. Not only that but we can also install the extinguishers following strict quality standards, as well as educate both you and your staff about the proper fire extinguisher use.
Contact Red Truck Fire & Safety today!