As a business owner, you have the obligation to protect your employees and property from fire hazards by following the latest fire protection requirements. However, while you should have a fire prevention plan and functional fire protection systems, you should also know when not to attempt to tackle a fire in your commercial property.
Fires in industrial and commercial facilities can be extremely dangerous. Even if you have the best intentions, you may endanger both yourself and others if you attempt to put out a fire on your own, especially if you aren’t sure which fire extinguishers to use for different types of fire. In order to avoid fire-related risks in your Orange County business property, keep reading to learn more about how and when to use fire extinguishers.
When should you not use a fire extinguisher?
While fire extinguishers are highly effective against fires if used correctly, there are certain situations where using them would not be the best idea. Here’s when you shouldn’t attempt to put out a fire yourself:
- You aren’t sure which fire extinguisher to use. Using the wrong extinguisher to tackle a fire can do more harm than good. For instance, you should never use water to put out an electrical fire, as this may make the situation much worse.
- You aren’t fully aware of the instructions. Unless you know how to use the extinguisher properly, evacuate the area and wait for professionals to arrive and handle the emergency.
- You are trying to fight a fire using multiple fire extinguishers. It’s never a good idea to try and fight a fire with several different fire extinguishers on your own. If you don’t have anyone else to help you, call 911 immediately.
- The flames are too big for a single fire extinguisher. If the flames are advancing and spreading rapidly, you would put both yourself and your employees at risk if you tried to fight the fire with one fire extinguisher.
- You don’t have the right kind of extinguisher. You should never try to put out flames without the right kind of extinguisher for the particular type of fire. Using a Class A fire extinguisher on a class C fire, for example, can further escalate the danger.
When should you not tackle a fire?
Before starting to fight a fire yourself, make sure that you have the necessary equipment and knowledge if you want to avoid hurting yourself and others. Here are some situations in which you should let professionals handle the emergency situation:
You don’t know how the fire started
Unless you know the source of the flames, you won’t know which kind of fire extinguisher to use. This is true even if you own a multi-purpose fire extinguisher, as some types of fire can explode and produce toxic smoke.
The flames are too large
If the fire looks too big for a single extinguisher, evacuate the area promptly. A good indication of this is if you empty one extinguisher trying to put out the fire. Instead of looking for another one, leave the area, trying to close any doors behind you in order to help stop the fire from spreading.
You don’t have an adequate fire escape
Unless you can see two clear pathways for escape, don’t try to fight the flames. If you notice that the fire may block your only exits, don’t wait. Instead, quickly move out of the area and call the fire department if you haven’t already.
You don’t have the necessary equipment
Your premises should be equipped with functional fire protection equipment suitable for different kinds of fire. What’s more, your commercial fire extinguishers and sprinkler systems need to be maintained and inspected regularly in order to be effective against fire. If that’s not the case, don’t try to fight the flames yourself.
Equip your business with reliable fire extinguishers in Orange County
If you are an Orange County business striving to comply with fire safety codes and regulations, you’ve come to the right place. At Red Truck Fire & Safety, we offer a wide array of fire extinguisher services for commercial properties across the area. In addition to selling many different kinds of fire extinguishers, we also offer maintenance, repair, and inspection services for both new and established businesses.
Whether you’re located in the vicinity of Huntington State Beach or anywhere else in the county, we’re the ones to call. Reach out to Red Truck Fire & Safety today!