7 things everyone should know about portable extinguishers

Having a portable fire extinguisher in your home and/or your place of business is essential. Every day, extinguishers save lives and prevent catastrophic damage. Given this, the team at Guard-X thought it worthwhile to pass on seven useful pieces of information about fire extinguishers.

1. Types of extinguishers. Since not all fires can be put out in the same way, there are different types, or classes, of portable fire extinguishers (A, B, C, D, K and others). For example, class K extinguishers are meant to be used in a kitchen and are designed to put out oil or grease fires. Using another type of extinguisher can cause such fires to spread.

2. Placement. Extinguishers have to be easy to access and properly mounted on the wall. They need to be at least 10 centimetres off the ground and no higher than 1.5 metres.

3. Recharging. After it has been used —even if just for a few seconds — a rechargeable fire extinguisher has to be refilled. If the extinguisher isn’t rechargeable, it needs to be disposed of and replaced. Some types of extinguishers need to be recharged every 5 or 6 years, regardless of whether or not they’ve been used.

4. Tamper seal. The tamper seal prevents the pull pin from being removed from the extinguisher accidentally. If it isn’t tight enough or is missing, the canister could become discharged, rendering the extinguisher ineffective.

5. Defects. If an extinguisher is dropped, it needs to be inspected by an expert. Even if it has no noticeable damage, its integrity could be compromised and in some cases it can become discharged.

6. Visual inspection. You need to inspect your fire extinguishers every month. The pressure gauge arrow has to be in the green zone, the pull pin has to be in place and the canister has to be free of damage and rust.

7. Annual servicing. You should have your extinguisher inspected by a certified technician once a year. A complete inspection that conforms to the NPFA 10 Standard for Portable Fire Extinguishers ensures that your device is properly charged, in good condition and entirely functional.

Do you have concerns about the condition of your fire extinguisher, or do you want to purchase one of superior quality? At Guard-X, we refill, inspect, sell and annually service portable fire extinguishers. Contact us today!

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