Catastrophic fires can rip through an office building in no time, leaving you completely exposed, vulnerable, and left to pick up the pieces. Being thoroughly prepared for an office fire, even if you think it’ll never happen to you, will not only ensure that you comply with OSHA regulations in terms of fire extinguisher placement, maintenance, and accessibility, but it’ll offer peace of mind to you and your employees.
Portable fire extinguishers are specifically designed to fight different types of fires. The most common fire extinguisher classifications are as follows:
- Class A – Solid combustibles excl. wood, metal, cloth, paper, plastics, and rubber
- Class B – Flammable liquids incl. oil, gasoline, paint, and grease
- Class C – Energized electrical fire (Class C fire becomes null and void if electrical source is removed)
- Class D – Electrical equipment incl. outlets and appliances
- Class K – Cooking oil, animal and vegetable fats, and grease
As a business owner, it’s important to keep the following portable fire extinguishers in and around your workplace to ensure the safety of your employees and office building.
1. Air-pressurized Water Fire Extinguisher (APW)
As one of the most commonly used fire extinguishers for solid combustibles, water extinguishers cool the surface of the fuel to remove the heat source. Avoid using an APW on class B or C fires as it could cause the fire to spread or result in an electrical shock.
Usage: Class A fires
2. Carbon Dioxide Fire Extinguisher
Filled with Carbon Dioxide (CO2) which a non-flammable gas under extreme pressure, this particular fire extinguisher is effective in displacing oxygen or by completely removing the oxygen element. Carbon Dioxide Extinguishers shoot dry pieces of ice from the horn in order to cool the fire.
Usage: Class B and C
3. Dry Chemical Fire Extinguisher
Dry Chemical Fire Extinguishers are highly effective in separating the fuel from the oxygen source by applying a thin layer of fire-retardant powder on the fuel, interrupting the chemical reaction.
Usage: Class A, B, and C or Class B and C to indicate the type of fires they can be used on
4. Foam Fire Extinguishers
Foam extinguishers are ideal for creating a barrier between the liquid and the flame, preventing the vapor from being released into the air which results in fuel for the fire. As one of the more commonly used fire extinguishers, foam fire extinguishers are a must-have for any office building.
Usage: Class B, but can be used on paper and wood as well.
Being fully prepared to fight any type of fire can prevent you from suffering major losses down the line. Keep your employees safe and your office building standing with the correct portable fire extinguishers at hand. Contact us for a free quote.