Most business owners are aware that fire extinguishers are a legal requirement in their buildings. However, many are unaware of several other facts about fire extinguishers that can help keep their property and employees safe and their facility in compliance. Below, we’re going to discuss why fire extinguishers are so important and what you need to know about them as a business owner.
The Importance of Fire Extinguishers
Fire extinguishers are most important because they can protect your building and employees in the case of a fire. Correctly placed and maintained extinguishers can help put out or slow down the spread of a fire, giving the people inside more time to escape and limiting property damage. They’re also a legal requirement and must be appropriately placed, or you may face penalties.
What Can Happen if You Don’t Have All the Facts
Several things can happen if you fail to provide proper fire extinguisher placement and maintenance. First, you could be fined if you’re found in violation of the requirements set forth by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) or the National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA).
Second, you may be inadvertently putting your employees and your property at higher risk. Not having the proper, functioning fire extinguishers in your building could mean that a fire spreads more readily, endangering anyone in your facility and potentially leading to total property loss.
Things You Need to Know
As a business owner, you should be informed about the following fire extinguisher facts:
1 – You Need to Have the Right Kind of Extinguishers
There are a few different types of fire extinguishers, each designed for use based on the kind of fire. Whether your building requires ABC, CO2, or Class-K extinguishers depends on your business and building setup. Contact one of our highly trained professionals if you need help determining which type you need, if you need to purchase new extinguishers, or have your existing ones inspected.
2 – They Need to Be Inspected Regularly
You or one of your employees needs to inspect your extinguishers monthly and record your findings. In addition, a professional inspection is required annually by a professional.
3 – They Expire and Need Recharging
Fire extinguishers don’t last forever. Even if your monthly inspections don’t uncover damage or malfunction, you need to replace your equipment regularly. They may also need to be recharged to ensure they’ll work if you need them to put out a fire.
4 – There Are Requirements for Placement in Your Building
Even if you have the right extinguishers for your building, you can be fined or expose yourself to excessive property damage if they aren’t appropriately situated in your building’s layout. They need to be easily accessible and in a logical area for fire suppression.
5 – You Can’t Just Throw Out Old Extinguishers
Lastly, fire extinguishers need proper disposal. You can often deliver them to your local fire department for disposal or bring them to a facility that manages chemical disposal.
Ready to get your building up to fire extinguisher code?