How to Choose the Right Fire Extinguisher

When you enter a building, you will notice fire extinguishers hanging on walls or sitting in small, closed corners. You should know that fire extinguishers have different types, which is what other people refuse to believe. They think fire extinguishers are the same, but that is where they are wrong.

Each fire extinguisher type serves a purpose on what potential fires you will encounter in the future. Failing to get the right fire extinguisher could result in the fire not being extinguished quickly. Before you hire fire extinguisher installation services, you need to know how to choose the right fire extinguisher for your building.

Know the Fire Hazards You Are Dealing With

Every building will have different fire hazards to deal with, so you must know what type of fire your building will most likely encounter. Usually, you have your average combustible materials, faulty electrical appliances, flammable liquids like gas or oil, and even tools used for jobs like construction. Knowing the potential fire hazards in your building lets you quickly determine what type of fire extinguisher you need.

Know the Different Fire Extinguisher Classes

Before you buy fire extinguishers for your building, you also need to know that they have five different classes. Each fire extinguisher class can effectively extinguish a fire that other classes cannot do. You should also note that older versions of fire extinguishers have coloured geometrically shaped labels to indicate their classification. In comparison, newer versions have pictures on their labels showing the types of fire hazards it can extinguish.

  • Class A – Usual combustible materials, including cloth, wood, paper, etc
  • Class B – Highly-flammable liquids, including oil, grease, gasoline, etc
  • Class C – Electrical equipment and appliances
  • Class D – Highly flammable metals such as cerium, phosphorus, magnesium, cesium, etc
  • Class K – Cooking oils like vegetable and animal fat-based greases

Make sure to note these fire extinguisher classes to get an idea which building levels have these hazards.

Check the UL Rating

You can find the UL rating on the fire extinguisher label, and it means that the fire extinguisher has been tested for performance and safety by the Underwriters Laboratory (UL). They are numerical ratings that let you compare the respective extinguishing effectiveness of other fire extinguishers. Ensure you understand the UL rating before hiring fire extinguisher installation services to ensure it matches your building’s fire protection needs.

The Right Fire Extinguisher Size

There are different fire extinguisher sizes you can choose from, depending on where you want to place it. They prefer getting smaller-sized fire extinguishers in most residential areas since their home’s area is not too large. But for most commercial buildings, you will generally see larger sizes hung on walls and placed on small corners because of how large the building is. You should keep in mind some points on correctly choosing the right size for a specific space.

  • 10-pound Fire Extinguishers – You can find this size in large spaces with tons of hazardous materials such as commercial buildings, warehouses, workshops, and garages.
  • 5-pound Fire Extinguishers – You should consider getting this size if you plan on installing it in medium-sized spaces, including offices and homes.
  • 2-pound Fire Extinguishers – They are portable fire extinguishers that you can mostly find in trucks and cars when a fire happens on the engine bay.

You need to note the tips mentioned above to choose the correct fire extinguisher type for your building. You can also talk with your fire protection contractor to effectively know which building levels will need fire extinguishers.

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