Most businesses are required to have one or more fire extinguishers in their place of business. This may be required by OSHA, state law, county law or even your business insurance company, depending on the type of business you have and where your business is located. A fire extinguisher can help contain flames and minimize the spread of the fire until the fire department arrives or can buy your employees time to escape before flames spread. If you have never purchased a fire extinguisher for your business before, you may not realize that not all extinguishers are the same. Knowing what factors differ among them will help you select the type that is ideal for your business. Here are three important factors to consider when you are buying a fire extinguisher for your business.
The Classification of the Fire Extinguisher
One of the most important factors to consider when selecting a fire extinguisher for your business is what the classification of a fire extinguisher is and what classification you need for your business. The classification affects what material is inside of the extinguisher, which affects what types of fires it can put out. Water, dry powder, carbon dioxide, AFFF foam and vaporizing liquids can all be found in different types of extinguishers, and each item can put out a fire caused or fueled by a different source. A Class A fire extinguisher can be used to put out ordinary combustibles, such as wood, paper and textiles. A Class B fire extinguisher can be used to put out flammable liquids, such as grease. A Class C extinguisher can be used to put out electrical fires. A Class D fire extinguisher can be used on metal fires. And a Class K extinguisher can be used on vegetable oils and fats found in or on cooking equipment. Many extinguishers fall into the different classes. For example, fire extinguishers that have dry powder in them are rated Class A through C, as the material in the extinguisher can put out a fire caused by ordinary combustibles, flammable liquids and electrical fires. Find the extinguisher that puts out the types of fires that may occur in your business.
The Size and Weight of the Extinguisher
Another factor to consider when selecting a fire extinguisher for your business is the size and weight of the extinguisher. In theory, a large extinguisher sounds perfect. It contains more material with which you or your employees can fight a fire with. However, the large the extinguisher, the heavier it is and the more bulky it is. As you shop for an extinguisher, keep in mind the size of your employees and how much they can lift. If you own a retail shop and employee teenage girls, you may need a smaller, lighter extinguisher than if you owned an auto repair shop with men that are used to lifting heavy equipment all day long.
If the Extinguisher is Rechargeable or Disposable
The last factor you will want to keep in mind as you shop for a fire extinguisher for your business is whether the extinguisher is rechargeable or disposable. Generally speaking, disposable extinguishers are cheaper to buy upfront. However, once they are used or the pressure in the extinguisher drops over time as the material naturally evaporates or ages, the extinguisher needs to be discarded and a new one purchased. While rechargeable extinguishers are a bit more to purchase upfront, they can be refilled as needed, which can save you money in the long run. Weighing the pros and cons of a rechargeable versus disposable extinguisher will help you determine which is ideal for your business.
If you have never purchased a fire extinguisher before, you may not realize that they are not all alike. Fire extinguishers have different classifications based on the different materials they are filled with to fight different types of fires, come in different sizes and weights and are either rechargeable or disposable. Learning about these differences and paying attention to them as you shop for an extinguisher will help ensure you find one that best meets the needs of your business. For more information, check out the site of a local fire security company.