Fire Extinguishers, Common Issues
Fire Extinguishers are a important life saving safety device for businesses. They can be used to extinguish incipient stage fires.
During the Christchurch Earthquakes many companies used their extinguishers to break glass windows, help prop up furniture off people, and used fire hoses to climb out of their buildings to safety. Even though these actions are not recommended as they can damage the cylinders, they were certainly life saving devices during the day.
This Safety Talk identifies common issues associated with fire extinguishers. Following the best practices listed below can assist in mitigating issues and ensuring fire extinguishers remain ready to be used in an emergency.
The bottom of fire extinguishers can rust, allowing for leaks and compromise.
By placing them on the wall, you can minimise the chance of the bottoms rusting,as they get air surrounding the cylinder, reducing moisture and exposure to elements from the ground. Being fastened to the wall also helps people locate the extinguisher and reduces the risk of being damaged by impacts on the ground.
Partial deployment can leave extinguisher hoses susceptible to clogging over time. The extinguisher agent can remain in the hose and act as a plug. If you partially deploy your extinguisher, get it checked and cleaned by a service agent.
After partial deployment, pressure loss is common. Another reason to get the extinguisher checked by a service agent.
Seals and Gaskets
Seals and gaskets can disintegrate after long periods on non-use. These will effect the use of the extinguisher.
Fire Extinguishers left in contact with harsh environment elements can lose
pressure and result in faulty mechanical use. If possible try keep your extinguishers in a clean, dry environment or in a containment unit.