Best Fire Extinguishers for Your Commercial Location

As a business owner, safeguarding your employees, customers and property from fires is essential. An integral aspect of every fire safety plan is selecting a suitable fire extinguisher. However, with an array of choices in the market, it can be challenging to determine which type of fire extinguisher best suits your commercial location. This article will detail the leading types of fire extinguishers and provide expert advice to help you make a well-informed decision.

Understanding the Different Types of Fire Extinguishers

Before selecting a fire extinguisher, it is essential to comprehend the distinct types and their designated purposes. The following are the five primary fire extinguisher types:

  • Class A extinguishers are designed to fight fires caused by ordinary combustibles like wood, paper, and cloth.
  • On the other hand, Class B extinguishers are explicitly engineered for flammable liquid fires such as gasoline or oil.
  • Class C extinguishers are designed for fires involving electrical equipment.
  • Class D extinguishers are designed for fires involving combustible metals such as magnesium or titanium.
  • Class K extinguishers are designed for fires involving cooking oils and fats.
Detail view of fire extinguisher showing pressure window
Visual Class of Fire infographic containing different types of fires

Assessing Your Fire Hazards

Before purchasing fire extinguishers, you must assess your fire hazards to determine the type and quantity needed. Consider the following questions:

  • What are the potential fire hazards in your location?
  • What type of combustible materials do you have on-site?
  • How large is your commercial space?

Once you have answered these questions, you can determine the appropriate number and type of fire extinguishers needed for your location.

Expert Recommendations for Commercial Fire Extinguishers

Now that you have assessed your fire hazards, it is time to choose the best fire extinguishers for your commercial location. Here are our expert recommendations:

  • Class A Fire Extinguishers: We recommend the Amerex B500 or the Buckeye 11340 for Class A fires. These extinguishers have a 4-A rating, effective against fires involving up to 4 square feet of ordinary combustibles. They are also rechargeable and have durable metal construction. To combat flammable liquid fires, either the Amerex B456 or the Buckeye 50000 have a rating of 10-B:C and are both compact and rechargeable. Electrical equipment fires can get put out using the Kidde Pro 340 or the Amerex B402, which have a rating of 3-A:40-B:C and are rechargeable. If cooking oil or fat fires occur, use the Badger Extra 6 litre or the Amerex B260. They also have a durable metal construction and a pressure gauge for easy monitoring.
  • Class D Fire Extinguishers: For combustible metal fires, we recommend the Amerex D02 or the Buckeye D100. These extinguishers have a D rating, effective against fires involving combustible metals. They are also rechargeable and have durable metal construction.

Installation and Maintenance of Fire Extinguishers

Once you have chosen the appropriate fire extinguishers for your commercial location, installing them properly and maintaining them regularly is essential. Here are some best practices to keep in mind:

  • Install fire extinguishers in easily accessible areas where they can get quickly grabbed during a fire. They should be mounted on the wall or stored on a bracket.
  • Train your employees on how to use fire extinguishers, including when to use them and how to operate them safely.
  • Have your fire extinguishers inspected and serviced annually by a certified professional to ensure they are in good working condition.

FAQs

Fire extinguishers typically have a lifespan of 10-12 years. It is crucial to have them inspected regularly and replaced if they show signs of damage or wear. This simple process can be the difference between saving lives or losing property in the event of a fire.

Contact your local fire department or hazardous waste disposal facility for guidance on properly disposing of your materials. These items should never get thrown in the trash or recycled.

Fire extinguishers must be recharged by a certified professional to ensure proper pressurization and filling with the correct extinguishing agent.

No. No single fire extinguisher can get used on all types of fires. Each fire extinguisher gets designed for a specific fire class, and using the wrong type can be dangerous.

Conclusion

Choosing the correct fire extinguishers for your commercial facility is crucial to ensure the safety of your employees, customers, and property. By understanding the different types of fire extinguishers and assessing your fire hazards, you can make an informed decision on which extinguishers to purchase. Proper installation, employee training, regular inspections, and maintenance checks ensure that these lifesaving tools are in good working condition should a disaster occur. Implementing these tips will grant you peace of mind knowing you are prepared for an emergency.