While the absence of smoke/fire alarms is the largest risk factor when it comes to fire-related fatalities, the absence of working fire extinguishers definitely raises your risk of serious injury or death. Proper fire extinguisher testing and fire extinguisher maintenance should be an essential component of your fire safety plan.
Commercial Fire Extinguisher Maintenance
While homeowners certainly should consider regular fire extinguisher maintenance, businesses are required by law to have working extinguishers at all times. We highly recommend that you inspect each of your fire extinguishers each month, and perhaps even more if your business is at a higher risk of fires.
For instance, if you own a restaurant or a business that involves the use of combustible materials or perhaps certain types of chemicals, it can be smart to do a quick check each week or every other week.
For these inspections, you simply go to the location of each extinguisher and check the pressure gauge. This gauge should have the needle in the green zone, which indicates that the pressure is neither too or too low.
In addition to checking the gauge, check the general condition of each extinguisher. Is the pin in place? Are there any dents? Do you see signs of rust or evidence of any leaks? It’s also crucial that the extinguisher is easily accessible and not blocked by anything, such as a desk, equipment or anything else that could make is difficult to grab and use quickly.
This type of inspection can be performed by a business owner or perhaps an employee. When it comes to complete fire extinguisher maintenance and fire extinguisher testing, this needs to be handled by someone with professional experience, such as ourselves. Typically, you need to schedule fire extinguisher maintenance each year and sometimes more often depending on your business.
In addition to yearly scheduled fire extinguisher maintenance, if you use an extinguisher at any time, even if just a tiny bit of extinguishing material is used, you need to have your extinguisher refilled and recharged as soon as possible. This will ensure that the extinguisher is 100% ready to be used again.
With some smaller extinguishers, it can be cost-effective to simply replace the extinguisher. For larger and more expensive models, it is more cost-effective to have these refilled and recharged by professionals.
Residential Fire Extinguisher Maintenance
Commercial and multi-home residential properties have very strict fire codes, and while homeowners don’t face the same codes and rules, most fire-related fatalities in Canada do occur in single-family residences.
While possessing working fire extinguishers is certainly important for all homeowners or renters, it is absolutely crucial that every home in Canada have working smoke/fire alarms as well as a carbon monoxide detector. The number of alarms and detectors you need varies depending upon the size of your home and the number of storeys.
Nearly all residential fire-related deaths occur in homes without working fire and smoke alarms. Still, fire extinguishers also are important; as these devices can help you put out a fire or at least push back or halt the progress of a fire in order to allow you and your family members to escape from your home.
In addition to inspecting your extinguishers each month, make a note of the expiration date and replace the extinguishers before they expire. Typically, an extinguisher will last about 5 to 10 years, although some won’t expire for 15 years. If your extinguisher doesn’t have an expiration date on it, we definitely recommend you replace it after about eight to 10 years.
How Many Fire Extinguishers Do You Need?
For our commercial customers, the number of extinguishers you need will vary, and we can help you determine the number you need and where they should be placed. For homeowners, there aren’t strict regulations, but you definitely should have an extinguisher in the kitchen, the laundry room and any room where there is a fireplace.
We also recommend that you place extinguishers in the bathrooms and perhaps even in a few bedroom closets. Statistically, the majority of house fires occur at night, so having extinguishers in your bedroom can make it easier for you to escape if a fire occurs. If your home has a second storey, we do recommend that you invest in a fire ladder, as well as extinguishers.
What Type Of Fire Extinguishers Do You Need?
For homeowners, you typically only need ABC fire extinguishers. These general use extinguishers will put out just about any type of fire you might encounter as a homeowner. There are many different sizes of ABC extinguishers, and for homeowners, we usually recommend the 2.5 pound or 5 pound extinguishers, although a 10-pound extinguisher might be a good option if you have a workshop where you might work with flammable materials.
Commercial properties also typically will need some ABC extinguishers, and usually these will be larger extinguishers than what homeowners might need. Some commercial properties also might need special types of extinguishers, such as a Class D extinguisher or Class F. We can help you determine the number of extinguishers you need as well as the type, so that you adhere to the Ontario Fire Codes.
How Tesla Can Help
Aside from helping you with fire extinguisher testing and fire extinguisher maintenance, we also sell fire extinguishers and stock just about any type you might need at affordable prices. In fact, with our 5-pound ABC extinguisher, we offer the best price in the GTA.
We also can provide you with many other fire safety products and we can install fire alarm systems of any size, as well as providing inspections and repairs for these systems. We can even install emergency lighting and sprinklers for any size business, from small stand-alone shops up to large apartment communities, hospitals, schools and other large facilities.
If you need fire extinguishers or any fire safety products, you can purchase them directly from our website. If you have any questions or need recommendations about what to purchase or need fire extinguisher testing, feel free to give us a call at 416-535-9693.