Does Your Home or Business Have a Working and Recently Inspected Fire Extinguisher?

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In some parts of the midwest, the first quarter of the school year is coming to a close. And with those first few months of tests and quizzes, essays and lab reports, and band rehearsals and play practices come the required safety and evacuation drills. In fact, probably every school in the country has had to have at least one fire drill so far as well as the required lock down and evacuation drills. What most parents, students, and teachers do not realize, however, if that when the fire drills are taking place, the fire fighters who are responding and monitoring these drills are also checking other precautions in the school.
While students are filing out of the school for the fire drills, some fire workers and marshals may be going through the building looking at fire extinguisher inspections records and checking the access to all fire exits. In fact, some statistics indicate that proper fire extinguisher inspections may do just as much to help in an emergency as the whole building evacuations. For instance, a study of more than 2,000 fire incidents revealed the effectiveness of fire extinguishers by finding that portable fire extinguishers had successfully extinguished more than 80% of the studied fires.
Recently serviced fire protection devices can sometimes help put out small flames in school kitchens, industrial arts shops, and other places in the building. Fire extinguisher services, in fact, are a required and necessary part of all public building safety plans.
Fire Extinguisher Inspections Can Help Your Workplace be Better Prepared in the Event of a Fire
Work places must all have working fire extinguishers. Depending on the size of the building and the number of employees, the number of required extinguishers can, however, vary. Just as importantly, all employees should be informed of the fire extinguisher locations throughout the building. Some companies go so far as to even instruct their employees how to operate these safety devices.
Restaurants are especially vulnerable to fires and the need for a fire extinguisher. Did you know, for instance, that there are more than 8,000 commercial kitchen fires reported a year? Making sure that all fire extinguisher inspections and fire extinguisher recharges are up to date is an important part of an safety plan for any restaurant or other business with a commercial kitchen.
Nearly 57% of commercial kitchen fires invlove cooking equipment. Of the commercial kitchen nonconfined restaurant building fires are started by three kinds of equipment:

  • 9% are caused by deep fat fryers.
  • 7% are caused by ranges.
  • 5% are caused by miscellaneous kitchen and cooking equipment.

Unfortunately, restaurant fires in dining establishments cause an average of $246 million in direct property damage every year. A working fire extinguisher can help limit these damages. Sometimes, in fact, the extinguishers can make short work of small kitchen fires, eliminating the need for calling in a fire alarm.
When a large fire does begin, restaurants have to then rely on the automatic sprinkler systems that are also required in commercial kitchens. These systems that are also a part of schools, hospitals, retail spaces, and other public spaces, should be inspected at least every six months by informed and licensed contractors.
Home Fire Extinguishers Are Often Located in Garages and Laundry Rooms
In addition to being important and required at schools, public buildings, and restaurants, fire extinguishers are also an important safety feature in a home. Often the wall of the garage, which is very often near the kitchen of a home, is the perfect place to have a fire extinguisher. Fire safety measures indicate that fire extinguishers should be located within 30 feet of cooking areas.
Fire safety at home should be just as important as it is at work and at school. Because the beginning of the school year is a time when every student is practiced in fore drills from school buildings and school busses, this may also be a good time to talk about fire safety in your home. Making sure that children know the safest exit in the even of a fire and letting older children know where the fire extinguisher is located can be an important part of a family discussion and meeting.