FIRE EXTINGUISHERS & FIRE BLANKETS

Fire Extinguishers

Fire extinguishers are important for any building or businesses. Having the correct fire protection solution is vital in extinguishing or controlling small fires that could occur. There are a range of Fire Extinguishers that are required for the many different types of fires that one can encounter. Ask East Coast Fire and Safety which one would be right for your business. Extinguishers require regular inspection to guarantee the correct and reliable function in the event of a fire. East Coast Fire and Safety can install and service all fire extinguishers that businesses have installed around the building. We also offer courses and training in the proper use of fire extinguishers that covers which extinguishers are used for which class of fire and how to correctly use it in the case of an emergency.

There are five different extinguishers that can be used to control and extinguish fires. These are Water Fire Extinguishers, Wet Chemical Fire Extinguishers, Foam Fire Extinguishers, Powder ABE Fire Extinguishers and CO2 Fire Extinguishers. Each of these extinguishers is used for the several different classes of fires, some can be used to contain multiple forms of them whereas others can only be used on one particular class to eliminate the possibilities of any further damage that may occur.

This is because some extinguishing agents can actually cause more damage if used on the wrong class of fire. For example, you should NEVER use a water extinguisher on an electrical fire. It is important to know the classes of fire and the types of extinguishers which can be used on them.

The five classes of fires that an extinguisher can be used on are simply categorized as Class A, B, C, E, and F.

  • Class A is wood, paper, and plastic.
  • Class B is flammable and combustible liquids.
  • Class C is flammable gasses.
  • Class E is energised electrical equipment.
  • Class F is cooking oils and fats.

 

How do you test a Fire Extinguisher?

By Australian Law, it is mandatory that fire extinguishers must be inspected every 6 months.

The following steps must be taken when testing a fire extinguisher and must only be carried out by a component fire practitioner.

Note that the list of steps following is simply a guide on how to test a fire extinguisher. Contact East Coast Fire and Safety about how to test, maintain and replace extinguishers to the correct standards.

  • Check that there is nothing obstructing the extinguisher, such as boxes, shelving etc, and that it is in a suitable location for easy access and best coverage.
  • Ensure that there is the correct signage identifying the exact contents of the extinguisher and a location sign.
  • Make sure that the bracket that is holding the extinguisher to the wall is properly secure.
  • Ensure that the “pull pin” is in its proper place and secure and that the anti-tamper device is not broken and has not been removed.
  • Examine the extinguisher for any physical damages, such as possible corrosion, any leaks that have occurred, a broken handle or a blocked or damaged nozzle.
  • Weigh the extinguisher to make sure it is still full. If it is a powder extinguisher turn it upside down, listening to make sure the powder is still loose and has not solidified to the bottom of the bottle.
  • Check that the extinguisher is still in its operational date (this is within 5 years from the state of manufacture).
  • Check and update the stamp on the maintenance tag with the month of testing once all checks are completed. Any defects that are found also need to be logged at the end of the test.

Fire Blankets

Importance of Fire Blankets

The equipment to cook and heat food is the heart of your home, can be the productive centre of your business, or the added touch that makes work life nicer for yourself and your staff. No matter where the cooking happens, every kitchen or cooking surface should have a fire blanket ready.Ideal for fat and oil-based fires, a fire blanket well located in your kitchen can mean the difference between a small fright and an out of control fire. Fire blankets are resistant to temperatures up to 500OC, and work by removing the oxygen from the immediate atmosphere of the fire. Cheap, low maintenance and easy to use, a fire blanket is an absolute necessity as part of your home or business’s fire safety plan.

Tips and Advice

  • Storage is more important than many realise, keep your fire blanket near to the stove on an adjacent wall. You don’t want to reach across flames to access the blanket.
  • To use the blanket, wrap the top corners around your hands, then lay the blanket over the fire in a controlled way. You want to avoid dropping the blanket or throwing it down.
  • Leave the blanket in place until no heat can be felt.
  • If someone’s clothing is on fire, wrap the blanket around the area and have them roll on the ground.
  • Fire blankets are most effective for oil or fat fires, and can be useful for small flammable solids or liquid fires.
  • Single use only. Replace your fire blanket after an incident.

Frequently encountered faults include but are not limited to:

  • Corrosion; This includes any that has occurred on the bottle, handle, pin, bracket, etc.
  • Broken handles or triggers; Broken handles can occur due to misuse of the fire extinguisher, general weathering and wear and tear or from the incorrect use when it is being used to extinguish a fire.
  • Overdue pressure test; The pressure test should be done at least every five years to ensure that the extinguisher will function properly.
  • Incorrect signage; Each fire extinguisher should be labelled correctly to show what the contents are and the class of fires that it can be used on. The location of the extinguisher should also have the proper signage
  • Fire blankets are most effective for oil or fat fires, and can be useful for small flammable solids or liquid fires.
  • Low pressure; if the pressure gauge is not in the green zone then the pressure is not correct in the extinguisher. If this is the case then the fire extinguisher will not work effectively, if at all.
  • The extinguisher has been tampered with in some way; for example, if the pins have been removed.

Contact East Coast Fire and Safety to discuss the options for fire extinguisher training and courses so your staff can safely use the fire protection equipment installed throughout your building. 

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