How to Make Sure That You Have the Right Type and Quantity of Fire Extinguisher for Your Operation

When you're in charge of a complicated business operation, you have a lot to think about. You need to make sure that the company operates efficiently, has a successful sales and marketing operation, conforms with all regulations and maintains a good image. In addition, you are responsible for all of the people who work or visit the location, as well as the equipment or machinery within. To help you succeed here, you need to put specific safeguards in place including the right type of fire extinguisher. You've also got to make sure that everyone knows what to do in the event of such an emergency. Where do you start?

Analysing Your Risk

As you probably know, there is no such thing as a standard fire extinguisher. Today, there are six different types that are designed to deal with closely-defined categories of fire. You need to determine what safeguards you need to introduce, based on the likelihood of a fire breaking out that involves different materials, or that may engulf specific types of equipment. Remember, it is not always possible to use one type of extinguisher on a given fire, depending on its origin. You need to ensure that everyone who could encounter such a situation is aware of this and will know how to react, without any confusion.

How to Buy

When you buy fire extinguishers, they will always be classified according to the type of fire they can be used on and this will be clearly displayed on the outer casing. Some may be designed to cope with several different classes, such as the widely-available powder extinguishers, that can in many cases cope with four different categories of fire. These are a good all-round solution for most locations, but you may have to augment them with another type of fire that is designed for a different risk, such as cooking fat or oil in a kitchen.

Bringing Everyone up to Speed

Have regular training sessions with everyone on your team to make sure that they know how to use a fire extinguisher correctly. They should learn to fight a fire if – and only if – they have access to an escape route easily and so long as the area is not filled with smoke. You need to have a detailed escape plan and make sure that all your extinguishers are regularly checked by qualified technicians, so that you are as prepared as possible for such a dreaded event.

Are You Set?

Have a word with your suppliers, to make sure that your establishment is equipped with the right categories and in the right quantities.