A Simple Guide to Buying Fire Extinguishers for Your Office
Investing in fire extinguishers is a critical step to managing fire hazards in your office and safeguarding your investment. As a business owner, it is your duty to determine the kind of extinguishers to buy and in what quantities. Unfortunately, most people don't put much thought into the selection process. When a fire occurs, you may end up finding that you have the wrong equipment to fight it. However, you can avoid such a calamity by utilizing these tips as you buy fire extinguishers for your office.
Identify your fire hazards
First, you need to determine the kind of fire hazards that you are facing in your business. These will depend on the nature of operations. If you have an office that deals with paperwork only, your primary hazards are from paper. If you deal with paint, your business is exposed to fires from flammable liquids. This is also the case if you have a kitchen in your office. If you have a manufacturing business that deals with timber, you may be exposed to fires that result from wood.
Determine the fire classes
Identifying the hazards that your business is exposed to enables you to find the right fire extinguishers for the job. Extinguishers are classified based on six fire classes. Class A fires result from solids such as paper, wood, and textiles while Class B fires result from flammable liquids such as paint and petrol. Class C fires are caused by flammable gases and Class D fires by metals. Class E fires occur due to electrical faults and Class F fires involve cooking oils and fats.
Your business may be exposed to more than one class of fire depending on the activities you engage in and the equipment you have in your facility.
Choose the right extinguishers
Once you have identified your risks, the next step is to find an extinguisher to manage the class of fire that you are exposed to. There are water extinguishers for class A fires, foam for classes A and B, CO2 for classes B and E, wet chemical for classes A and F, and powder for all fire classes except F. Now, what should you do if your business is exposed to various kinds of fires?
The best option is to go for extinguishers that put out multiple types of fires. These include CO2, wet chemical, and powder extinguishers. So for example, if you deal with paper and flammable liquids, a powder fire extinguisher would be an ideal choice. You can also go for two or three types of extinguishers and place them where different fire hazards are more likely to occur.
Having trouble finding the right extinguishers for your business? Contact an expert who can help you evaluate your risks and choose the best extinguishers to prevent fire hazards.