What is the necessity of fire extinguishers? To many of you, fire extinguishers are those red cans one sees at the corners of a building, stairways, and other points where they’re easily accessible.
These red cans are in fact the first line of defence that helps extinguish the fire, thus saving a number of souls and preventing significant damage to the building. Building owners are required by the rules and regulations of the government to install fire extinguishers, emergency lights, and other safety precautions for the well-being of residents.
Fire extinguishers, which come in red cans, can be defined as active fire protection and portable device that is capable of extinguishing smaller fires by any individual when appropriately used. The device works by ejecting a jet of gas, foam, or water onto material that is on fire, effectively extinguishing those fires. Fire extinguishers are a personal arsenal to protect oneself against fires.
The fires that cause death and severe injuries to civilians also bring forth destruction and property loss amounting to tens of billions of dollars in the U.S. Whereas these fires can be stopped before turning into catastrophic failures, that is when fire extinguishers come into action. Here are some of the reasons why one should install fire extinguishers as a basic fire safety precaution in their building:
Due to the occurrence of different types of fires, there are different types of fire extinguishers to quench the flames quickly and effectively. It is critical to use the right extinguisher as it could have adverse effects and result in massive fires. The following are the various types of extinguishers:
People often disregard the importance of fire extinguishers and their proper maintenance. So is the expiry date of a fire extinguisher. How long does a fire extinguisher last? When do fire extinguishers expire? Fire extinguishers, like any other product, have an expiry date, but it is not strictly adhered to.
The expiry or life expectancy of a fire extinguisher can be determined by several factors, including:
Manufacturers typically claim that fire extinguishers have a life expectancy of 10-12 years on average. As previously stated, it is dependent on a number of factors. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), there are two kinds of fire extinguishers, and they are as follows:
As the name implies, these are reusable fire extinguishers that should be recharged every 6 years.
These are non-reusable fire extinguishers with a life expectancy of 10-12 years. As a result, these fire extinguishers must be replaced every 12 years.
As previously stated, fire extinguishers do not have an expiration date. A fire extinguisher can be expected to last between 10 and 12 years. However, this life span varies depending on a number of other factors. As the expiration date cannot be precisely determined, the signs of degradation can be used to determine the expiration date of a fire extinguisher. The following are three indicators to replace your fire extinguisher:
As previously stated, fire extinguishers do not have a set life span or expiry date. So it is with the contents of the extinguisher. Whereas these factors may cause the content to depressurize over time, rendering the portable device ineffective.
Humid or corrosive environments cause rust to form on fire extinguishers, which has adverse consequences and renders them inoperable. As a result, it is recommended that testing and inspection be performed on a regular basis to avoid the formation of rust or corrosion.
The testing is done to determine the integrity of a fire extinguisher cylinder under specific pressure. Failure of an extinguisher in this test indicates how dangerous the fire extinguisher is. It’s more of a reminder to replace the fire extinguisher.
Fire extinguisher inspections should be performed on a regular basis to ensure that they are capable of extinguishing flames during a fire emergency. A timely fire inspection and maintenance of a fire extinguisher ensure that it is effective during a fire emergency. This maintenance is carried out in three major steps, known as ITM protocol:
It is recommended to keep a record of the regular inspections performed, which may include the following information:
Fire extinguishers, like any other product, expire, and what follows is the disposal of a fire extinguisher. It cannot be thrown away because it can be destructive when mishandled or has served its purpose. When fire extinguishers expire, the following simple steps should be taken:
Fire extinguishers have a life expectancy or expiration period of 10-12 years. Whereas it varies according to the type of extinguisher and components in the extinguisher as well. An expired fire extinguisher can be destructive when handled carelessly and improperly disposed of. The external conditions and other factors mentioned above help one in determining the life expectancy of a fire extinguisher. You may also look into the procedures to be followed in the case of fire extinguisher expiry.
TAS Fire Protection has a team of experienced personnel to assist you and provide certain requirements and regular maintenance of fire extinguishers as well. The southern Ontario-based fire protection service conducts regular inspections and maintenance of extinguishers, thus improving the longevity of fire extinguishers.