Fire Extinguisher FAQs

February 7, 2017 Roy Williams

Common frequently asked questions most businesses in El Paso TX and Las Cruces NM want answers to when purchasing fire extinguishers are:

How many fire extinguishers do I need in my building?

While the exact number of fire extinguishers required for each building varies based on the unique layout and hazard level, as a general rule of thumb you should have no more than 75ft of space between Class A fire extinguishers and no more than 50ft between Class B fire extinguishers.

What do the letters and numbers by the fire extinguisher classification mean?

Every fire extinguisher has an alphanumeric rating that tells you what types of fires it can extinguish as well as the size of fire it can put out.

The letters stand for the class of fire the extinguisher can be used against:

A – ordinary combustibles (wood, paper, plastic, etc.)
B – flammable liquids (oil, gas, petroleum, etc.)
C – electrical equipment
D – metals
K – cooking oils and fats

The numbers indicate how much of the fire can be put out by the fire extinguisher. Every number before the A means it is as effective as 1 ¼ gallons of water. For example, 2A means the fire extinguisher is as effective as 2 ½ gallons of water, and so on. The numbers before B and C are a measure of the amount of square feet the fire extinguisher can put out. For example, a 10:BC fire extinguisher can extinguish a fire over 10 sq ft.

How often do I need fire extinguisher inspection?

Normal fire extinguisher inspections are required once a month to make sure there is no obvious damage to the device and the fire extinguisher pressure is adequate. You can perform this inspection on your own.

In addition to monthly extinguisher self-tests, full fire extinguisher maintenance is required once a year and a fire extinguisher hydro test is required every 12 years.

What kind of fire extinguisher do I need in my commercial kitchen?

If you own a restaurant, you already know you need a special type of fire suppression system to keep your kitchen safe from fires. But did you know you also need a special type of fire extinguisher too? Fires that commonly occur in commercial kitchens, such as grease fires, are referred to as Class K and require a special Class K fire extinguisher to knock them down and prevent re-flash. At Jay L Harman Fire Equipment Company, we provide Kidde Wet Chemical Class K extinguishers for all your kitchen fire suppression needs.

Is fire extinguisher training required?

OSHA standards require any workplace that has fire extinguishers available for employee use must also provide an educational program, also known as fire extinguisher training, for employees to familiarize themselves with the basics of fire extinguisher use and the hazards associated with it.

What is the best type of fire extinguisher for sensitive electrical equipment?

If you have sensitive electronic equipment, such as in a computer room or data center, using a water or a dry chemical fire extinguisher can cause as much damage as a fire itself. Instead, use a clean agent fire extinguisher such as a Cleanguard FE 36 (made by Ansul) or a Halotron I (made by Amerex) fire extinguisher.

Halotron I – Halotron I discharges as a rapidly evaporating liquid that leaves no residue. It does not conduct electricity and is suitable to fight Class A, B, and C fires.

Cleanguard FE 36 – the Cleanguard FE 36 is a replacement for Halon 1211. The Cleanguard extinguisher has comparable performance and efficiency to Halon 1211 but is less toxic and has zero ozone depletion potential.

Contact Jay L Harman Fire Equipment Company TODAY!

Jay L Harman Fire Equipment Company is the best source for fire suppression systems, fire extinguishers, emergency lighting and personal fire protective clothing in El Paso TX and Las Cruces NM.  We offer everything from products, system design, installation, training, repair and testing for all your fire fighting equipment.  Our highly trained professional staff is ready to serve you with the right product and service for your specific fire fighting needs.

For fire extinguisher sales, installation, training, inspection, recharge, repair, testing or emergency service in the El Paso TX area, call Jay L Harman Fire Equipment Company at (915) 533-7021 and in the Las Cruces NM area, call (575) 523-8880 or connect with us via email.