Any fire extinguisher that requires a pressure gauge can be retrofitted with en-Gauge technology. A standard pressure gauge has a component UL listing and so does an en-Gauge enabled pressure gauge. So if your building has Buckeye fire extinguishers and you want to retrofit them, you may. Your new project specifies Amerex extinguishers? No problem.
CO2 extinguishers or cartridge operated units, also not a problem. There’s an en-Gauge collar that can be utilized with these types of units and will monitor for location, position, obstruction and immediate removal.
So as you are looking at the Kidde or Ansul extinguishers in your facility and you want to get them en-Gauge enabled – go right ahead.
Fire Extinguishers are your organization's first line of defense against fire and a critical part of your life safety plan. They are designed to put out or control small fires, but it is vital that building occupants understand and get trained on the basics of fire safety and fire extinguisher use.
Why is fire extinguisher training important?
According to the University of Norhtern Iowa:
A fire is the most common type of emergency for which all businesses must plan. A critical decision when planning is whether or not employees should fight a small fire with a portable fire extinguisher or simply evacuate. Small fires can often be put out quickly with a portable fire extinguisher. However, to do this safely, the employee must understand the use and limitation of a portable fire extinguisher and the hazards associated with fighting fires.
What does fire extinguisher training consist of?
For an individual to properly assess and react in a fire situation, Fire Extinguisher Training generally consists of several components.
The components of fire, how fires start and spread.
Understanding the four types of fuel sources for fires. A. General Combustibles like wood, cloth, paper, rubber; B. Flamable liquids, gases, greases, Petroleum products; C. Energized electrical equipment, and; D. Combustible metals like sodium, potassium, magnesium
Types of Extinguishers.
What are they types of extinguisher and which types of fires they can be used on.
How Fire Extinguishers Work.
Components of a fire extinguisher, how they suppress various types of fires, pressure systems, etc.
Rules for Fighting a Fire.
What to do before fighting a fire, understanding what is burning, understanding how to approach a fire, identifying your evacuation path, assessing a fire's progress, etc.
How to Use a Fire Extinguisher Properly.
How the P.A.S.S. (Pull, Aim, Squeeze, Sweep) technique works, why it is important and how it is put into practice..
Fire Extinguisher Training is more than just pulling a pin and squeezing. Implementing a fire extinguisher safety program, informing occupants of the specific building's fire safety procedures, understanding the different classes of fires and different types of fire extinguishers, and receiving training on how to fight a fire CAN save lives. There are many professional organizations that can provide detailed fire extinguisher training for your organization. We encourage all businesses to consider this important life safety step.
This past week I stayed in Miami in a boutique size, big chain hotel. My stay at the hotel was terrific. Helpful and friendly staff, clean rooms and well kept facilities made my stay very pleasant, I would gladly stay there again. Even in this well run hotel, however, the fire extinguisher outside my room was empty.
Walking to my room, I noticed the Class ABC dry chemical fire extinguisher on the 9th floor had lost pressure The pressure gauge read empty. There was no visible means to tell when it was last inspected. The fire extinguisher was in a locked cabinet.
I informed the front desk to the problem on both Saturday the 18th and Sunday the 19th, and yet the inoperable fire extinguisher remained in service through my return to the hotel on the Wednesday the 22nd.
On Wednesday the 22nd, I again informed the front desk and stressed why having no usable fire extinguishers on the 9th floor was such a bad idea. When I checked on the 23rd, nothing had been done although it was assured it would get fixed.
During both my visits to the hotel there was construction being done on the 9th floor, and the only visible fire extinguisher was the empty, inoperative fire extinguisher close by in the hall. This creates a dangerous workplace situation, as well as a situation where hotel guests are at increased, unnecessary risk.
During my second visit I mentioned this issue to a member of the wait staff while asking who to talk to about this. He said that he was not surprised as there has been “an empty one in the kitchen for months”.
I can’t say how long the fire extinguisher was empty. I can say it showed no signs of vandalism and it may have been inspected to code. It likely just leaked.
I do not know if has been fixed.
Yet again, proof that 30 day fire extinguisher inspections are insufficient.
Fire extinguisher inspection
There are building owners and managers in all sectors who neglect 30 day fire extinguisher inspections, To those that do, I say, you’re making a mistake. You need to respect the fire codes and get the inspection job done or start monitoring your fire extinguishers.
Fire extinguishers and fire systems as a whole are not infallible, buildings need layers of fire protection, fire extinguishers are layer #1 in stopping a small fire from becoming a blaze. Fire extinguishers in commercial structures in the United States stop more than 500 fires everyday* That includes an estimated 20 times everyday in hotels.
Class A Fire Extinguisher - also called Type A Fire Extinguishers
A Class A fire extinguisher consists of a hand held cylindrical pressure vessel and an agent that can be used to extinguish an ordinary fire. For a Class A extinguisher, that agent is water, and a Class A Extinguisher is effective against ordinary combustible materials such as paper, wood, cardboard, and most plastics.
All fire extinguishers fight fire by utilizing an agent to act upon the chemistry of the fire by removing one or more of the three elements necessary to maintain fire—commonly referred to as the fire triangle. The three sides of the fire triangle are fuel, heat, and oxygen. The agent acts to remove the heat by cooling the fuel or to produce a barrier between the fuel and the oxygen supply in the surrounding air. Once the fire triangle is broken, the fire goes out. In the case of a Class A extinguisher, the agent cools the fuel and breaks the triangle.
The numerical rating on Class A extinguishers indicates the amount of water it holds and the amount of fire it can extinguish. Information on the numerical rating can be found on the label on the device
There are many types of fires, and there is no single type of fire extinguisher that can suppress all types of fires. While water has proven effective in extinguishers used against wood, paper and plastic fires (Class A), a Type A fire extinguisher should never be used on an electrical fire as it is an electrical conductor. For this reason, it is not safe as an agent to fight electrical fires where live circuits are present (Class C). In addition, Class A extinguishers should also not to be used to fight flammable liquid fires (Class B), especially in tanks or vessels. In this instance, water can cause an explosion due to flammable liquids floating on the water and continuing to burn. In addition, a powerful stream of water can splatter the burning liquid to other combustibles.Furthermore, Class A extinguishers should not be used to fight metal fires (Class D) where flaming metals such as magnesium and titanium.
In Class A or water fire extinguishers, the water can freeze inside the extinguisher at lower temperatures. If you plan on keeping your Type A fire extinguisher in areas subject to below freezing temperatures, anti-freeze water extinguisher are available, which uses a non-flamable anti-freeze to prevent the liquid in the extinguisher from freezing.
All Class A fire extinguishers must be monitored an maintained according to local, state and federal codes. Electronic monitoring of extinguishers, like that provided by the en-Gauge electronic monitoring system, is available for all Class A fire extinguishers
Type ABC Fire Extinguisher - This is a multipurpose dry chemical extinguisher.
The ABC type is filled with monoammonium phosphate, a yellow powder that is effective at extinguishing fires that 1. involveordinary combustibles, such as wood, cloth, and paper (Type A Fire Extinguishers are also designed to fight this type of fire); 2. involve liquids, greases, and gases (Type B fire extinguishers are also designed to fight this type of fire); and 3: fires involving energized electrical equipment (Type C Fire Extinguishers are also designed to fight this type of fire).
Monoammonium phosphate leaves a sticky residue after use that may be damaging to electrical appliances such as a computers.
en-Gauge is great proponent of Fire Extinguisher Training and believes it is a vital aspect of every organization's life safety program. With that said, we love how Bullex Digital Safety is using innovative technology to improve fire extinguisher training for thousands of people (major bonus, they do so while lowering live training's cost and impact on the environment).
Their Interactive Training System (I.T.S) uses a portable fire system that runs on propane to simulate a fire in its early stages. The program takes advantage of a Type A water extinguisher for the exercises (cutting down on expense and environmental impact, while allowing for quick and easy refills), even though the fire unit can simulate a class A, B or C fire. The system reacts to the technique that the student utilizes when trying to put out the fire and ensures that the student fight the fire effectively. With multiple levels of difficulty, the system can provide a challenge for all students going through fire extinguisher training.
Check out this video for details on how it works:
They also offer a purely digital fire solution (called HotShot) in which students utilize real extinguishers to put out 'digital' fires, while still using real extinguishers. This provides a great solution for situations in which live fire is not an option.
Understanding fire and how to effectively fight it requires fire extinguisher training. With companies like BullEx leading the way, ensuring building occupants are ready in an emergency just got easier.