en-Gauge Fire and Life Safety Blog

Fire Extinguisher Success Stories: The First Line of Defense

Posted by Brendan McSheffrey on 7/10/12 2:17 PM

It seems to us that it has been too long since we wrote a fire extinguisher success story wrap-up. As usual, the stories aren’t hard to find.  Small fires kept from turning into large, devastating fires by quick thinking individuals using these critical life safety devices.  Here is a wrap up:

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Topics: Fire Suppression, Fire Extinguisher, Fire Extinguisher Success Stories, Electronic Monitoring Fire Extinguisher, Campus Fire and Security, Apartment, Success Stories

False Alarms and Missing Fire Extinguishers - A Bad Combination

Posted by Brendan McSheffrey on 5/12/12 2:12 PM

blog_post_Missing-Fire-Extinguisher-Empty-CabinetThis is the type of story that we run across all too often at en-Gauge.  Some pranksters at Western Washington University have taken to pulling fire alarms in the middle of the night.  And to make things worse, there have been several instances where fire extinguishers have gone missing or have been discharged during the same time period.  These types of actions when found in combination can increase the likelihood of a tragedy occuring in the event of an actual emergency.

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Topics: Fire Extinguisher Vandalism, Compliance, Vandalism, Campus Fire and Security, Fire Extinguisher Monitoring, Inaccessible Fire Extinguisher, Inaccessible Fire Extinguishers

University of Utah uses en-Gauge technology to monitor AEDs

Posted by Brendan McSheffrey on 9/7/11 12:36 PM

One of the early adopters of en-Gauge electronically monitored fire extinguishers, the University of Utah Salt Lake City has added a new twist to its safety monitoring.

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Topics: Campus Fire and Security

School fire extinguishers hit by vandals, 30 day fire extinguisher inspections can't stop this problem.

Posted by Brendan McSheffrey on 8/31/11 12:21 PM

How sad is this? Just days before school is supposed to start vandals strike the same school twice in two days. This follows vandalism at another school in the district that resulted in $50,000 in damage.

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Topics: Compliance, Vandalism, Campus Fire and Security

Helping University President's Meet their Climate Commitments

Posted by Brendan McSheffrey on 8/17/11 11:52 AM

Reading the American College & University Presidents’ Climate Commitment is a positive ex
melting-glaciers-in-mountainsperience.  As one colleague said to me, “I felt hopeful after reading it that so many smart people are throwing the weight of their institutions behind finding the answers to climate change.”  I couldn’t agree more. 

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Topics: Education, Fire Suppression, Fire Extinguisher, Greenhouse Gas Reduction, Environmental Protection, Campus Fire and Security, Environment

Deadly School Fire Soon Forgotten - Inspections Critical to Safety

Posted by Brendan McSheffrey on 2/3/11 10:26 AM

Unfortunately, the desire for fun and games has trumped the memory of a deadly fire at Nebraska Weslyan campus.  4 short years after a 19 year old student was killed in a fraternity fire at Weslyan, fire safety has taken a back seat to good times.  Acoording to the Lincoln Journal Star:

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Topics: Fire Extinguisher Inspections, Fire Extinguisher Vandalism, Fire Extinguisher, Codes and Standards, Annual Inspection, Fire Extinguisher Inspection, Campus Fire and Security, 30 Day Fire Extinguisher Inspection, Fire Fatality, Fire Marshals, Depressurized Fire Extinguisher

Fire Exinguisher Vandalism Roundup

Posted by Brendan McSheffrey on 1/25/11 10:12 AM

Vandals continue to do thousands of dollars of damage and interrupt business and community activities by carelessly using fire extinguishers in acts of vandalism.  We continue to be amazed a how many articles come across our desk describing the damage and disruption caused by these acts of fire extinguisher vandalism.  Here are just a handful of the examples from the last few weeks.

Michigan Church Close For Over A Week Due to Fire Extinguisher Vandalism

The Eureka Christian Church in Clinton County Michigan was extensively vandalized by intruders that took delight in having a fire extinguisher fight with multiple dry chemical fire extinguishers.  According toWILX.com:

Volunteers showed up at Eureka Christian Church to help clean up, but were shocked to find more damage than they could handle. Some people snuck into the church gym and had a ball blasting three fire extinguishers.

"It's everywhere. It's on the tables, on the chairs, on the lights, and on the floor. It's just filth," said Eureka Christian Church member Karry Shears of the extinguisher residue.

"When I walked in and saw the damage my heart fell to the ground," said 43-year church member Todd Colley.

...Their insurance company estimates the job will take at least two weeks to clean, but has not determined how much the damage will cost.

The residue for the fire extinguishers is still thick in the air 3 days after the incident and has covered nearly every surface.

A long term concern the church may need to address is that the dry chemicals from extinguishers is corrosive to electronics and extremely difficult to remove from the delicate instrumentation.  The best way to discourage fire extinguisher vandalism is to know when it is taking place by using a fire extinguisher monitoring solution like that provided by en-Gauge.


Vandals Coat Spokane, WA School Gyms with Fire Extinguisherslarge_fire-extinguisher-vandalism-crews-clean-floor

In an all to familiar story, vandals broke into a school overnight and the staff came in to find a huge mess and a major disruption to business as ususal.

This photo from KREM.com gives an indication of just how much area a vandal can impact by discharging just a single fire extinguisher.


Former Hewlett-Packard Building Vandalized with Fire Extinguishers

In Greeley, Colorado police arrested 3 teenaged boys involved in a truly expensive act of vandalism.  According to The Greeley Tribune:

Three 16-year-old boys were arrested by Greeley police after they were found inside the old Hewlett-Packard building in west Greeley, where they were accused of causing up to $100,000 in damage.

Greeley police spokesman Sgt. Joe Tymkowych said police received a call from a watchman at the plant, in the 900 block of 71st Avenue, at about 11 a.m. Thursday. The caller said he saw three boys setting off fire extinguishers inside the building.

Police arrived minutes later and found the three boys hiding on the roof of the building.

Based on the feedback from the community regarding this story on the Tribune website, passions are running high about the amount of damage and the need to make an example of these vandals.

$10,000 of damage to Eureka, MO High School Pool due to Fire Exinguisher Vandalism

Why is it that schools get hit so hard by vandals that think it is funny to discharge these vital life safety devices as a prank.  With the vandals caught in this situation and a $10K price tag plus criminal charges pending, they probably no longer think it was a very clever idea.  According to the Eureka-Wildwood Patch:

Damage to the school's pool was deemed "extensive," and estimated to cost  more than $10,000.

Wiegand said the police report filed by Eureka police and school resource officer Michael Smith indicated the incident was reported by Eureka's athletic director Jason Green.

"(Green's) statements outlined that he found chemicals floating in the pool from fire extinguishers being sprayed there, and on the equipment of the school's aquatic sports department, which rendered the pool and items unoperable," Wiegand said.

....Monday night, Eureka High School physical education teacher and swim coach Sharon Wasson said the pool underwent extensive cleaning, but that the swimmers were happy to have it return to operational. St. Louis-based catastrophe and restoration company CATCO, handled the cleaning project.  She said they did a phenomenal job with the situation.


Don't be taken by surprise by vandals.  Start monitoring your fire extinguisher 24/7/365 with the en-Gauge electronic fire extinguisher monitoring system and be sure that your first line of defense against fires is where is needs to be, accessible and ready for proper use. 

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Topics: Education, Fire Extinguisher Vandalism, Fire Extinguisher, Vandalism, Electronic Monitoring Fire Extinguisher, Campus Fire and Security, Fire Extinguisher Monitoring, ABC Fire Extinguisher

The Importance of Fire Extinguishers

Posted by Brendan McSheffrey on 1/13/11 9:55 AM

Just how important to society are fire extinguishers?  It turns out VERY IMPORTANT!  Often ignored,  even by the fire community, these overlooked life safety devices play a vital role in keeping us safe.  It is time for fire extinguishers to get the respect they deserve.
For most people fire extinguishers are invisible red cans on walls,  never looked at,  rarely considered.
fire_extinguisher_training-1 To some they are the joke in a funny story about cooling beer in college or the laugh from the time they shot one off that drunken night.  But in more than 600 businesses and non-residential structures every day in America they are the difference between a minor fire problem and a conflagration.

Yes, you read that right, 600 time a day fire extinguishers put out fires in non-residential structures in the United States and many more around the globe.

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Topics: Fire Extinguisher Inspections, OSHA 1910, Fire Extinguisher, Codes and Standards, Annual Inspection, Fire Extinguisher Inspection, Missing Fire Extinguishers, Environmental Protection, Electronic Monitoring Fire Extinguisher, Hotel and Hospitality, Campus Fire and Security, Fire Extinguisher Monitoring, 30 Day Fire Extinguisher Inspection, NFPA 10 Code Compliance, NFPA 10, Missing Fire Extinguisher, Electronic Monitoring

Fire Extinguisher Training - A Critical Component of Your Life Safety Program

Posted by Brendan McSheffrey on 12/6/10 4:46 PM

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.

Fire Basics.

The components of fire, how fires start and spread.fire_extinguisher_training

Fuel Classifications. 

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.

Electronically monitoring extinguishers with the en-Gauge system ensures these vital life safety tools are available, accessible and in working order 24/7/365.

Subscribe to our blog for more details on fire extinguisher training.

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Topics: Fire Suppression, A Fire Extinguisher, Fire Extinguisher, Type D Fire Extinguisher, Electronic Monitoring Fire Extinguisher, D Fire Extinguisher, Fire Extinguisher Training, Campus Fire and Security, B Fire Extinguisher, C Fire Extinguisher, Type A Fire Extinguisher, Type C Fire Extinguisher, Type ABC Fire Extinguisher, ABC Fire Extinguisher

Success Story Roundup, Proving Fire Extinguisher Safety and Fire Codes Work

Posted by Brendan McSheffrey on 11/19/10 3:18 PM

FireExtinguisher(1)_0Fire Extinguishers are the first line of defense when a fire incident occurs.  For the extinuisher to do its job, it must be available, accessible and function properly - all things the en-Gauge electronic fire extinuisher monitoring solution insures. 

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Topics: Fire Suppression, Fire Extinguisher Inspections, Fire Extinguisher, Codes and Standards, Annual Inspection, Fire Extinguisher Success Stories, Compliance, Campus Fire and Security, Fire Extinguisher Monitoring, 30 Day Fire Extinguisher Inspection, Apartment