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Fire Safety Learning Center

Articles and other information related to fire safety equipment and procedures in Illinois.
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Fire Extinguisher Mistakes You’re Making

Red fire extinguishers

A fire extinguisher is a great addition to your property protection, especially if you’re at risk of fires. Most people think they’ll never face a home or commercial fire, but that’s not true. It’s why fire extinguisher maintenance has become such a vital part of the industry.

There’s a long range of different fire extinguishers you can purchase. You could need multiple if you own a commercial building. However, even the best fire extinguishers won’t help if you don’t know how to use them. According to statistics, 93% of the deaths occur because of poor fire extinguishers or the inability to use them.

Fire Extinguisher Mistakes You’re Making

Property owners often make mistakes with their fire extinguishers unknowingly, which can even endanger their lives in severe situations. To help you avoid these mistakes, we’ll list the most common ones down for you. Let’s begin.

· Not Pulling the Extinguisher Pin

The pins on the fire extinguishers are there for a purpose—they’re supposed to prevent unintended discharge. The pin is located on the handle, and it’s important never forget to pull the pin—else, your fire extinguisher won’t work.

The Tamper seals on the extinguishers are necessary according to several laws. These seals prevent the pin from being unintentionally pulled from the extinguisher.

You only need to twist and pull the pin to release the fire extinguisher as you see the tamper seal. This is one method for avoiding those annoying fire extinguisher mistakes that could land you in trouble.

· Standing Way Too Close to the Fire

Another crucial thing to keep in mind is to keep the appropriate distance between the fire extinguisher and the fire. The discharge of the fire extinguisher will be considered too weak if you are too far away, and the fire may not put it out.

If you’re too close, you can get burned or possibly contribute to the fire’s spread. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) recommends staying around eight feet away from the flames.

This way, you’ll put out the fire with the extinguisher discharge and won’t spread the extinguishing agent too lightly. You should also check for regular fire extinguisher servicing to avoid unwanted accidents in times of need.

· Aiming the Discharge Too High

Starting at the top of a fire and sweeping downward is a common error people make. You shouldn’t be doing this. If you do that, the fire won’t go out, and you should follow the right method.

The best way to handle it is to direct the fire extinguisher discharge at the fire’s base, where the fuel lies. To put out the fire, sweep down the base.

Bottom Line

Property owners often don’t know the right Chicago fire safety requirements, landing them in problems. We recommend following our suggestions next time you face a problem like this. It’s a smart way to ensure you handle the fire most efficiently. If you still have more questions, please feel free to contact us at Connected Fire for further details.

Basics of Fire Extinguisher Maintenance
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