Key Mistakes to Avoid When Purchasing Fire Extinguishers

When you're prioritising your business's safety, purchasing the right fire extinguisher is usually at the top of your to-do list. As there are so many different potential fire sources, it's important to understand that there's no one-size-fits-all device. By knowing a little about fire safety, you can avoid making dangerous mistakes.

Failing to understand different fire extinguisher types

Different types of fire extinguishers will tackle different fires. For example:

  • Class A for wood, paper and textiles
  • Class B for flammable liquids, petrol and paints
  • Class E for electrical fires
  • Class F for animal fats and cooking oils

Understanding the different classes is the cornerstone of purchasing the right type. As you can probably see, if you're managing a restaurant, you can't rely on a Class B extinguisher to do the job. You need a Class E instead.

Only purchasing one fire extinguisher when there are multiple fire sources

The chances are good that your business doesn't come with a single source of fuel for fires. At the very minimum, you need to worry about textiles and paper, and most likely electrical fires too.

If a fire is to sustain itself, it needs a constant supply of fuel, oxygen and heat. Having different types of extinguishers means you bring yourself closer to rapidly removing one element of the triangle. As such, identifying the types of fuel present in your building by performing a risk assessment is crucial.

The right fire extinguisher will eliminate the fuel's power by depriving it of oxygen. Using the wrong one can make matters worse. For example, water extinguishers act as conductors for electricity, making them poor tools for dampening such fires.

Not achieving uniformity when buying fire extinguishers for different floors

If your building has multiple floors, the chances are that your local state laws require you to purchase multiple extinguishers. When doing so, it's important to achieve uniformity across the floors. For example, if wood and textile fires are a risk on all floors, buy the same extinguisher for each one.

Achieving uniformity gives your fire safety personnel and members of the fire brigade an opportunity to act quickly should the worst happen. When someone is aware of how to use each extinguisher, they can save vital time by operating them without hesitation.

With the right set of extinguishers, you can maintain your business's safety and protect those who enter it. By taking your time when buying each one, you'll engage in smart purchasing decisions.