Posts Tagged ‘fire safety inspections’

How Long Do Fire Extinguishers Last

Posted: April 15th, 2020

According to the second law of thermodynamics, it’s natural for everything to break down and deteriorate all by itself. Fire extinguishers are no exception to this rule. It might still look the same as the day you bought it, looks can be deceiving, and degradation is happening continuously. While the lifespan of your fire extinguisher depends on various factors, you can generally expect them to last between 5-15 years. 

5-15 years may seem like a wide discrepancy, but several factors contribute to the expected lifespan of your fire extinguisher. Regular inspections and maintenance by a qualified fire extinguisher technician can take the guesswork out of your vital life safety devices. Conveniently located in Waterloo, Ontario, All Protect Systems Inc serves much of the surrounding area. Call them today to find out how they can help keep your home or business safe.

Expiration Date

A time-honored tradition for any product with a life expectancy is always to check the expiration date. Look for a paper tag attached to the handle of the extinguisher. Even if the tag doesn’t explicitly state a date of expiration, it should have some date on it. If that day was more than ten years ago, it’s probably time to replace your unit. If no tag is apparent, there might be a date code imprinted on the equipment. If the numbers don’t make sense, don’t be afraid to look up the model number on the internet and see what information is available.

Pressure Gauge

While not all fire extinguishers have gauges, most do. Look for the indicator on top of the handle. It will show you the amount of pressure left in the tank. They usually have a red (empty) and green (full) section, so as long as the pointer is in the green area, your equipment should have enough material to function correctly.

Extinguisher Damage

Hopefully, you keep your fire extinguisher in a safe environment. Unfortunately, that’s not always possible. Fires can happen anywhere, and you need to keep extinguishers near the most likely places. Such locations are often subject to physical damage or environmental corrosion of your unit. 

Harmful chemicals, extreme temperatures, or other factors can cause the rubber hose or nozzle on your equipment to deteriorate and crack over time. This process occurs slowly, and you probably won’t notice it. Periodic inspections by a trained professional are invaluable in these circumstances.

Your fire extinguisher can also get knocked off its bracket by an inadvertent collision with an enthusiastic employee. Even if you try to mount your extinguishers away from high traffic areas, such accidents are common. Damage to a fire extinguisher may not be evident to the untrained eye. Locking pins go missing. Handles become wobbly or loose, and debris can clog the nozzle. It’s a good idea to assign a specific employee the responsibility of monthly or quarterly inspections of all your life safety equipment.

Different Types of Fire Extinguishers

Some types of fire extinguishers last longer than others. You shouldn’t expect pressurized water, carbon dioxide, and wet chemical extinguishers to last longer than three years. Dry chemical extinguishers, on the other hand, should last at least 12 years. The type of extinguishing agent in your equipment should be visible on your tank. 

Fire Extinguishers are the type of thing we tend to ignore until our lives depend on them. Unfortunately, we need to pay attention to them before they become critical for survival. Keep complete records of your maintenance and expiration dates of all your fire extinguishing equipment, and service them when necessary. If you would prefer to delegate this responsibility to a trained professional, call the experts at All Protect Systems Inc. They offer complete solutions to all your property and life safety protection systems.

Image: Flickr

What Should Be Inspected During Annual Fire Safety Inspections

Posted: October 2nd, 2019

Fires happen at an alarming rate, with the official figures only further emphasizing just how important it actually is for businesses to have strict fire prevention and safety measures in place. Such measures have been embraced by Canada, the United States and many other countries all over the world, because there is no safer way to deal with fire than to prevent one from happening in the first place.

To this end, fire departments conduct annual inspections of buildings in order to ensure they are in compliance with current legal standards in regards to fire safety and to assess and mitigate any potential fire hazards in such properties. The way in which such inspections are performed by fire inspector can however be different depending on the area, which only makes it all the more important for businesses to ensure that all areas of inspection are up to code.

What will be checked?

Things that fire inspectors are likely to check during annual fire safety inspections include the likes of the condition of equipment pertaining to fire safety such as emergency lighting, fire alarms and sprinkler systems.

Other things that should be inspected during annual fire safety inspections include fire hazards, potential access for fire fighters in the event a fire does break out on the premises and any life safety issues.

Fire extinguishers

Many facilities run into trouble during annual fire inspections due to the condition of their fire extinguishers, which may be inoperable, placed in positions that are hard to see or find, or which may simply not be present in enough quantity.

It is vital that all fire extinguishers on the premises be hung in the correct position and that there are enough extinguishers to comply with the fire safety code requirement. A lot of businesses actually fail to realise that their fire extinguishers have to be inspected and tagged on an annual basis, but if a well trained Fire Protection Company such as All Protect Systems performs this service, then this aspect of the annual fire inspection should be passed with no problems.

Emergency lighting

Another thing that should be inspected during an annual fire safety inspection is the state of the emergency lighting on the premises. If a building is plunged into darkness during any kind of emergency situation, and the emergency lighting fails to switch on when it is supposed to do so, the result can be panic that will make the situation even more perilous for everyone inside.

Thus an inspection of the emergency lighting in a building should be carried out on an annual basis, usually at the same time as the annual inspection of the fire extinguishers.

Sprinkler systems

An annual fire safety inspection should also see an inspection carried out on the sprinkler system of a building, in addition to an internal inspection that should take place every five years. A Fire Protection Company such as All Protect Systems will be able to advise your company’s maintenance crew on the minimum requirements that your sprinkler system must be able to meet in order to pass an annual fire safety inspection.

Easy access

An annual fire inspection will inevitably check to make sure that all exit doors are easy to open from within the building, as seconds can mean live lost or saved during an emergency situation such as a fire. It is imperative than an exit door does not need a key or access code to be opened, and that it is not blocked in any way.

The same issue with obstructions also applies to the likes of aisles, pathways, stairways and walkways, all of which must be clear and the blocking of any emergency egress in any way will result in automatic failure of an annual fire inspection.

Talk to All Protect Systems today in order to ensure your building is in compliance of fire safety codes and will pass an annual fire safety inspection.

Image: Flickr