Your building size and type determines the exact type of fire extinguisher and related safety equipment that you need to purchase. However, certain rules are universal across all types of fire extinguishers. Primarily, your fire suppression equipment needs to be easily accessible and clearly marked so people can find it quickly even when a building is filling with smoke. Here are some tips about how to properly locate and mark fire extinguishers in your space.
Any fire extinguisher in Canada should be easily recognizable and accessible from afar. While residences might be able to get by simply by letting those who live there know where to find emergency equipment, larger structures such as office buildings, apartments, and industrial sites should place fire extinguisher signs in strategic areas. Fire extinguisher signage should be bright and easy to read, with reflective materials used when possible so they can be spotted in an emergency situation where vision is obscured by smoke. An extinguisher sign should direct onlookers toward the nearest extinguisher, and multiple signs may be needed if it is in an out of the way location. If you place a fire extinguisher in an easily accessible and obvious spot, you may only need a single extinguisher sign to point it out.
Choosing Fire Extinguishers
Your choice of fire extinguisher makes a difference, and you should be sure to select equipment that matches the needs of your building. A home or single apartment may be able to get by with just a portable fire extinguisher, since such emergencies are likely small in scale. Larger buildings may need less portable options, up to and including fire hoses that are built into the plumbing system. Many sites that allow you to order fire extinguishers online provide guidelines for the size of building that the extinguishers are meant to serve. This allows you to plan properly, determining how many different extinguishers you need to order and where you should place them.
Fire Extinguisher Types
When buying fire extinguishers, you also need to consider the type of fire that you are most likely to fight. Fire extinguishers usually come in A, B, C, and D types. In addition, some extinguishers put out multiple fire types, usually A and B blazes. A class A extinguisher is suitable for extinguishing wood and paper fires, while a class B extinguisher is useful against fires started on flammable materials like grease and oil. Class C extinguishers are intended for use against electrical fires, as they minimize the risk of electrocution. Finally, class D extinguishers are used against fires started on flammable metals. These fires are rare in residential or commercial areas, but more common in industrial locations.
Setting up fire safety equipment in an efficient manner allows people to respond rapidly when there is an emergency. By placing proper signage, selecting the right type of extinguisher for your space, and knowing the type of fire that you are likely to encounter, you can keep your building and everybody in it safer.