Fire is one of the most dangerous and destructive elements that can destroy your home and turn everything into ashes in the blink of an eye. So, as a homeowner, keeping your cozy shelter safe from fire should be one of your top priorities. In that case, this might be the right time to install fire extinguishers across your home.
Fire extinguishers are your home’s first line of defense against fire. It helps protect your home by extinguishing small fires and preventing them from spreading like wildfire, which burns and turns everything into ashes. So, if you still don’t have one, visit your local fire extinguisher provider and purchase some at once.
Once you’ve received them, you’ll need to install them. But did you know there’s a proper way to install a fire extinguisher rather than leaving it hanging anywhere? If not, this helpful homeowner’s guide may be of some help to you.
In this article, you’ll learn how to install a fire extinguisher correctly, as well as how to maintain it properly. Maintenance is crucial to fire extinguishers. If they don’t receive proper servicing, they might fail to function when you need them the most.
How To Install A Fire Extinguisher Properly?
If you want to get the most out of your fire extinguishers, you’ll need to install them properly. Leaving them hanging anywhere could only make things difficult, especially when you need to use them. For that reason, you may want to consider the following tips below for proper installation.
Choose The Right Type Of Fire Extinguisher
Before you proceed with the installation, you want to ensure that you choose the appropriate fire extinguisher for your home. It is because each type is designed for a specific cause of a fire. That said, here are the types of fire extinguishers you’ll need to know:
- Water Type: This is the most common fire extinguisher on the market. It’s used to extinguish Class A fires, such as solid combustible materials (wood, paper, cloth, etc.).
- Film-Foaming Type: This type is used to extinguish both Class A and B fires. Class B fires include solvents, flammable liquids and gases, oil-based paints, and oils.
- Carbon Dioxide Type: This type is used to extinguish Class B fires and electrical equipment or Class C fire.
- ABC Powder: As the name implies, this type can extinguish fires from classes A, B, and C.
- Dry Chemical Types: This type is used to extinguish Class A and B fires, just like the film-foaming type.
The proper fire extinguisher will depend on your home items that are most likely to cause a fire. For better protection, choose a type that can extinguish fires from classes A, B, and C, such as the ABC powder. This fire extinguisher is developed to put out the fire from different causes.
Determine The Right Location Of Your Fire Extinguishers
Fire extinguishers must be stored in an appropriate location for easy access. They should be located between 2m to 20m from the hazards. Such hazards include electrically energized equipment, cooking oils, and fat. Also, all electrical switchboards should have a fire extinguisher installed near them, particularly the carbon dioxide type.
Place Fire Extinguishers At The Right Mounting Height
You will need to place your fire extinguishers at an optimal mounting height to avoid getting moved or damaged. Those weighing more than 4kg should be kept at approximately 1m from the floor. It is increased to 1.5 meters for fire extinguishers with a gross mass of 4kg and below.
Attach Fire Extinguishers To The Wall
Fire extinguishers are often attached to the wall for quick access. You may use a wall bracket (a simple hook with two wall fixings) to hang them on your walls. If you have no idea what this is, ask your local hardware supply shop about them, and they can give you what you need.
How To Properly Maintain Your Fire Extinguishers?
Proper maintenance is crucial for a functioning fire extinguisher. With this, you’ll be able to ensure it will work efficiently should a fire break out. In that case, here are the things you may consider doing when maintaining your fire extinguishers:
Perform Monthly Visual Inspections
As a homeowner, you are responsible for visually inspecting all your fire extinguishers at least once a month. For better results, create a checklist of everything you need for inspection. It should include the following:
- Conduct an entire unit examination, including the interior, dents and scratches, missing parts, and triggers
- Check the seals if they’re broken, damaged, or tampered with
- Check the operational pressure
- Check if all your fire extinguishers are in the right location
- Make sure the instruction manual is clear, free from any damage, and easy to read
These apply to all types of fire extinguishers, including electrical. And this is one of the best ways to ensure that you can prevent the fire from spreading.
Apply For Annual Service
Aside from regular monthly visual inspections, you must also have your fire extinguishers professionally serviced every 12 months. It involves comprehensive testing, seal replacement (all seals), junction valve changing, and pressure gauge testing. In addition, the technician will perform visual inspections to ensure that the unit is damage-free and its manual is clear.
Apply For Extended Service
Extended services for fire extinguishers are performed after five or ten years, depending on the type of extinguisher you have. For water-based and powder types, the extended service is every five years. On the other hand, this service will be granted to powder and carbon dioxide types every ten years.
In addition, there are plenty of things involved in extended service compared to the annual service. Also, it should only be conducted by a trained and certified professional. Here are the components of this service:
- In-depth unit examination to identify dents, scratches, and other external damage
- Discharging of unit
- Complete inspection, including necessary replacements, checking of the valves, reseating head cap assembly, and checking internal corrosions;
- Repressuring, leak testing, and refilling of fire extinguishers
Fire extinguishers are your home’s first line of defense, preventing small fires from spreading like wildfire. However, buying a fire extinguisher is not enough. You’ll need to choose the right one, install it properly, and maintain it consistently. Only then will you be able to have a fully functional fire extinguisher should a fire break out.