Portable Fire Extinguishers

OSHA, NFPA 10, and the International Building Code all require all commercial occupancies (and many residential occupancies) to have portable fire extinguishers, no less than every 75’ walking distance.

OSHA requires that all employees be trained no less than annually in the proper use of the fire extinguishers installed in their building. NFPA 10 and OSHA state that fire extinguishers should be inspected monthly. Although this monthly service can be done by the owner or the owner’s representative, and that individual doesn’t need to be certified, does your staff have the time to do the task monthly and are they trained on what to look for? Let Columbia Fire help you maintain your building’s fire extinguishers monthly or annually.

Every year, fire extinguishers are required to have annual maintenance. This is not the same process as the monthly fire extinguisher inspection. There are more steps, which require changing parts on the extinguisher, and the individual doing so must be certified. Our portable fire extinguisher technicians have been trained on NFPA 10, received manufacturer training and certification, hold the NAFED/ICC certification and the Seattle FEX city license. One person on our staff has even been on the NFPA 10 technical committee, assistingthem in writing the national standard.

Although every building requires portable fire extinguishers, not all extinguishers are the same.

5lb, 10lb, 20lb ABC units—are all 5lb units the same? No! The UL rating of each extinguisher varies by make and model, regardless of the weight of the agent. Do you want to put corrosive ABC dry chemical agent all over your computer servers? Of course not. That’s why our professionals would recommend having a clean agent fire extinguisher (as required in NFPA 10 and 75) in dense IT equipment areas. Are you in charge of a harbor dock? Do you know the additional requirements for fire extinguishers for that dock and/or fueling station? Are your current extinguishers the correct spacing or flow rating? Let our professionals assist in keeping you compliant and safe.

Most fire extinguishers at propane storage and gasoline fueling stations are the incorrect extinguishers. Do you see a standard 5lb ABC dry chemical extinguisher installed? If so, it’s the wrong extinguisher. You need a high flow rated extinguisher for a three-dimensional fire. The size and rating of the extinguisher needed will likewise be changed once you go with a high-flow rated extinguisher. These are requirements which could save someone’s life if followed, and also keep you compliant with your local fire marshal and insurance company. What happens if you are out of compliance and that’s determined after a fire? Do you want to have your insurance claim denied? We want to help you maintain your systems and coverage for fire extinguishment to save lives and property.