Fire extinguisers are an important part of any fire prevention and protection system. Every year commerical kitchens are the location of at least 8,000 fires. Nearly two thousand fires were analyzed and it was discovered tbat fire extinguishers successfully put out 80% of them. This is a good thing because each year, restaurant fires cause about $246 million in damage. If you own a restaurant or dining facility, you need to be sure your employees know how to use your fire extinguishers. If your equipment can be recharged, you need to have it serviced after each use so a professional can complete a fire extinguisher recharge on it.
First of all, there are several types of fire extinguishers. They can release pressurized water, carbon dioxide or a dry chemical. Your fire extinguisher needs to be put in a place where everyone can see it and all of your staff knows where it is. Many companies will designate certain staff members to be the ones to decide when to use the fire extinguisher. These employees may need to be trained how to do that. You should also make sure they are stored out of the reach of any chilren and do not block your evacuation route.
If your fire extinguishers are disposable, they can only be used once. If you have rechargeable fire extinguishers, they need to be properly maintained.
Tips to Properly Maintain Your Fire Extinguishers
Perform monthly fire extinguisher inspections.At least once a month you should check where your extinguishers are stored and make sure your staff can reach them in the event of an emergency. Next, you should check the various seals (there should be a safety seal and a tamper seal) and make sure they are still intact. Check the pressure on the units to make sure they are operating at the correct pressure, there should be a meter on the piece that will tell you. Lastly, you should look to see if there is any physical damage from corrosion, clogs, etc. You can take any that look like they may be damaged to a fire extinguisher service company. You do not want to find out there are problems with your fire extinguisher when you have a fire.
Have a yearly check done by a fire protection equipment company.andnbsp;In addition to the monthly checks you do on your fire extinguishers, the National Fire Protection Agency says that you need to have them inspected once a year by a fire protection equipment company.
Your six year inspection.Every sic years, fire extinguishers need to be fully broken down and inspected internally and externally. This also needs to be done by a professional fire protection company. They should also perform a fire extinguisher recharge at this time.
Also, every time a fire extinguisher is used it needs to be serviced. A fire extinguisher recharge should be done as well. This also needs to be done by a fire extinguisher services company.
Have an Evacuation Plan
While no one wants to ever need an emergency plan for their business, having one is a really important thing to have in case there is an emergency. There is an old saying, “a failure to plan is a plan to fail.” Work out a plan and share that with your staff. You should include a map with evacuation routes out of your restaurant from different points, say from the kitchen and dining areas. You should also have a meet up point for your employees.
Fires are scary and can cause a lot of damage. If you own a business with a kitchen, whether it is a restaurant or not, you need to make sure your fire prevention and protection equipment is fully operational all of the time. As part of your fire prevention plans, you should make sure all of your employees know how to use the fire extinguishers that you have. Even the people who have not been specfically desgniated as the “go to” people in the case of a fire or other emergency. Your staff also need to know who to call to handle the fire extinguisher recharge. Make sure your staff know what to do and who to call if there is a fire.