In addition, Victorian Fir Protection is a sponsor of “Melbourne Body Corporate Menagement” and has worked closely in this industry for many years. Our list of customers is varied and extensive – from small business right through to large residential and commercial buildings, including public and private organisation, and schools. (Client endorsements are available on request)

Class of Fire Details Extinguisher Description Extinguisher WARNING Other Extinguishing Agents That Can Be Used
Class A A Fire involving materials that leave an ash residue such as:

  • paper, wood
  • fabrics
  • rubber
  • plastics, etc.
Water Extinguisher
Contains 9 liters of water, stored under pressure, Jet of water approx. 6 meters.
Removes the heat from the fir
This extinguisher must not be used on or near:

  • electrical equipment
  • flammable liquids
  • cooking oil
  • A D/P, CO2 & Foam
A D/P, CO2 & Foam
Class B A Fire involving flammable liquids such as:

  • petrol
  • oils
  • grease
  • ethylated spirits, etc.
Foam Extinguisher
Contains a water and foam solution under pressure A blanket of foam seals off the flammable vapors and oxygen.
Jet of foam is approx. 5 meters.
This extinguisher must not be used on or near electrical equipment. Warning: Flashback re-ignition is possible when using a D/P or CO2 extinguisher.
Class C A Fire involving flammable gases such as:

  • LP Gas
  • hydrogen gas
  • natural gas
  • acetate, etc.
Dry chemical Powder (DP) Extinguisher
The dry chemical powder extinguishes the fire by excluding oxygen and interrupting the chemical reaction of the fire.
Period of operation dependent upon size.
Fire involving flammable gases should not be extinguished until gas can be shut off.
It may be hazardous to remain in an enclosed space when a dry chemical extinguisher is discharged.
May cause damage to sensitive or delicate equipment.
Class D A Fire involving flammable metals such as:

  • magnesium
  • sodium, etc.
Specialized Dry Chemical
A specialized dry chemical
powder is required.Generally found in laboratories
and foundries.NB: Color may vary according
to manufacturer and type of contents.
Specialist training required for this particular extinguisher.
Note: Contact your local fire service for further advice.
Class E A Fire involving electrical equipment such as:

  • switch boards
  • electric motors
  • televisions
  • computer
Dry Chemical Powder and Carbon Dioxide (CO2)
Extinguishers the fire by excluding the oxygen.
These fires should always be treated as electrically ALIVE.
Isolate the power supply.
It may be hazardous to remain in an enclosed space when a CO2 extinguisher is discharged.
Note: Vaporizing liquid extinguishers can be used on Classs A & B Fires.
Class F Fires involving:

  • cooking oil
  • fats, etc.
Wet Chemical Extinguisher
The wet chemical is applied like foam to seal the surface of the cooking oil.
Generally found in industrial type kitchens.
Specialist training required for this particular extinguisher. Warning: Must have appropriate rating for cooking oil & fat fires

(Rating-B:(E) Only).

A Fire Blanket can be used to extinguish the fire.

Chick A Dee Smoke Alarm A Bird That Sings

Smoke alarms are known for serving the purpose of alarming a fire danger looming large; however, they are definitely not known for attractive visuals designs. Well, gone are the days when you said that. Not any more as Chick-a-Dee smoke alarm has arrived down under.

Chick-a-Dee smoke alarm is a bird shaped, innovative smoke detector combining form and function can well be a talking point. The Australian Standards certified smoke alarm is a Dutch design which is imported and distributed by Chick-a-Dee smoke alarms. It can be purchased online at chick-a-dee.com.au at just $79.95. Currently, it is available in white with a black.

Winter Sees Most Domestic Fires-

Most of the domestic fires come about during winter season due to increased usage of heaters, candles and fire places. We discussed this in detail in our previous post Most of the Winter Fires Start In Kitchens- MFS. The cold season calls for sufficient number of effective smoke detectors that warn you against fire dangers.

What Makes it An Award Winning Design-

Dutch designer Louise Van der Veld- The designer of this bird alarm that sings and whistles to warn against fire dangers, won Mooi uit de brand design competition in year 2006. The jury found the design of this fire safety equipment quite appealing. Birds have always known for detecting and warning against dangers insensible to the humans. Being the natural choice for the jury, the bird took away the award singing and whistling.

School Fire Safety

Safety Measures:-

  • We all have grown up on cliché:- Prevention is better than cure, yet at times we fail to follow safety measures and end up paying a price for that.
  • Conduct regular fire drills to ensure that your staff and children know what to do in case of fire. They will become aware of the emergency exit route and evacuation process. Evacuation route must be marked on the school floor.
  • Always keep fire extinguisher in such a place which is easily visible and accessible to the employees and students. Keep the fire equipment in working condition at all times. Regular service is required to maintain fire equipment and sprinkler systems.
  • You and your staff should know how to use fire equipments, hoses and blankets.
  • Combustibles should always be at a safe distance from the heaters. Cords and connections of electrical appliances should be checked on a regular basis and they should be turned off when not in use.
  • Safety plugs should be used for unused sockets especially for kindergarten and pre school.
  • Refrain from using open flames where children are present. If you have to, do not leave open flames unattended.
  • Exit lights should be in working condition.
  • Flammable liquids should be placed in safe place, Also incompatible liquids should never be placed close to each other as they can cause fire to break out.

What to do in case of Fire:-

  • First things first. Establish a quick fire evacuation plan and evacuate the students and staff members in danger.
  • Fight the fire only if you know how to operate a fire equipment and you are not putting your’s or somebody else’s life at risk. Never ever try to fight with a quickly spreading fire.
  • Advise people not to panic as it could be more dangerous. Advise them to stay calm.
  • Contact the fire department immediately. It is therefore important to keep their contact number handy at all times. The Emergency contact number is 000.

Fire Definitions-Part 1

Fire definitions help us identify and categorise a fire incident. Let’s go through the ‘Types of Fire’-

Types of Fire or Incident-

Structure– Fires that involves building or structure, including houses, outbuildings, petrochemical complexes and tank farms. Read- How to Extinguish Fire At Workplace Using Fire Equipment

Non Structure– Fire that is outside a structure, storages, trains, cars, buses, garbage or liquid fires.

Incident– Car accidents, leakages, spills without ignition, so potentially there is no fire.

Bushfire– Unplanned and uncontrolled fire in woods or forest, grass or bush.

False Alarm– There are times when the fire department receives notifications of fire from the alarm system. When there is no fire found or the fire is in compliance with the permit, it is classified as false alarm.

Hazmat Incident– This includes incidents that involve chemicals but there is no fire. Incidents such as petrol leakage resulting into a wash away and industrial chemical incidents fall in this category.

Fire Definitions-Part II

What is Status of Fire/Incident-

Status of Fire or Incident refers to current status and size of Fire.

Contained: Fire is called contained when it is burning within a perimeter, but it has been prevented from spreading further. In other words the next step is to bring it under control.

Under Control( Controlled)- When the entire perimeter is secured from fire and there is no potential possibility of any breakout. Patrolling is the only thing that is required after the fire is under control.

Going- The expansion of fire in a particular direction(s) is referred to as Going.
Safe- When the fire is under control and it doesn’t require patrolling, it can be called safe.

Size of Incident-

Below terms describe the size of a fire incident which includes bushfires, forest fires and other types of fires-

Spot- Fire that has covered an area of less than half a hectare.
Small- Fire covered area between 0.5 to 5 hectares
Medium- Fire covered area between 5 to 50 hectares.
Large- Fire affected area of more than 50 hectares.

Pets and Fire Safety Tips
Fire in the house causes panic. When fire breaks out, we want to evacuate the house as soon as possible to keep ourselves safe from danger; however, every year hundreds and thousands of pets lose their lives to fire accidents. Pets get intimidated by the sound of smoke alarms when fire breaks out. They try to hide themselves under the couch or other places to feel secure and we are unable to locate them. If no one is at home, they find it difficult to get out of the home as well, which is another reason.

Here are some tips to keep yourself, your home and pets safe from fire accidents:

Curiosity killed the cat. Pets are naturally curious and it may lead to dire straits sometimes as catastrophic as an uncontrollable fire. Do not leave candles or open flame unattended, when your pet is around. Make sure that pets wear identification tags, so that they can be returned if they get lost post ire accident. List important details such as phone number, address so that it is easier to determine who the pet belongs to. You can also consider microchipping your pet. This will help you find your pet again.

Pets also die due to carbon mono oxide and smoke. Many groups are trying to find out ways to increase the chances of pet survival during fire accidents. Taking important measures, so that your pets are safe during fire accidents is as important as Fire Equipment and Fire Safety Training for Children.

Fire- Common Causes
Statistics suggest that most of the household fires can be controlled, but being unprepared costs a fortune. Here are some common causes of fire:

Faulty Wiring:

Faulty wiring is one of the common causes of fire. Double adapters overload power points which can trigger fire. Safety switches and fuses should be installed in your house and office.

Smoking:

Smoking is not only injurious to health but it can also cause fire, especially smoking in bed. Tiny clinkers can escape your attention and burst into flames.

Kids Playing with Fire:

All kids should be forewarned against playing with fire or objects that could cause it to come about. They should stay hands off from matches, lighters, candles, gasoline, stove or electric sockets. They should also be trained that they inform an adult, in case they notice fire breaking out anywhere around.

Candles:

Adults should never leave candles unattended. Candles should be away from curtains and other clothes. Blow off the candle before you are all set to catch some z’s.

Flammable Items:

Petrol, Kerosene and spirits should always be stored in a safe place. Also read about the usage and storage of the liquids.

Points to Remember- Fire equipment in working condition should be in your house at all times. Inspect your fire equipment on a regular basis, so that dysfunctional parts can be replaced if required.

Cleaning Up Fire Extinguisher Powder
Fire equipments are life saving agents who put out fire for you, but often after a fire is put out, you are left with a lot of mess to be cleaned up. Some fire extinguishers use water , while some use foam and dry powder fire extinguishers use dry powder as extinguishing agent. Here is how you can clean up your house after using a fire extinguisher:

  • If you used dry powder fire extinguisher, you will see dry powder all over the place. Do not use any food item or liquid that is covered with the dry powder. It is better to throw it off.
  • If there are any books, papers or any other items that cannot be washed with water, you will need a brush to clean it off.
  • The powder doesn’t harm the environment , so you can rinse it off the floor.
  • You will need a powerful vacuum to clean the powder out of the cracks where broom cannot reach.

In case of Severe House Fire:

Nothing can be more disastrous in one’s life than a serious house fire. It could leave you with some serious damage to your house and house contents. Here is how you can deal with the aftermaths of fire damage:

  • Confirm with the fire personnels, if it is safe to enter your house. You should not enter your house unless you have been given a go ahead.
  • There will be a big mess to deal with after the fire and you might want it to be cleaned up as soon as possible, but if your house is covered against fire damage, it is a good idea to speak to your insurance company as they might want to inspect your house for claim settlement.
  • Confirm with the fire department if it is safe to use electricity and gas in the house. Necessary repair work might be needed before you can start using these utilities.
  • You can use hot water and bleach to wash off the walls and ceilings which will prevent mildew from growing. It also helps in disinfect the walls and ceilings.

Fire Equipment and Fire Safety Training for Children
Accidents do not need an invitation. It is therefore important to make sure that you take all precautions and safety measures to avoid them. If you have children at home, it is your responsibility to educate them about the causes of fire and ways to prevent fire accidents. There are few things that you need to do on your part to ensure that kids are always safe.

Things you need to remember:

  • Sources of fire such as lighters, matches should be kept out of their reach.
  • Kids must not have access to petrol, diesel, gasoline, ethyl or any inflammable liquids as it can lead to an uncontrollable fire.
  • You must not wear loose clothes while cooking and you must discourage your kids from doing so as well. Never allow your children to cook unless an adult is there with them.
  • Children should not have access to the knobs of your stove. You must never store chocolates, cookies or other stuff that your kids like, in shelves above the stove as your curious kid might want to burn the stove or turn on the knob after gaining access by reaching there.
  • You must have a fire equipment in working condition at home at all times. It is your responsibility to make sure that your fire equipment is regularly inspected and serviced.

Training your kids about fire safety:

  • You must train your kids to not panic. Pressing panic stations is a natural reaction in case of a fire. Even adults panic after a sudden breakout of fire, so it is obvious for kids to do so; however, in a panic state of mind, they will only put their safety at risk.
  • When fire breaks out, kids might hide inside a closet or under the bed to make themselves safe. They should be educated that it will only put their safety at risk.
  • If their clothes have caught fire they should not run as it will only provoke and cause the fire to spread. They must keep their nerves and start rolling on the ground.
  • Your kids must be aware of where the fire equipment is; however, they should be warned against playing with it.
  • Ask your kids what they know about a fire protection equipment. It will make it easier for you to educate them. They should know how to operate the fire protection equipment.

Do It Yourself Troubleshooting Tips For Smoke Alarms
We are aware why smoke alarms are installed in houses, office buildings, hospitals etc. Installing smoke alarms can save many lives and precious contents inside the property as well. It is of paramount importance that they are maintained well, since a dysfunctional smoke alarm can result in nuisance alarms and it can also put several lives at risk.

Points to Remember:

Smoke alarms should be kept distant from the sources of heat such as ovens and furnaces, shower, and air conditioning vents as well.

Batteries of your smoke alarms must be replaced at least once a year or whenever they start chirping. Smoke detectors must be cleaned on a regular basis. Dust build up can lead to false alarms.

Here are some of the DIY ways to maintain smoke alarms:

  • If smoke alarms are chirping, it is an indication that battery is low and it needs to be replaced.
  • If you do not like the message, kill the messenger’ should not be your approach while dealing with false alarms. If smoke detectors are ringing false alarms, you must never switch them off by unplugging. It can lead to serious damage during a fire situation. Smoke detectors ring false alarms when smoke alarms detect dust as smoke. Any dust build up around the sensor should be vacuumed.
  • If smoke alarms are located pretty close to cooking areas or areas where cooking vapours or contaminants are common, there are chances that a greasy film has built up around the sensor which can lead to false alarms. You may have to replace the smoke detector to get rid of this problem.
  • Power interruptions can be another problem with smoke detectors. If smoke detectors ring for a while and then stop ringing, it could be due to power interruptions, so you may have to fix connections to restore the power supply.
  • If you have already tried basic troubleshooting steps and still unable to fix false alarms, you must replace the unit.

Smoke alarm is a vital fire safety equipment that plays a key role in fire fighting. It is always better to be safe than sorry, so it is a good idea to have a well maintained fire protection equipment as well.

How to Choose the Best Fire Extinguisher for Your Building
As you may know that there are different types of fire extinguishers that are designed to deal with different types of fire. Fire can be caused by paper, wood, oil, petrol, gasoline etc. and you must know which fire equipment must be used for what type of fire.

Fire equipment that will be the best for hospital building will not be the best pick for office building. In order to choose the best fire equipment for your building, you need to ask yourself some questions.

Choosing a fire protection equipment for hospitals

More often than not, causes of fire in hospitals are more or less the same as office buildings; however, there are unwell patients and expensive life saving equipments in hospitals. These points need to be taken into account while choosing a fire protection equipment for hospitals. It is not a good idea to choose a chemical fire extinguisher as it affect the patients’ health. Rather, water mist fire extinguisher will be a good bet for hospitals.

Fire equipment for office buildings

Most of the office fires are caused due to paper, cloth or garbage. Now a days most of the data is on computers, yet paper work is there which can cause fires. ABC fire extinguishers are the best pick for office fires.

Choosing a fire extinguisher for laboratories

CO2 fire extinguisher is the best fire protection equipment for laboratories; however, one should be aware that this equipment cannot be used for fires caused by metals as it will rather cause the fire to spread. Co2 fire protection equipment can be used for electrical fires though.

You may also be interested in reading:- How to put out kitchen fires

Pros and Cons of Water Fire Equipment
Water has been the best fire extinguishing material available since the year dot. It is not pricey and abundantly available. Besides, it is also useful because of its cooling effect and that’s why it instantly reduces blazing flames. Water is a natural liquid, hence it is environment friendly too. In spite of so many benefits, a water fire equipment cannot be used for every type of fire. Let’s go through the post to find out what type of fire shouldn’t be fought with water fire equipment.

Water fire extinguisher should never be used against electrical fire. It will only add to your problems. Certainly not something you wish to deal with in the time of crisis. Water on electrical fire can cause electrocution. Water extinguisher’s another flip-side is that it will cause damage to your household contents, particularly those that cannot withstand heavy flow of water. Not only the contents but interior of the house might also get badly affected due to heavy flow of water.

You might need to repair or repaint the walls later. The same goes for flooring too; however, in the time of such a crisis, you will be rather more concerned about your life and lives of your family members. It is not only water fire extinguisher that is sufficient. You should also keep a fire blanket in your house. Most of the people do not understand the importance of fire blankets. They can be very useful if someone has caught fire. It is important to keep in mind that the base of fire should be aimed at, as if you are not pouring water on the base, from where it actually stems, your efforts will go wasted.

One of the most important things to keep in mind is that if you think that it is not easy for you to extinguish fire, call up the fire station to inform them about the situation as soon as possible. Always remember that your safety and others’ safety is the most important thing.

People who read this, also read: How to extinguish fire at workplace using fire equipment

Pros and Cons of Water Fire Equipment
Water has been the best fire extinguishing material available since the year dot. It is not pricey and abundantly available. Besides, it is also useful because of its cooling effect and that’s why it instantly reduces blazing flames. Water is a natural liquid, hence it is environment friendly too. In spite of so many benefits, a water fire equipment cannot be used for every type of fire. Let’s go through the post to find out what type of fire shouldn’t be fought with water fire equipment.

Water fire extinguisher should never be used against electrical fire. It will only add to your problems. Certainly not something you wish to deal with in the time of crisis. Water on electrical fire can cause electrocution. Water extinguisher’s another flip-side is that it will cause damage to your household contents, particularly those that cannot withstand heavy flow of water. Not only the contents but interior of the house might also get badly affected due to heavy flow of water.

You might need to repair or repaint the walls later. The same goes for flooring too; however, in the time of such a crisis, you will be rather more concerned about your life and lives of your family members. It is not only water fire extinguisher that is sufficient. You should also keep a fire blanket in your house. Most of the people do not understand the importance of fire blankets. They can be very useful if someone has caught fire. It is important to keep in mind that the base of fire should be aimed at, as if you are not pouring water on the base, from where it actually stems, your efforts will go wasted.

One of the most important things to keep in mind is that if you think that it is not easy for you to extinguish fire, call up the fire station to inform them about the situation as soon as possible. Always remember that your safety and others’ safety is the most important thing.

People who read this, also read: How to extinguish fire at workplace using fire equipment

How does a Fire Hydrant Work
What is a Fire Hydrant?

fire hydrant is a pipe with a nozzle that takes water from a water main. It is used to put out fire. Water is the best way to fight with fire as it is cost effective and available in abundance. The water that is used in fire hydrant is the same water which is used in homes, offices and institutions etc.; however, the pressure is not more than 50-80 pounds per square inch (PSI). This pressure is not sufficient to fight fire, that’s why pumps on the fire engines are used. These pumps increase the pressure and fire fighters hold small hoses to pour water on fire.

Freezing weather can be a huge problem in relatively colder states. Water freezes at very low temperatures and it makes it impossible to fight fires as ice clogs the hydrant system. Water expands when it coverts into ice, so it could cause the fire hydrant to crack, thus adding to problems in case of a fire situation. Dry Barrel fire hydrants are used in very cold states. In this type of fire hydrant water doesn’t stay in the upper section when the hydrant is not in use. There is a valve that controls the water flow which is buried deep enough. This valve is connected to the stem nut through a long rod. Wet hydrants always have water in the barrel. Pressurised water is supplied to the fire engine just by opening the valve.

What do Colour Codes on Fire Hydrants mean?

Fire fighters arrive at the scene in a fire situation and they are required to get into action immediately. They need to know where is the nearby water source, how much water is available as well as capacity of the hydrants available in the vicinity. Since they don’t have a lot of time, colour codes of hydrant tops and caps help them determine whether that hydrant is appropriate to fight with the fire at scene.

  • RED- Flow rate under 500 gallons per minute
  • Yellow- Flow rate between 500-999 gallons per minute
  • Green- Flow rate between 1000-1499 gallons per minute
  • Blue- Flow rate 1500 gallons per minute or higher

Maintenance of Fire Hydrants:-

Maintenance of fire hydrants is of utmost importance. Ignoring the maintenance could result in loss of several valuable lives and insurance claims worth millions of dollars. Regular inspection and maintenance work should be carried out to ensure that the fire hydrants are in working condition at all times. Nozzles, Upper and lower barrels, stem nut, seat valve etc. should be thoroughly checked and replaced if necessary. Water flow testing should be checked frequently to ensure that water supply meets the demands. Quality of water is equally important as presence of sediment in the water can make the hydrant dysfunctional. It is very important to not ignore these factors as replacement of a hydrant can cost approximately 15 times more than the inspection and replacement of its parts.

You may also be interested in:- Expert’s guide on how to choose the right Fire Extinguisher for your Home

How to Put Out Kitchen Fires
Kitchen can be a highly risky place as almost 50% of domestic fires start from there. These are mostly due to unattended cooking. Australian Federal Government and Fire Departments have been constantly pleading people to be very mindful while cooking as kitchen fires can be very devastating. There are simple things that you need to bear in mind while cooking. These will help you keep fire emergencies at bay.

Things to Remember while cooking-

  • Never leave cooking unattended, especially if you are using grease or oil for cooking. Grease fires come about when collection of oil or grease on oven, fryer or stove heats up enough to get ignited. In most of the cases of grease fire cooking was left unattended. Grease fire can spread to other flammable areas, thus causing severe damage. NEVER use water on a grease fire, since water and oil do not mix, infact it causes the oil to splash around.
  • The best way to counter grease fire is to cover it with pan lid. Avoid using glass lids as they can break from extreme heat. You can use baking soda to smother this fire; however, it takes plenty of soda to put out this kind of fire. As a practice, you can keep soda around before started cooking. Always remember accidents are always uninvited and being prepared prevents disasters. Dry powder fire extinguisher can be used to put out grease fires. Class B fire protection equipment can be used to smother grease fire. Class K fire protection equipment is mostly used in restaurants and other commercial places. Also note that dry powder fire extinguisher contaminates your food. Always make sure that fire protection equipment is visible and accessible at all times.
  • Never leave appliances switched on after cooking is done.
  • Flammable items such as oven mitts, tea towels should be kept away from cook tops.
  • Always make sure that there is one smoke alarm on every floor of the house. They should be in working condition. Inspect them on a monthly basis and replace the batteries once a year or whenever required.
  • Regular maintenance of fire protection equipment is also necessary. To know about inspection and maintenance of fire equipment click- Inspection and maintenance of fire equipment

These are small things that help you prevent disasters. NEVER try to fight fire that you know you can’t handle. Call up the fire department to deal with the fire that is difficult for you to control.

All about Smoke Detectors

Smoke detector is your friend that keeps a close eye on disasters and saves your life by informing you in case of a fire situation. Many people do not install smoke detectors thinking that fire will never happen at their home or office, so they do not need to install them. You may have fire protection equipment at your place, but what will you do when you are sleeping. Why? Because our sense of smell is off while we are sleeping.

Yes, this is true and not many people are wary of this fact. That’s why a lot of fire incidents that become serious are, because family members are asleep when fire breaks out. This is why smoke detectors are so important. More than 60 percent of deaths due to fire happened at places without working fire alarms. Let’s go through some major advantages of smoke alarms.

Location of Fire:-

In organisations and big houses multiple smoke alarms are installed, so that exact location of fire can be detected. The loud sound of smoke alarms warns you and helps you identify the exact location of fire. In this way, you can take quick action. Early detection of fire helps you in preventing it from spreading which can be very dangerous. In this way you can avoid serious losses.

Alarms are audible:-

Smoke alarms are designed in such a way that you can hear the sound of alarms no matter where you are in the house. You can take quick action after you are warned by the alarms. You must get to the location. Try to put out fire using a fire equipment, if the fire is not fierce. Otherwise inform the fire department and leave the premises as soon as possible. Accidents do not need any invitation, so always make sure that your fire equipment is maintained and serviced regularly.

Inexpensive:-

Smoke alarms are not expensive. Smoke alarms for homes are available at approximately $10-$12. These smoke alarms use alkaline batteries that cost $2 and last up to one year or more. Lithium batteries last for up to 10 years and these alarms do not cost you more than $20.

Click here to know about the inspection and maintenance of your fire equipment- Inspection and maintenance of fire equipment

Inspection and maintenance of fire equipment
As per the statistics, more than 10,000 house fires are recorded in Australia every year and more than 40 deaths are due to accidental house fires. Fire equipments are life saviors in the time of crisis; however, it is important that we maintain fire equipments with utmost care. Many people fail to understand the difference between Maintenace and Inspection. Consequently, they use them interchangably. It is very important to understand the difference between Maintenance and inspection.

Inspection will help you find out, if any part of fire protection equipment or fire protection equipment itself needs to be replaced. You can determine that by performing some checks. Any replacement made comes under maintenance. We bring you tips to inspect and maintain fire extinguishers, so that your life is safe in the time of crisis.

  1. Always read user’s manual quite carefully after purchasing a fire protection equipment. User manual is for you to get better understanding of how it works, how it must be inspected and necessary steps to maintain it.
  2. Parts of the fire protection equipment, e.g nozzole should never be blocked
  3. Fire equipment’s pressure level should be appropriate as recommended by the provider. The testing process is referred to as “Hydrostatic testing”
  4. Pin of the fire extinguisher should be intact.
  5. Fire extinguisher should never be obstructed due to furniture or any other thing.
  6. It should always be easy to find the fire protection equipment
  7. Fire protection equipment should be kept away from kids, heat and fire sources.
  8. Always recharge reusable fire protection equipment after it has been used; however, this shouldn’t be done by anyone, but only by a fire equipment provider. To be on a safer side, get your fire equipment inspected and fixed by fire extinguisher company after every usage.
  9. Dry powder in dry powder fire extinguisher tool can clump together due to inactivity; it is important to shake it well at least once in a month.
  10. Disposable fire extinguisher tool should not be used again, even if it was used once. it must be replaced.
  11. Some types of maintenance works are quite easy to do. They can be done at home without any professional help. They can be referred as ‘Do It Yourself’ maintenance work. For example:- shaking your dry powder fire extinguisher can be done by any adult at home. In contrast to “Do it yourself” work, some maintenance tasks need professional expertise tools etc. For example:- recharging your fire extinguisher tool or its annual service.
    These easy to follow tips will always prevent your fire equipment tool from being dysfunctional. Afterall, you don’t want to cut corners on the safety of you and your loved ones.

Click here to read about how to choose extinguisher for your home- Expert’s guide on how to choose right Fire Extinguisher for your home

How to extinguish fire at workplace using fire equipment

Fire at workplace can cause panic. That’s why it is essential to train employees by regular fire drills and workshops explaining importance and method of using fire protection equipment. Regular mock evacuation drills will help them know emergency exits better and situation will be under control in case of a real fire situation. This will help them prevent their panic stations calling the shots.

Type of fire:-

In order to determine the right kind of fire equipment to be used, type of fire should be known as well. All tested fire extinguishers are classified to fight that particular kind of fire. To put it simple, every fire equipment refers to the source of fire labelled on it. For example dry powder fire extinguisher can not be used for CLASS A fires. If fire protection equipment is not labeled, it is not tested. Fire can be classified in 4 types-

  1. CLASS A fire- Fire that started due to normal combustibles such as cloth, paper, cotton etc. comes under this category.
  2. CLASS B fire:- If fire came about due to gasoline, solvents, oil based paint or other flammables, it falls in this category.
  3. CLASS C fire:- Fire that transpired due to electric circuits, eletric appliances or fuse boxes etc comes in this category.
  4. CLASS D fire:- If the source of fire is magnesium and sodium, then it falls in CLASS D category.

Types of fire protection equipment:-

Water fire equipment-

Water fire equipment is the preferred fire extinguisher for CLASS A fire; however, this shouldn’t be used on fire caused by flammables or electrical wiring etc. You will see these fire extinguishers painted in RED.

CO2 fire protection equipment:- This type of fire extinguisher is applied for electrical fires. You will see a black label apart from being painted in RED. It sprays carbon dioxide. Water fire equipment should never be tried on this fire; however, this can be used in case of a small CLASS A fire

DRY powder fire extinguisher:-

Sodium Bi-carbonate- This is used to put off CLASS B AND C fires.

Potassium Bi-carbonate and chloride- This can turn out to be very effective for CLASS B and C fires as it uses less amount of agent.

Ammonium phospate- It is effective for CLASS A,B, C fires but it must never be used for commerical grease fryer. It can be very dangerous and can cause the fire to go out of control.

Regular maintenance of dry powder fire extinguisher is very important, because they need to be recharged after every use.

FOAM fire equipment:- This is used for CLASS A and B fire. You will see a lever on the equipment which is to be used to fight fire. PIN must be pulled outside to discharge. Aim the nozzle towards the base of fire to put it out. Move slowly step by step aiming the nozzle or hose towards the fire. This fire protection equipment can discharge quicker than many people preceive.

You may also be interested in reading Inspection and Maintenance of Fire Equipment

Expert’s guide on how to choose right Fire Extinguisher for your home

Accidents don’t have invitations!

Yes, accidents don’t have invitations and casualties don’t have calenders. So it is better to prevent and prepare rather than repent and repair. If you are moving to your new home, it is always advisable to install fire extinguishers at the time of renovating your home or constructing your premises. Don’t wait till first fire break out incident to learn how important it is to have fire safety equipment installed. But when you have decided to buy and install fire extinguisher at home, there are few questions that you need to answer before you make a final deal. The questions are :

  • What type of fire extinguisher you need?
  • How many extinguishers you need?
  • What size of extinguishers you need?

These questions, at first, seem so hard to answer. But don’t worry! Here are answer to your these questions. Just read them and you’ll be able to figure out type, size and quantity of fire extinguishers you may need for your home.

Decide on type
As soon as you decide to buy this fire safety equipment, first thing you need to decide on is to decide on which type of extinguisher you need to buy as there are many types of fire extinguishers available in the market. Basically, five types are available, namely: A,B,C,D and K. Each of these types has it’s own usage and applications. So it is very important to select right type for your home.

Type A : Generally used to to extinguish class A Fire.
Type B : This type of extinguisher is used to extinguish fire that involves liquid materials like oil.
Type C : Ideal for fire involving electrical utilities like electricity cables and equipments.
Type D : Generally used in Industrial factories.
Type K : Used in kitchen and places where cooking activities involve. Ideal for restaurants.

Size matters!
Fire extinguishers vary in sizes. They can be found in 2 pounds, 5 pounds and 10 pounds — with the main difference being the amount that they hold. Different size of equipments hold different size of extinguishing materials in them. That means fire extinguishing capacities differ from size to size.

Quantity is equally important
Now that you have decided on type and size of fire extinguisher, it is time to decide on how many equipments you may require. However, this question can be answered only after reviewing the size of your home, though every home owner should install at least one equipment in his/her home.

Location is very important
No doubt that type, size and quantity of fire extinguishers is important but you can’t ignore the importance of the place where the equipment is to be installed. Decide the place after thinking of how easily it is accessible in time of fire emergency.

IMPORTANT: “While you can decide and choose right type of fire extinguisher yourself, we recommend to consult any expert fire safety equipment company to assist you in making ideal decision for your home’s fire safety equipment, there are many companies providing Fire Extinguishers in Melbourne.”

Complacency Towards So called False Alarms

‘Fire on the Mountain, Run, Run, Run !!’ Almost all of us have played this game as a kid at some point. Almost 400 residents of Uni Lodge apartment did a ‘Fire in the Mountain’ at the crack of dawn last Sunday- June 23rd, 2013 , but it was more than a mere rendition as a fire broke out in the building located in the inner city Sydney suburb. The origin of fire was reported to be an electrical switch box on the 2nd floor of the building. There were no major casualties, but 3 people were treated for smoke inhalation.

When asked about the circumstances of fire, the residents said that they were awoken by a fire alarm on Sunday morning, but many of them did not pay heed to it as false alarms occur quite often. Later an evacuation announcement caused them to believe the alarms and they rushed out of the building to mill around in cold and rain. Residents spent much of the day in a shopping centre and since they were not given much information by the building staff, they did not know when to return. Uni Lodge’s facebook page informed the residents at 1500 hrs that they will not be allowed to return to the rooms that night.

Uni Lodge incident is not the only time when alarms were not taken seriously. People have developed a complacent attitude towards alarms in recent years which is no less than putting their life at risk.

What is a False Alarm?

Frankly, nothing ! This fire equipment doesn’t sound on its own. It is caused to sound by an electrical break in the electric current passing through the system. It could be a small piece of paper burning near a smoke detector that caused the alarm to sound, nonetheless alarms should not be ignored. All alarms should be paid attention to. Fire safety equipments are installed in your house so that you can be warned against looming dangers.

You should keep checking alarms on a regular basis as a dysfunctional alarm can put countless lives at risk. Do It Yourself Troubleshooting Tips For Smoke Alarms can help you fix small problems associated with smoke alarms.