Fire fighting equipment such as fire extinguishers are vital for all types of businesses, whether it's commercial premises such as factories and production plants through to company vehicles and home offices fire extinguishers could save a building from a fire and even more importantly save lives. Since 1997 due to European law the colour coding of fire extinguishers slightly changed, previously all fire extinguishers were colour coded but the whole body of the fire extinguisher was specific such as water fire extinguishers were completely red, Co2 fire extinguishers had black painted cylinders, foam fire extinguishers had cream coloured cylinders and dry powder fire extinguishers had full blue cylinders.
Post 1997 production started with fire extinguisher manufacturers producing all fire extinguishers in the colour red, with one exception, there had to be at least 5% of the total fire extinguisher cylinder mass painted or colour coded with labels to match the original colour of the contents as they were previously, for example Co2 fire extinguishers are now all red but should have a black band or label at the front of the fire extinguishers which signifies the old colour system, however water fire extinguishers were manufactured with no change as they were previously all red anyway.
Why are fire extinguishers essential for business? fire extinguishers such as water fire extinguishers must be installed around the building to satisfy the insurance companies, if there was a fire and no fire extinguishers were available you can be pretty sure the contents of the building will be burnt to an ash and more than likely the structural integrity of the property will be severely damaged such as collapsing walls, doors and pipework, twisted metal and unsafe roofs.
If a water fire extinguisher is readily full, charged and maintained the chances of preventing the above from happening is drastically reduced, consider water fire extinguishers to a first aid kit, someone gets an injury and first aid treatment is provided before the ambulance arrives, with water fire extinguishers, trained and competent staff can tackle class A fires (if safe to do so) prior to the fire brigade turning up to tackle the fire.
As mentioned previously, water fire extinguishers have the ability to tackle class 'A' fires which are wood, paper & textiles, basically anything that burns which turns to ash. Site your water fire extinguishers in suitable, correct positions around your premises, e.g. near fire exits, near combustible materials, wall mount them where possible to prevent them being used to hold open doors, where wall mounting is not possible considers using Fire Extinguisher Stands to house them and it's very important that they are easily located and visible which can be achieved by displaying water fire extinguishers signs above them.
In poorly lit areas where water fire extinguishers are sited such as in corridors, stairwells, basements and fire escape routes you can easily highlight them with glow in the dark water fire extinguisher identification signs. Above all ensure you have adequate water fire extinguishers installed by consulting either the fire brigade or carry out a fire risk assessment to discover the risks and how to reduce or eliminate them. Water fire extinguishers are essential for businesses if positioned correctly, are maintained and fully charged and when, or if needed are used by trained and competent people they could save a property but more importantly could save lives.