What Type of Fire Extinguisher Should I Pick for My Business?

Opening a new business in Santa Clarita, CA? You likely already know there are plenty of codes and regulations to comply with, but you need to be especially attentive to Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) safety standards.

To protect your employees and your property, you need to ensure easy access to fire equipment in case an emergency situation should arise—but how do you know what model is the right one for you? Here’s a brief guide to the various types of fire extinguishers for businesses.

Fire extinguisher types

Picking the right fire extinguisher for a business in Santa Clarita, CA starts with determining the type of fire risk that could threaten your business. Extinguishers aren’t universal, and they don’t necessarily put out every type of fire. Type A and type B fires can threaten nearly any type of business. Type A fires involve ordinary combustible materials, including paper and wood. Type B fires involve flammable liquids like grease or gasoline.

If your business has sensitive computer equipment or electronics on site, you’ll have to account for type C fire risks. If you’re operating a chemical or industrial facility, type D fires are a concern. Finally, there’s type K fire risk—these fires occur mainly in kitchens in the restaurant industry, since they involve cooking greases and oils, but these fires can usually be fought with a type B or C extinguisher.

You need to select the extinguisher type that corresponds to the potential fire risks at your business. Keep in mind that there is a minimum requirement of a 5lb 2-A:10-B:C to comply with regulatory codes.

Fire extinguisher sizes

Another consideration businessowners need to take into account is the size of the rooms at your property. If you have average sized rooms with limited combustible materials, the minimum 5lb requirement should be sufficient for fighting fires should the need arise. Larger spaces like warehouses or rooms that have a large fuel load with abundant combustible materials could require up to a 30lb extinguisher. Consult your local fire equipment provider to learn about the size that’s best for your needs.

Employee capabilities

Fire extinguishers don’t operate on their own, which is why you need to be mindful of the fire equipment you choose to purchase for your commercial space. An extinguisher is useless if it’s too heavy for your employees to lift and use with confidence. In some situations, especially if you need big and bulky extinguishers for commercial kitchens or industrial facilities, you should invest in a wheeled fire extinguisher. It’s easier on your employees, and they have enough firepower to tamp down a fire event before it gets out of control.

Remember that choosing the right fire extinguisher for your business is only part of your obligations as a business owner in Santa Clarita, CA. In order to comply with fire codes and insurance requirements, employees must be properly trained to use fire extinguishing equipment. Contact Raider Fire Protection today to learn more about selecting the right fire equipment for your business, as well as what it takes to properly train employees to use it.