Fire Extinguisher Classifications and Fire Code
The most common type of fire extinguisher used in apartment buildings and offices is a standard 5# ABC extinguisher.
However, you may have a special hazard that requires a specific type of extinguisher.
We have listed some common extinguisher below and the codes that regulate fire extinguisher below.
If you have any questions regarding type of extinguishers or fire code, please email us at email@example.com or call us at (415) 643-1776.
Types of Fire Extinguishers
The most common fire extinguishers found in commercial and residential buildings. ABC or Multi-Purpose extinguishers utilize a specially fluidized and siliconized mono ammonium phosphate dry chemical. It chemically insulates Class A fires by melting at approximately 350°F and coats surface to which it is applied. It smothers and breaks the chain reaction of Class B fires and will not conduct electricity back to the operator.
Advantages: Cost, Multipurpose Use
Disadvantages: Clean-up after use
The clean agent fire extinguisher is a liquefied gas, pressurized with nitrogen, which discharges as a vapor causing no cold or static shock and no impairment of the operator's vision. This "CLEAN" agent quickly penetrates difficult to see and hard to reach areas and leaves no residue. It is recommended or protection of delicate, sensitive and expensive computers, electrical equipment, tapes and film, automotive and aircraft engines, laboratory chemicals and equipment.
Advantages: Clean Agent, Environment, Easy Clean up after use
K-CLASS (Wet Chemical)
Used in restaurant kitchens, cafeterias and dining halls. They contain a special potassium acetate based, low PH agent developed for use in pre-engineered restaurant kitchen systems. The recent trend to more efficient cooking appliances and use of unsaturated cooking oils dictates the use of a hand portable fire extinguisher with greater fire fighting capacity and cooling effect to combat these very hot and difficult fires. Available in two sizes - 6 liter or 2½ gal. with attractive stainless steel cylinders and easy to use hose and spray application nozzle. The superior fire fighting capability of the Wet Chemical agent is placed exactly where you aim it with no chemical residue to clean up. The Models B260 and B262 are the ideal "KITCHEN USE" fire extinguishers. They supplement existing cooking equipment automatic system protection for an extra margin of safety.
Advantages: CLean Up, Vegetable Oil Fires
Disadvantages: Cost, Weight of Extinguisher
CARBON DIOXIDE (Co2)
Carbon Dioxide is discharged as a white cloud of "snow" which smothers a fire by eliminating oxygen. It is effective for Class B flammable liquids and is electrically non-conductive. Carbon Dioxide is a clean, non-contaminating, odorless gas.
Advantages: Good for Automotive Centers, Elevator Rooms, Boilers
The ultimate extinguisher for Class A fires and where a potential Class C (electrical) hazard exists. The fine spray from the unique misting nozzle provides safety from electrical shock, greatly enhances the cooling and soaking characteristics of the agent and reduces scattering of burning materials. The Amerex Water Mist extinguishers contain deionized water making them the best extinguishers for protection of hospital environments, valuable books and documents, telecommunication facilities and "clean room" manufacturing facilities. The Amerex Water Mist extinguishers are easy to use, maintain, and service
Advantages: Clean Agent, Clean Up,
Disadvantage: Does not work on Electrical Fires
* For more information, please go to: Amerex Fire Products
Fire Codes Regulating Fire Extinguishers
California Title 19 575.1 Maintenance and Required Service Intervals.
(a) Fire extinguishers shall be subjected to maintenance annually as described in this chapter or immediately after use or when specifically indicated by an inspection or at the time of hydrostatic test. For purposes of maintenance, hydrostatic tests required during the same calendar year shall be performed at the time of the annual maintenance or recharge.
575. Servicing, General
Servicing which includes maintenance, recharging and hydrostatic testing shall be performed by concerns licensed by the State Fire Marshal having available the appropriate servicing manual(s), the proper types of tools, recharging agents and materials, lubricants, and manufacturer's recommended replacement parts or parts of equal quality. Maintenance, recharging and hydrostatic testing shall be done in accordance with the appropriate manufacturer's service manual (s) and the requirements of this chapter.
575.1 Maintenance and Required Service Intervals.
(a) Fire extinguishers shall be subjected to maintenance annually as described in this chapter or immediately after use or when specifically indicated by an inspection or at the time of hydrostatic test. For purposes of maintenance, hydrostatic tests required during the same calendar year shall be performed at the time of the annual maintenance or recharge. 40
(b) Non-rechargeable fire extinguishers shall not be recharged or hydrostatically tested but shall be discharged and removed from service at a maximum interval of 12 years from the date of manufacture. EXCEPTION: Non-rechargeable fire extinguishers containing a halon agent shall be removed from service, not discharged, and returned to the manufacturer or fire extinguisher distributor having the capability of recovering the halon agent.
(c) When additional fire extinguishers are installed in excess of those required, the additional extinguishers shall be subjected to maintenance and hydrostatically tested in the same manner and at intervals as set forth in this chapter for required extinguishers.
(d) New fire extinguishers that are fully charged by the manufacturer shall, after being sold, be subjected to maintenance within one year from the date of manufacture in accordance with this chapter. If only the year is shown, the new extinguisher shall be due for maintenance by January 1st of the year following the year of manufacturer in accordance with this chapter. EXCEPTION: A licensed fire extinguisher concern may attach the tag described in Section 596.1(a) and punch the new extinguisher block and date the extinguisher was sold. Extinguishers tagged in this manner shall be subjected to maintenance one year from the date on the tag in accordance with this chapter. Extinguishers more than two years old from date of manufacture shall not be tagged as new extinguishers.
(e) At the time of installation and at each annual maintenance, extinguishers shall be placed in a fully charged and operable condition free from defects which may cause malfunctions.
(f) At the time of service, hydrostatic testing, or at any time when parts are replaced, an itemized invoice showing work performed and parts replaced shall be provided by the licensee to the owner or possessor of the fire extinguisher.
(g) The licensee shall offer, in writing, to return all replaced parts to the portable fire extinguisher owner or owner's representative, except such parts as the licensee is required to return to the manufacturer of the portable fire extinguisher under any warranty arrangement. Text of offer must be in capital letters of at least 10 pt. boldface type or legible printing of comparable size.
(h) Service shall not be performed more than 30 days before the date the service is due, unless approved and initialed by the owner or owner's representative in writing. Text must be capital letter in at least 10 pt. boldface type or legible printing of comparable size stating that service was performed more than 30 days prior to the due date.
NOTE: Authority cited: Section 13160, Health and Safety Code. Reference: Sections 13160, 13162, 13177, 13190.3, Health and Safety Code.
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