Despite your best efforts to secure the safety of your property, sometimes disasters are out of your control. Of all the risks that business owners face, fire is one of the most common – and most dangerous. Fortunately, you can reduce the damaging effects of fire, and Professional Fire Service Sales & Services, Inc. can help. A locally owned and operated fire protection agency, we’ve been protecting the property owners of Upper East Side, NY for more than 35 years. From new fire suppression system installations to fire sprinkler system inspections and repairs, you can count on our team to keep your New York County home or business safe from the dangers of fire.
Each year, fires break out in countless homes and businesses across the country, including New York County. Structure fires cause hundreds of thousands of dollars in property damages, and worse, they result in serious injuries and even death. In addition to taking the necessary efforts to prevent a fire from starting in the first place, if you want to avoid the damaging effects that a fire can cause, you need to invest in a fire suppression system.
Fire extinguishers are among the most effective fire protection devices available. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), portable fire extinguishers can successfully contain up to 80% of structure fires. However, despite their effectiveness, the NFPA estimates that as much as 30% of portable fire extinguishers don’t work properly.
While you hope you never need one, in the event that you ever do and your fire extinguisher fails, you could be in serious trouble. To ensure that this vital part of your property’s fire suppression system is in proper working order, you should have a professional fire extinguisher inspection performed on a regular basis.
Reasons Fire Extinguishers Fail
Like any other type of equipment, fire extinguishers can sustain damages that could render them ineffective. Some of the leading causes of fire extinguisher failure include:
- Corrosion. The main cylinder in a fire extinguisher is constructed of either aluminum or steel. While these metals are quite durable and can withstand the excessive force that pressurized gases within the fire extinguisher place on them, over time, steel and aluminum can corrode. Corrosion can compromise the structural integrity of the cylinder and prevent the fire extinguisher from operating.
- Blockages. Dirt, debris, and even insects can get lodged inside a fire extinguisher’s house. When a blockage occurs, the functionality of the extinguisher will be compromised, trapping the fire suppressing materials inside and rendering the safety device useless. The hose and the O-rings that connect it to the fire extinguisher can also deteriorate over time, preventing the hose from working properly
- Leaks. Holes, dents, cracks; fire extinguisher leaks can occur for a number of reasons. If your fire extinguisher is leaking, the pressure inside the device can fall under the necessary level, thereby preventing the fire suppression materials inside the device from being released when activated.
- Tampering. Unfortunately, fire extinguishers are often tampered with; especially if they’re situated in easy-to-access locations. Locking pins can be pulled, hoses can be loosened, or the head cap seal could be dislodged, for example. If a fire extinguisher is tampered with in any way, pressure levels can lower, the contents of the tank can be discharged, and the hose could completely fall off. Tampering of any kind can render a fire extinguisher ineffective.
- Wear and tear. Just like any other product in your Upper East Side, NY home or business, fire extinguishers can sustain wear and tear. The materials that the device is constructed of can warp or corrode, gauges can stop working, and fire extinguisher tags that contain important operating instructions can become illegible.
- Recharging. Whenever a fire extinguisher is used – even if it’s only minimal use – it must be recharged immediately to ensure that it is ready for future use.
How Often Should a Fire Extinguishers be Serviced?
How often should you have the fire extinguishers in your New York County home or business service? Here’s a general guideline to follow:
- Visual Inspections – Once a Month. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) standards require business owners to visually inspect all fire extinguishers once a month. Monthly visual inspections are a good benchmark for homeowners to follow, too. When visually inspecting your fire extinguishers, look for any visible signs of damage and wear and tear, check to make sure that the pin is properly placed, and read the pressure gauge to make sure that the pointer is in the green zone.
- Maintenance Inspections –Once a Year. OSHA also requires business owners to have annual maintenance inspections performed by a professional fire protection company. Residents should follow the same guideline. During this inspection, a certified technician will check to make sure that all components are in good condition and that the device, overall, is working properly.
- Internal Maintenance Inspections – Every 5 to 12 Years. You’ll need to have an internal maintenance test, which involves hydrostatic testing, once every 5 to 12 years, depending on the type of fire extinguisher you have. During the hydrostatic testing, the fire extinguisher will be discharged by a technician and the entire device will be assessed; both internally and externally. The extinguisher will also be recharged. Generally, extinguishers that contain wet chemical fire suppressant materials should receive internal maintenance once every 5 years, while devices that feature dry chemicals should be internally inspected every 12 years.
In addition to the above-mentioned guidelines, as a general rule of thumb, if you notice anything suspicious with your fire extinguishers – even if you aren’t due for a routine fire extinguisher inspection – contact a reputable fire protection specialist right away. When it comes to protection from fire, there’s no such thing as “too safe”.
For Reliable Fire Protection Services in New York County, Contact Professional Fire Service Sales & Services, Inc. Today!
To keep your Upper East Side, NY home or business protected from the dangers of fire, contact Professional Fire Service Sales & Services, Inc. today! From fire sprinkler installation and repairs to fire extinguisher services, when our experts are on the job, you can have peace of mind knowing that your safety is in the very best of hands.
To learn more about our services or to set up an appointment, give us a call today at 631-926-3138. We look forward to working with you and keeping your property safe from the dangers of fire.
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