You know the importance of investing in fire extinguishers for your business operation. Maintenance is also something that you emphasize. How much thought have you given to where each fire extinguisher is placed? Here are some tips that will help you determine the ideal locations for each of those extinguishers.
Choose the Right Cabinet
Did you know that extinguisher cabinets are available in different designs and materials? Some of them are fine for use indoors while others are more suitable for placing outside. Depending on the nature of your operation, you may want to choose one cabinet type for all the indoor extinguishers and a different one for any that you keep mounted near a loading dock or other outside area of the building.
The Height Matters
What’s the ideal height for mounting an extinguisher cabinet? A lot depends on the size of the fire extinguisher. It’s usually a good idea to mount a smaller cabinet roughly five feet from the ground. Larger cabinets can be mounted closer to three feet from the floor. While size isn’t the only factor, it’s a good place to start.
Consider The Number of People Working in the Area
One of the primary functions of a fire extinguisher is to take care of smaller fires. It’s also designed to keep flames at bay as employees and others leave affected areas and get outside to a safe place. With this in mind, it pays to position extinguishers based on the number of personnel working in specific areas of the operation.
If you have around a dozen people working in an open space of around 3,000 square feet, a minimum of four extinguishers should be placed along different walls. All employees should be trained on how to get into the cabinets and use the extinguishers to clear a path and get everyone out of the space. The goal is to ensure that at least one extinguisher is within 75 feet of any group of employees. Doing so buys precious seconds for the other three to be reached and pressed into service.
Accessibility Also Matters
When selecting spots for the fire extinguishers, make sure there is nothing that has to be walked around, jumped over, or otherwise between your employees and the cabinets. In an emergency, they should be able to head straight for an extinguisher and deploy it with a minimum of delay. Choose expanses of walls that are clear of any other machinery or equipment rather than trying to recess them behind something else.
Don’t Forget the Exit Points
While fire extinguishers within the workspace are important, never underestimate the need to place them near each exit point. This is especially helpful if the other extinguishers are exhausted and no longer offering any protection. It’s easy enough to grab an extinguisher that’s near an outer door and keep the flames at bay as the last of your employees get out of the building. Those extra seconds reduce the potential for injuries or worse.
Are you not sure how many extinguishers you need or how to identify the best locations? Get some help from the local authorities as well as a supplier who sells cabinets and extinguishers. It won’t take long to inspect your working space, determine where to place each extinguisher, and train your employees on how to use them responsibly. If a fire should break out, all your efforts will pay off in terms of limiting damage to the facility and ensuring no one is harmed.