Size is a necessary consideration when you’re shopping around for a fire extinguisher.
Choosing the right size of extinguisher is a very important safety concern that is often overlooked by businesses. In many cases people assume that bigger is better when it comes to extinguishers because larger equipment is more powerful and has more contents inside. However, this isn’t always the case. While having too small a fire extinguisher can be ineffective at curtailing a large blaze, having too large a fire extinguisher can also cause problems: it can be costly, hard to operate and unnecessary.
Sizing up your options
Generally, the larger the extinguisher is, the more powerful it will be. However, larger fire equipment is much heavier, making it far more difficult to carry and maneuverer. Most of the time extinguishers between 1.0 KG and 3.5 KG require the least training to use, and are suitable for most locations where small fires are likely. On the opposite end of the spectrum, larger extinguishers, between 25.0 KG and 45.0 KG are much more expensive, require more training to use, but are essential in places where extremely large and dangerous fires occur.
Here are some things to think about when choosing a fire extinguisher size:
What are your fire risks?
It’s important to think about the types of hazards within your facility. The size of a fire that may occur in an office building, caused by ordinary combustibles like paper, is very different to a fire that could occur in a manufacturing plant that specialises in hazardous materials. The size of the room or facility is also important. For example, a small reception area that has little combustible materials around is likely to require a smaller extinguisher, compared to a spacious section of a warehouse that is packed with combustible products.
What can your employees handle?
Don’t forget: a fire extinguisher is only as effective as the person who is in control of it. It’s important to think about the physical capabilities of your employees when selecting a fire extinguisher for your business. Most people have no difficulty lifting and operating a 2.5kg fire extinguisher. However, a 5kg or 9kg model may become pretty hard for some to lift and hold for a long period of time. While many of the larger fire extinguishers will come with built-in wheels to make transportation easier, this isn’t always the most practical choice. A massive, high-capacity fire extinguishing weapon may have good firefighting potential, but if it’s too bulky for your workers, you may have a dangerous situation on your shoulders.
Other crucial components
Size certainly isn’t the only important consideration when picking a fire extinguisher for your needs. There are several other important decisions to be made. The contents inside your extinguisher makes a massive impact on how you put out the flames. There are several different types of fire extinguishers on the market and each of these is suited to putting out fires of different classes. The most common types include: Water, Foam, Carbon Dioxide, Dry Chemical and Wet Chemical.
- Learn more about the different types of extinguishers
- Learn more about the different fire classes in Australia
- Our Guide to choosing the best equipment for your needs
Want to learn more about what fire safety equipment is right for you? Fire Equipment Online is here to help. Our highly-qualified experts will help find the most affordable and most well-suited fire extinguisher solution for you, no matter how unique your requirements may be. Contact us today for more information.