Your fire extinguishers may be giving you a false sense of security.
True, extinguishers are often the unsung heroes of fire protection. But their clutch utility comes with an easy-to-overlook caveat: They’re only as dependable as their last fire extinguisher certification.
You can’t expect a fire extinguisher to work indefinitely or even next year. Over time, fire extinguisher components begin to degrade, depressurize, and may even corrode, leading to preventable disasters when you least expect it.
Fortunately, it’s easy to ensure fire extinguishers work as intended. Fire extinguisher certification is one of several proven fire protection services that can protect your property. Bonus – it’s easy and affordable.
4 Reasons for Fire Extinguisher Certification
Fire extinguishers are like parachutes. Hopefully, you never need to use one, but if you do, it better live up to expectations. Below are four reasons to get your property’s extinguishers inspected and certified every year.
1. Fire Extinguisher Certification is Mandated by Code
The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) has established fire extinguisher codes for the United States. NFPA 10, or the Standard for Portable Fire Extinguishers, requires fire extinguishers to be inspected by a certified professional every year. An annual inspection includes checking for damaged or faulty hardware, as well as a cursory check to make sure the device still holds pressure.
Additionally, the NFPA mandates that all water, dry powder, or foam extinguishers also be emptied and refilled at least once every five years. Hydrostatic extinguishers, including CO2 and wet chemical ones, must be tested every five years. There are few loopholes to these requirements. In fact, state and local fire codes are often more stringent than the NFPA’s.
2. Fire Extinguisher Certification May Be Required for Insurance Coverage
It’s a good idea to have business insurance to protect your property from fire damage. However, be sure to read the fine print on your policy. You may be surprised to find that fire damages aren’t fully covered if a fire code violation was a contributing factor. You may, therefore, need to prove that your fire extinguishers were regularly inspected by certified professionals.
Paying a small sum to make sure your fire extinguishers are spaced, placed, and functioning properly can save your business. Having accessible and working extinguishers boost fire protection across your property. Certified inspection also ensures that if a fire does occur, you won’t be stuck paying to rebuild all by yourself.
3. Fire Extinguisher Certification Can Help You Avoid Litigation
For your business, you don’t only need insurance against fire. You need insurance against litigation as well.
When fire breaks out, it’s natural for third parties to sue for incidental damages to their own properties. In such cases, certified fire extinguishers are an inexpensive defense tool. By demonstrating a documented commitment to fire safety, you may avert potential lawsuits for negligence.
On the other hand, if you never had your fire extinguishers inspected, and a fire on your property led to third-party damages, you may find yourself in court. Fire alarm monitoring is important, but it doesn’t put out fires. Fire extinguisher certification helps make sure fires can be smothered as soon as they are noticed.
4. Fire Extinguisher Certification Saves Lives
The main reason you need fire extinguisher certification is also the most obvious. Working fire extinguishers save lives. They help extinguish fires before they turn catastrophic – or at least control fires long enough so people have a chance to evacuate.
In 2019, structure fires accounted for 2,980 civilian deaths and 13,900 injuries in the United States. Sadly, fires sometimes take lives unnecessarily not because a fire extinguisher malfunctioned, but because only the wrong type of extinguisher was available. Different types of fires (e.g., grease, electrical) require different types of extinguishers. A certified inspector will make sure you not only have enough fire extinguishers but also the right kinds in the right places.
Protect Your Property with Annual Fire Extinguisher Inspections
There are many other reasons to make sure your fire extinguishers are regularly certified. But it really all comes down to this: Fire extinguisher inspection is the easiest and most affordable way you can protect your property and the people who work, visit, or live there.
Seatronics has been in the fire protection services business for over 50 years. Fire extinguisher inspection and maintenance by Seatronics can help protect your business from government fines, insurance policy loopholes, potential lawsuits, and calamitous events.