For The Small Business Owner: A Quick Guide To Understanding Fire Safety

As a small business owner, one of the more common mistakes that you can make is to assume that a fire extinguisher will be sufficient for putting out any fire that might occur at your place of business.  A second common mistake is assuming that the same fire extinguisher would be helpful while you were waiting for the fire department to arrive. The truth is that a fire extinguisher could empty its entire contents within minutes, while the fire around you continues to grow and spread. While a fire extinguisher is often sufficient for a small fire, it is crucial to make sure that your business also has access to an appropriate fire hose.

Understanding The Role Of The Fire Extinguisher

It is first important to note that the fire extinguisher is not a good choice to help you put out a raging fire. Its role is to release a limited amount of chemicals or water to a specific location when a fire has occurred. The lightweight units that you may have at your business may only be able to be used for a few minutes until the bottle is empty.

Therefore, you will find that a fire extinguisher is a good choice when a lit candle in the bathroom is tipped over. Unfortunately, it will not be of much help when the fire from the candle has gone unnoticed and develops into a sizable flame. As a result, it is not unusual to incorporate the use of a fire hose, along with its water source, into a safety plan.  

Learning About Your Fire Hose 

It is a good idea to remember that the first part of your safety plan needs to be safely getting yourself, employees and customers out of the facility. Next you should call the fire department. Unless you find that the fire is blocking an exit or otherwise making escape more difficult, do not attempt any fire remediation until everyone is out of the building and the fire department has been notified. 

The exception to that will be if you find that you are in an area of the building with no accessible exit due to the fire. In that instance, you may be able to use the hose to access a way out, when you have no other choice. You should only do so after closing all other doors and windows to minimize the growth of the fire through denying it oxygen. It will also be useful to remember that you should never plan to use a standard garden hose during a fire, as they have a lower water-pressure and cannot spray as far as a fire hose can. In addition, some fire hoses can release chemicals, which will be useful if the fire is caused by grease, since water will not extinguish grease fires.

Fire hoses are typically between 50 and 100 feet long. Because they are usually stored on rollers or otherwise suspended, you should be sure to verify every three to five years that they are still safe to use and free of any breakdown that could compromise their usability. You should also plan to have hose pressure tested every year, as suggested by experts.

In conclusion, an adequate safety plan for your business should include both a fire extinguisher and a fire hose so that you can protect your business and everyone in it when you may have only seconds to evacuate. Therefore, it is a good idea to be aware of the information provided above. For more information on fire hoses, contact a company like Alexander Gow Fire Equipment Company.