Fire extinguishers are elemental safety devices that provide a quick line of defence against fire outbreaks, ensuring that you can keep a fire in check and prevent it from causing extensive damage. For them to do this, however, fire extinguishers must be in good condition at all times and be used for the right purpose. Thankfully, an extinguisher comes with a tag with lots of information on the condition of the extinguisher, the kind of fires it can put out, when it was last filled and many other things. If you are going to install fire extinguishers in your building, here is a comprehensive look at fire extinguisher tags to help you gain more insight:
The Status Tag
Just as the name alludes, a status tag is one that reveals the condition of the fire extinguisher. It tells you if the equipment will be ready for an outbreak of disaster. Today, most fire extinguisher technicians prefer to use cylinder tags, which often come in a vibrant yellow colour. Their purpose is to tell you if the extinguisher is empty and discharged, full or in service. You should always read the status bar from the bottom towards the top because the current condition of extinguisher is always indicated on the lower end of the status tag.
The Class Tag
Fire extinguishers are categorised in classes. The classification is based on the fact that fires result from a variety of causes such as flammable liquids and gases, electrical faults, wood and paper fuel. For this reason, fire extinguishers should be designated to the specific type of fire that they can put out efficiently. Class tags will define your extinguisher under class A, B C or D or class ABC. Class ABC is more versatile and can be used to put out classes A, B and C fires. Here is a look at the specifics of the classes of fire and their causes:
- Class A – organic wood and paper fires.
- Class B – flammable liquids such as petrol and paraffin
- Class C – electrical fires
- Class D – chemical fires resulting from the reaction of different chemicals
The Expiration Tags
Most extinguishers rely on various chemicals to put out fires. These chemicals have a lifespan, the period within which you should use them before they go bad. An expiration tag tells you when a fire extinguisher goes bad and cannot be used anymore. In most cases, most of them have a lifespan of about two to five years.