Whether you started the fire or not, be the one to put it out! Let’s talk about the pros and cons of replacing or refilling your fire extinguishers at the office – before you find yourself in the middle of a hot mess (literally).
Fire Extinguishers: Refill or Replace?
Just because you don’t bust out the marshmallows and weenies at the office doesn’t mean there isn’t the potential for a cooking, electrical, or malicious fire occurring at your workplace. Office fires cause an annual average of four civilian deaths, 44 civilian fire injuries, and $112 million in direct property damage per year, according to the National Fire Protection Association. How about avoiding all that with a bit of planning and a small upfront cost?
Plus, did we mention that OSHA requires a fire extinguisher for applicable businesses who don’t have a thorough fire protection plan? Just sayin’.
First Things First
…. Do you have a fire extinguisher in the office?! If you don’t, the answer to this article’s question is pretty straightforward, don’tcha think? Do not pass go, do not collect $200, and get your office at least one fire extinguisher right away!!!
Already have one? How old is it?
Fire extinguishers need to be tested on a regular basis to ensure they’ll be ready to go when you need to use them. The testing schedule varies, from one year to twelve years. If your company has had it serviced recently, there should be a tag on it with the date it was last checked:
If you don’t have one – don’t panic! The extinguisher itself should have useful information that should help you out:
Also, make sure to take a look at the gauge, if your extinguisher has one. It should be squarely in the green area:
If this information isn’t encouraging…. you know what to do.
Is it time for a refill?
Yes, fire extinguishers can be refilled! However, there’s a lot of factors to consider when looking at refilling your units:
- How old are they? If they’re already ‘too old’ (depending on the type of extinguisher), they can’t be refilled.
- Who will do it? While some regions provide a refilling service through the local fire department, others outsource it to independently-owned businesses.
- How much will it cost? The cost varies from place to place, but you can guesstimate a charge of $15-$40 per extinguisher. Depending on the size and type, you could get a new unit for a similar cost!
- Who is liable? While it’s not pleasant to consider, who is responsible if the unit fails to work once it’s been refilled? The guy who shows up with his van and sets up shop in the parking lot to refill your fire extinguishers may not be the most reliable – and certainly won’t provide you with the peace of mind that a sealed unit might.
Why not consider the alternative…
Buy a new unit? Worth a thought!
A new fire extinguisher? We thought you’d never ask! A new fire extinguisher answers all of those nagging questions: Will it work? Is it safe? Am I paying too much? With a price point comparable to some fire extinguisher refilling services, guaranteed functionality, and a big-brand name to back the quality, why wouldn’t you?
Let OfficeZilla Help You Out
We’ve reached a technological break-point in fire extinguishers – if the price isn’t too far off, why wouldn’t you replace those dubious extinguishers with new ones? Just make sure to recycle the old units (contact your local fire department for more information), install your brand-new fire extinguishers, and bask in the warm – but not too warm – glow of making your office just a little bit safer for everyone.
Keeping it safe,