Fire Extinguishers: more than you wanted but I geeked out a little

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No matter what kind of business you have from convenience stores to nuclear facilities, fire extinguishers, and keeping them annually serviced is required.

The layers of code can be confusing. My job is to know the local requirements, national, and even international code in some instances. They generally don’t conflict but it always seems there is an exception to the rule. Fire extinguisher work is not my favorite, but I am very good at it, and it always keeps me learning. It is one of those things that has a well-documented history, the first being invented by George William Manby in 1818 with the first known patent in 1723 (it used gun powder). They are still evolving. Since I started this work in the mid 90’s there have been so many changes and they aren’t done yet.  Halon has been all but phased out and replaced with newer, safer, chemicals. Wet chemical for kitchens has been embraced and made a required element. Technology for discharge has changed as well dialing in hose types and styles. There have been some missteps like the Amerex K class wands which wound up being intuitive regarding improper use, but it is a self-righting technology. Watching the failures can be rough, but they all lead to better results.  Even the way “how to use” directions are printed has changed. Instead of written directions, they now sport multi-lingual instructions and pictograms. The industry and the Authorities Having Jurisdiction(AHJ) have made a push to bring all things up to speed in regards to modern advances. They do this through legislation, code change, and adoption.

At the end of the day if a bottle is ineffective, or the new product is ridiculously more effective, the industry moves forward leaving the old tech as a relic with a bright future as a lamp.



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