Message From The Marshal
Although the exact origin is subject to debate, “Mulligan” is one of the few sports terms believed to be named after a person. The term is now widely used to describe a “do-over” or second chance. Ironically, the rules of golf still prohibit the practice.
Be sure you have a plan in place before disaster strikes. You may not be able to stop the event, but the recovery will be easier if you were prepared.
On November 2, 2017, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission and Kidde issued a safety recall regarding Kidde’s Plastic Handle Portable Fire Extinguishers (links below). This is a good opportunity to review the care and use of fire extinguishers. If they are not kept in good working condition, they will most likely be useless when you need them most.
There are no Mulligans during a fire emergency.
An inspection is a “quick check” to give reasonable assurance that a fire extinguisher is available, fully charged and operable. The value of an inspection lies in the frequency, regularity, and thoroughness with which it is conducted. Inspections should always be conducted when extinguishers are first placed into service and at least monthly after that.
Inspect your fire extinguishers at least once a month.
•The extinguisher is readily accessible. Does everyone know where it is? Can they reach it?
•The cylinder is charged. On extinguishers equipped with a gauge, the needle should be in the green.
•The nozzle or other parts are not damaged, missing, or plugged with debris.
•The pin and tamper seal (if it has one) are intact. •There are no dents, leaks, rust, or signs of damage. Wipe off any oil, dust, or gunk.
We recommend shaking your extinguishers once a month to prevent the powder from settling.
If the extinguisher is damaged or needs recharging, replace it immediately!
A fire extinguisher that is damaged can be dangerous. If you suspect that a extinguisher is in bad shape, contact a professional fire extinguisher company to come and inspect it. Better safe than sorry.
IMPORTANT: Recharge all extinguishers immediately after use.
Recharging a fire extinguisher involves refilling it with the agent, or in some cases, emptying any remaining agent left in the unit and then refilling it.
Fire extinguishers should be maintained at regular intervals (at least once a year), or when specifically indicated by an inspection. Maintenance is a “thorough check” of the extinguisher. It is intended to ensure that an extinguisher will operate effectively and safely. It includes a thorough examination and any necessary repair, recharging or replacement. Fire extinguishers should be pressure tested after a number of years to ensure that the cylinder is safe for continued service.
Follow these guidelines:
• Make sure the fire extinguisher is in a location that makes it readily accessible.
• Be certain that the fire extinguisher is adequately charged and ready for use.
• Verify that the pull pin is properly secured within the handle and held in place by the tamper seal.
• Examine the fire extinguisher for any cracks, dents, or rust.
• Check that there is a visible instruction label on the fire extinguisher, and that it is legible.
• Make sure that no modifications were made to the fire extinguisher that might affect its performance.
What can happen if a fire extinguisher is not properly maintained?
Fire extinguishers are designed to combat small fires and the consequences of neglect could be serious. To avoid problems during emergency use, maintenance should be carried out at least once a month. The disaster of an uncontrolled fire can be avoided by following these simple steps.
How to Recharge Fire Extinguishers
We recommend that you get a professional company to do the job. Professional fire extinguisher companies have the necessary equipment, training and know how. Many offer a mobile service so that your home or office will not be without an extinguisher for any period of time. The charge is usually reasonable and the service is quick and efficient. When the job is done, check that the pressure gauge reads properly. The extinguisher will be refilled with the agent to a certain level and the remaining space inside will be pressurized. Make sure that the gauge reads around 100 to 175 psi, or extends in the specifically indicated zone (often a green zone).
A typical fire extinguisher contains 10 seconds of extinguishing power. Always read the instructions that come with the fire extinguisher. You may not have time to read the instructions during a fire.
Use the acronym PASS as a quick reference:
Pullthe Pin at the top of the extinguisher. The pin releases a locking mechanism allows you to discharge the extinguisher.
Aimat the base of the fire, not the flames. This is important - you must extinguish the fuel.
Squeezethe lever to release the agent in the extinguisher.
Sweepfrom side to side. Move the fire extinguisher back and forth until the fire is completely out.
Operate the extinguisher from a safe distance, several feet away, and then move towards the fire once it starts to diminish.
Be sure to read the instructions on your fire extinguisher - different fire extinguishers recommend operating them from different distances.
Remember: Aim at the base of the fire, not at the flames!!!!