The local fire department is operated by a dedicated group of volunteers; they don’t get paid, and they take time out of their day to assist in case of a fire. They are hard working, they are dedicated, and they are a long way away. When I phone for assistance, the fire fighters have to leave their jobs, drive to the fire hall, load up, then drive to my property. This means I don’t want to have to depend on them in the case of a fire on my property.
Living in the country means you have to be prepared to deal with the problems yourself.
We maintain fire extinguishers at several locations throughout our property: the home, the shop, and the barns. Fire extinguishers need to be located in a convenient location, and as with any emergency tools, located on the way from the emergency (not toward the emergency).
There are four types of extinguisher: A – solids, B – Liquids, C – Electrical, D – Metals. All fire extinguishers on our property are ABC type; while this is more expensive, this saves us from having to determine if we have the correct extinguisher for the job in the event of a fire. Type D extinguishers are not expected to be needed as we do not do any metal work, so there is little to no risk of igniting metals.
It is important to ensure that Fire Extinguishers are operational before you have a problem. For me, this means a monthly inspection of all fire extinguishers on the property. Every month we check:
- that the pressure gauge reads “full”
- there are no cracks or rust on the extinguisher
- the date stamped on the cylinder is less than 12 years ago
- We also flip the cylinder over, and give it a shake to ensure the chemicals haven’t settled in the bottom