When you are building a house you are expecting it to be a long-lasting, well-designed, safe building. To get such a place built, you’ll need to hire construction workers qualified to do their job. Even more, they will need tools and materials of good quality so that the final structure corresponds to the highest standards. Imagine using sawdust and glue instead of cement, or wood planks and drywall instead of bricks, or the cheapest water pipes on the market – the house you would have built would have poor energy efficiency, leaky pipes and it could collapse in the first few days of bad weather. This structure you’d end up in would be anything but a safe place to live and a total waste of your money.
The same story goes for fire extinguishers. Fire safety is one of the utmost priorities in every part of our lives. There are dozens of different solutions for fire safety and fire fighting on the market. However, it is crucial to choose the one that not just suits your budget or idea of a perfect fire-fighting tool but also is certified efficient for the time of need. Generally, when it comes to fire-fighting, the first minutes are the most essential ones. During this time your actions may determine the outcome of the fire. Propper reaction with decent tools will help eliminate ignition or localize and control it until the arrival of a fire unit. Relying on the tools of dubious quality in such scenarios may have the same outcome as trying to win a gunfight with a BB-gun. For this matter, every state has its Fire Marshal requirements for all extinguishers. This way, you can be sure that the chances your tool malfunctions are next to zero.
Fire Marshal requirements to Portable Fire Extinguishers and Systems in Florida
Any fire extinguisher that hangs on the wall or stands on the shelf across Florida businesses has to align with State Fire Marshal requirements. The majority of these requirements are adopted by state Fire Marshals from National Fire Protection Association standards. These include:
Size and weight of the extinguisher.
Composition of extinguishing agent.
Materials for body, hoses, and nozzles.
Other parts of a fire extinguisher or system.
Every fire extinguisher or fire fighting system has to comply with these standards on top of being tested at one of the laboratories recognized by the State Fire Marshal. Some of these laboratories are Underwriters Laboratories, Inc., and Factory Mutual Laboratories, and any other laboratory licensed under Rule: 69A-21.402 of Florida Administrative Code.
Types of Fire extinguishers forbidden for usage by Florida Fire Marshal
Fire extinguishing agents are divided into 5 classes (A, B, C, D, and K) depending on their fire fighting specifications and the substance they use for fire-fighting purposes. The cause of the fire can vary from the ignition of paper or cloth to burning electric cords or even metals. Therefore, there are many variants of fire-fighting tools. Each of them is designed to ensure the highest efficiency of extinguishing but some options are bad for people’s health. That is why some extinguishing agents are excluded from use per the regulations of Florida Fire Marshals. Here’s the list of prohibited types of extinguishing agents according to Rule 633.083 of Florida Statutes:
Dibromodifluoromethane (commonly known as Halon 1202);
1,2 dibromo-2-chloro-1, 1,2 trifluoroethane;
1,2 dibromo-2, 2-difluoroethane;
Fire Marshal Extinguisher Inspection And Maintenance Requirements
A crucial part of fire protection is making sure that your extinguishers will be ready to serve you when you need them. Therefore, every type of fire extinguisher or fire system has its own service time frames which are regulated by the State Fire Marshal. According to the Rule 69A-21.237 of Florida Administrative Code, every fire extinguisher or system has to be serviced at least once a year. Depending on the type of extinguisher it may require an internal maintenance at intervals of 3, 5, 6 or 12 years.
Florida Fire Marshal Requirements To Standard Service Tags
A service tag on a fire extinguisher or extinguishing system is the definitive mark of its quality. Every time the extinguisher goes through service it receives a new tag. Such tags testify that the fire extinguisher complies with State Fire Marshal requirements and all maintaining procedures were done according to the standards of Florida state law. In other words, this tag means that you can rely on the fire extinguisher or system and be sure that in case of an emergency it will work properly. According to the Rule 69A-21.240 of Florida Administrative Code, such tags should contain:
Name of the person who provided servicing of the extinguisher.
Permit number of the same person which indicates that services provided align with standards of Fire Marshal Requirements.
Appropriate Permit for Servicing Fire Extinguishers
State Fire Marshals in Florida have the authority to give a permit to persons for servicing and maintenance of fire extinguishers and fire systems in Florida. Such a person has to pass specific training according to the National Fire Prevention Agency standards. Then they can apply for a license. Rule 633.061 of Florida Statutes distinguishes 4 types of licenses depending on the work allowed with extinguishers:
Class A license allows servicing, recharging, repairing, installing, or inspecting all types of fire extinguishers and to conduct hydrostatic tests on all types of fire extinguishers.
Class B license allows servicing, recharging, repairing, installing, or inspecting all types of fire extinguishers, including recharging carbon dioxide units and conducting hydrostatic tests on all types of fire extinguishers, except carbon dioxide units.
Class C license allows servicing, recharging, repairing, installing, or inspecting all types of fire extinguishers, except recharging carbon dioxide units and conducting hydrostatic tests on all types of fire extinguishers, except carbon dioxide units.
Class D license allows servicing, recharging, repairing, hydro testing, installing, or inspecting all types of pre-engineered fire extinguishing systems.
Florida State Fire Marshals provide strict regulations regarding the standards for extinguishers. However, these regulations serve as a safeguard for those who take fire safety in all seriousness. The accessibility and functionality of fire-fighting equipment hold not just the safety of your property or budget. It may be a life or death matter. Therefore, never neglect these regulations in order to keep your property safe.
If you need help getting your extinguishers up to Florida code, please either shoot us an email at Service@allfloridafire.com or give us a call at 727-525-5950.