Fire Extinguishers in Kenya

Selecting the most appropriate application of fire-fighting equipment is key to providing your family and/or employees with the best chance of containing a fire before it develops into a major incident, as well as of saving lives and property, and even the future of your enterprise.

A hand-held fire extinguisher is a portable appliance which is suited to handling by a normal person of average physical strength. Such a fire extinguisher usually ranges from a total mass of as little as 1kg to about 25kg. A fire extinguisher of this nature must be considered as ‘first-aid’ fire-fighting equipment due to the limited duration of discharge of such equipment. A portable fire extinguisher consists of a metal cylinder which is surmounted by a handle and a discharge lever.

Most fire extinguishers come with brackets for mounting against a solid surface, such as a wall or the inside of a car. The larger units come mounted on a trolley. By removing the safety pin and pressing the discharge lever, the fire extinguishing agent, called the ‘charge’, is released. Hand-held fire extinguishers include the basic types of fire extinguishers. Keep in mind that you can put yourself in danger, or even increase the intensity of a fire, if you use the incorrect type of extinguisher on it.

WATER TYPE FIRE EXTINGUISHER

Water extinguishers have better cooling properties than other fire extinguishers and can readily penetrate to reach a deep-seated fire. A deep-seated fire is a fire which usually burns far below the surface in a duff, mulch, peat or other combustible as contrasted with a surface fire. Water extinguishers are identifiable by their red instruction label, and are considered effective for dealing with Class A fires, as they cool down a fire. Do NOT use them on electrical equipment.

To use a water extinguisher, follow the PASS steps in the following order:

  • Remove the safety pin (Pull).
  • Direct the jet of water at the base of the flames (Aim).
  • Squeeze the trigger of the discharge lever (Squeeze).
  • Keep moving the jet across the area in a sweeping motion (Sweep).
  • Only try to combat small, minor fires.

The disadvantage in using a water extinguisher is that it can cause some fires, such as a petrol fire, to spread rapidly. The water that is used in such extinguishers is also a ready conductor of electricity, and can be extremely dangerous in the case of Class C fires, where there is a live electric current present.

FOAM TYPE FIRE EXTINGUISHER

Foam extinguishers are well suited for use on small Class B fires to combat the spreading of burning liquid. Such fire extinguishers can be identified by the cream-coloured label that they bear, and should be used on fires involving flammable liquids, such as grease, gasoline and oil.

The foam serves to cool the fire down, to prevent the release of vapour from the fire, to prevent reigniting of the fire, and to smother the fire. Such extinguishers are not suitable for use on flowing flammable liquid spillages. Care must be taken with their use, as the foam that they use conducts electricity. To use a foam extinguisher, follow the instructions that are given under water extinguishers above.

The disadvantage in using a foam extinguisher is that it contains foam, which is a ready conductor of electricity. Its use can, therefore, be hazardous in the case of Class C fires, when there is an electric current present.

CO2 TYPE FIRE EXTINGUISHER

CO2 extinguishers are well suited for use on small Class B fires, as well as on Class C fires, since CO2 is a non-conductor of electricity. Such extinguishers can be identified by means of the black instruction label that they bear. They are considered best suited for fighting those fires which involve electrical equipment, but also effectively cope with flammable liquids, so that they are the best type of fire extinguisher to use on Class BC fires.

Such extinguishers deliver a high concentration of CO2 gas under pressure, producing inert vapour, which excludes oxygen and smothers the fire. To use a CO2 extinguisher, follow the instructions that are given under water extinguishers above.

CO2 extinguishers have limited cooling properties; hence, they provide no protection against reignition and are, consequently, considered to be ineffective in outdoor applications.

DRY CHEMICAL FIRE EXTINGUISHER

Dry chemical extinguishers are very effective for quelling Class B fires, as they can readily halt the spread of burning liquid. Dry chemical powder extinguishers are identifiable by their blue instruction label, and are best suited to combating larger flammable liquid fires (Class A), though they can also be used on electrical fires (Class C).

They are often referred to as ABC dry powder extinguishers, due to their capacity to quell Class A, B and C fires. The extinguisher is filled with powder (mono-ammonium phosphate), which is kept under nitrogen pressure. Powder is expelled from the extinguisher by means of the exertion of gas pressure, and is very effective as a knockdown agent for flammable liquid fires. To use, follow the instructions given under water extinguishers above.

Keep in mind that the powder has no cooling properties, so that it does not prevent the reigniting of Class B fires. The dry chemical powder, which is messy, can damage electrical equipment, such as computers.

.FIRE HOSE REEL

The fire hose reel is also, by definition, considered to be a portable fire-fighting appliance, due to its extended hose feature. Such reels are often available in a swing-type design, which offers an all-directional flexibility, or which else comes in a static installation. Since the fire hose reel uses water, it is only effective against Class A fires. 

FIRE BLANKET

Fire blankets are fire-resistant, light and easy to handle. You can use them to extinguish a fire on a person whose clothing has caught on fire, by wrapping the blanket around the body of the person concerned. You can also use a fire blanket to cover a stove in the event of a pan fire, or even use one to cover yourself with in order that you might flee a building through its hot spots, if you have no other way out. Such blankets should be kept nearby any potential fire hazard.

SAND BUCKET

The water or sand in fire buckets can effectively be used to quell small Class A and D fires that are still in their early stages. However, they are considered to be unreliable as a method of fighting big fires.

FIRE SAFETY AWARENESS

Regardless of the type of business you are doing, fire safety should always be the main concern. Here are a few fire safety tips you can share and train your staff on to help prevent fire from occurring in offices.

 

• Keep your work area free of waste paper, trash and other items that can easily catch fire.

 

• Check on your electrical cords. If a cord is damaged in any way, replace it. Try not to lay cords in places where they can be stepped on, as this will contribute to deterioration of the protective outside coating.

 

• Don’t overload your circuits.

 

• Turn off electrical appliances at the end of the day.

 

• Keep heat-producing equipment away from anything that might burn. This includes copiers, coffee makers, computers, etc.

Sharing this tips with your employees will help keep the working place fire free, saving you the heavy losses usually incurred during fire outbreak.

CLASSES OF FIRE

Not all fires are the same, and they are classified according to the type fuel that is burning. If you use the wrong type of fire extinguisher on the wrong class of fire, you can, in fact, make matters worse. It is therefore very important to understand the four different fire classifications and the right fire extinguisher. It is thus very important to attend a fire safety training to learn how to use fire equipment promptly, collectly, effectively and safely.

Fire Safety is both an individual and collective responsibility. Visit Nairobi Safety Shop to acquire a Fire Fighting Equipment as well as have your fire extinguishers serviced. . You can make an inquiry via supplies@nairobisafetyshop.org or email www.nairobisafetyshop.org.

 
 
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Personal Protective Equipment

Workers have a right to a safe workplace. The law requires employers to provide their employees with safe and healthful workplaces. The OSHA law also prohibits employers from retaliating against employees for exercising their rights under the law (including the right to raise a health and safety concern or report an injury).PPE is defined as the Personal Protective Equipment at Work Regulations as: ‘All equipment (including clothing affording protection against the weather) which is intended to be worn or held by a person at work which protects them against one or more risks to their health and safety’.

Personal protective equipment is equipment worn to minimize exposure to serious workplace injuries and illnesses. These injuries and illnesses may result from contact with chemical, radiological, physical, electrical, mechanical, or other workplace hazards. Personal protective equipment may include items such as gloves, safety glasses and shoes, earplugs or muffs, hard hats, respirators, or coveralls, vests and full body suits.Waterproof, weatherproof, or insulated clothing is subject to the Regulations only if its use is necessary to protect employees against adverse climatic conditions that could otherwise affect their health and safety.

All personal protective equipment should be safely designed and constructed, and should be maintained in a clean and reliable fashion. It should fit comfortably, encouraging worker use. If the personal protective equipment does not fit properly, it can make the difference between being safely covered or dangerously exposed. When engineering, work practice, and administrative controls are not feasible or do not provide sufficient protection, employers must provide personal protective equipment to their workers and ensure its proper use.If items of Personal Protective Equipment are required they must be provided free of charge by the employer.

Under the OSH law, you are entitled to a safe workplace. Your employer must provide a workplace free of known health and safety hazards. If you have concerns, you have the right to speak up about them without fear of retaliation. You also have the right to:• Be trained in a language you understand• Work on machines that are safe • Be provided required safety gear, such as gloves or a harness and lifeline for falls• Be protected from toxic chemicals• Request an OSHA inspection, and speak to the inspector• Report an injury or illness, and get copies of your medical records• See copies of the workplace injury and illness log• Review records of work-related injuries and illnesses• Get copies of test results done to find hazards in the workplaceSafety and Health Complaint.

If you believe working conditions are unsafe or unhealthful, you may file a confidential complaint with OSHA and ask for an inspection. If possible, bring the conditions to your employer’s attention.Protection from Retaliation.It is illegal for an employer to fire, demote, transfer or otherwise retaliate against a worker for using their rights under the law. If you believe you have been retaliated against in any way, file a whistleblower complaint within 30 days of the alleged retaliation.

Many OSHA standards require employers to provide personal protective equipment, when it is necessary to protect employees from job-related injuries, illnesses, and fatalities. With few exceptions, OSHA requires employers to pay for personal protective equipment when it is used to comply with OSHA standards. These typically include: hard hats, gloves, goggles, safety glasses, welding helmets and goggles, face shields, chemical protective equipment and fall protection equipment.Suitability of PPETo be able to choose the right type of PPE, the hazards involved in the task or work environment must be considered carefully.

PPE must also meet the needs of the individual.The following factors should be considered when assessing the suitability of PPE:• Is the PPE appropriate for the risk involved and conditions at the place where exposure may occur? e.g. goggles are not suitable when full-face protection is required•

Does the PPE prevent or adequately control the risks involved without increasing the overall risk? e.g. gloves should not be worn when using a pillar drill, due to the increased risk of entanglement•

Can the PPE be adjusted to fit the wearer correctly? e.g. if a person wears glasses, ear defenders may not provide a proper seal to protect against noise hazards• Has the state of health of those using it been taken into account?• What are the needs of the job and the demands it places on the wearer? How long will the PPE need to be worn? What are the requirements for visibility and communication? •

If more than one item of PPE is being worn, are they compatible? For example, does a particular type of respirator make it difficult for eye protection to fit properly?Information, instruction and training on PPE useWhere PPE is provided, employees must be provided with adequate information, instruction and/or training on its use. The extent of information, instruction and/or training will vary with the complexity and performance of the kit. For example, a full Breathing Apparatus kit will require more training to use properly than a disposable face mask.Information and instruction should cover:• The risk(s) present and why the PPE is needed• The operation (including demonstration), performance and limitations of the equipment • Use and storage (including how to put it on, how to adjust and remove it) • Any testing requirements before use • Any user maintenance that can be carried out (e.g. hygiene/cleaning procedures) •

Factors that can affect the performance of the equipment (e.g. working conditions, personal factors, defects and damage) • How to recognise defects in PPE, and arrangements for reporting them •

Where to obtain replacement PPE,In addition to initial training, refresher training may be required from time to time. Supervisor checks on the use of PPE may help determine when refresher training is required.

Duties of employees regarding PPEThe Personal Protective Equipment at Work Regulations place duties on employees to take reasonable steps to ensure that PPE provided is properly used. The Regulations also place the following duties on employees:•

PPE must be worn and used in accordance with the instructions provided to them •

Employees must take all reasonable steps to ensure that PPE is returned to the accommodation provided for it after it has been used (unless the employee may take PPE away from the workplace e.g. footwear or clothing) •

PPE must be examined before use• Any loss or obvious defect must be immediately reported to their supervisor •

Employees must take reasonable care for any PPE provided to them and not carry out any maintenance unless trained and authorised.

Nairobi Safety Shop is the Largest Safety Equipment supplier in Africa stocking all Health, Security and Safety Equipment needed in the workplace. Login to www.nairobisafetyshop.org for details or email supplies@nairobisafetyshop.org to make an order.

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Largest Safety Shop in Africa

Nairobi Safety Shop is the largest supplier of Safety, Security and Health equipment in the region providing all necessary equipment, systems and supplies. We are supplier of safety products, equipment and signage including the following,

Warning signs, Barrier tapes and caution tapes, Personal Protective Equipment, First Aid Kits(varieties), Wheel chairs(varieties),Stretchers(Varieties,Fire Safety Equipment(Stock and Service),Safety, precautionary and instructional signage(Fire exit, Fire Assembly point, Fire Action Plan etc),Road Cones, Men at work, cleaning in progress, wet floor and work in progress signage,Metal detectors and Askari battons, Mountable First Aid Boxes and Suggestion boxes, Full body Safety Harness, Safety Charts, Security Torches, Chefs Apparels, All sorts of Workplace apparels for all industries, All Health, Safety and Security equipment that you might need.

Our shop has hit great search on the globe due to wide products range. Its a one stop shop. Shopping has never been this easy, with few clicks you have your order serviced and delivered.

Please log in to www.nairobisafetyshop.org or Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/nairobisafetyshop/ for a variety of our products. We look forward to partnering with you in building a culture of safety and wellness at all places. Nairobi safety shop, we deliver at your door-step.

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