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Fire Extinguishers: Why 60% of the Time, No One Calls the Fire Department

In 1983, President Reagan established February 11 as National Inventors’ Day — a way to thank the people who make our everyday lives more comfortable, productive, and safe. Every tool, appliance, or piece of equipment you interact with on a daily basis is the result of an inventor having not only an idea, but also the tenacity to see it through and never give up. It is because of inventors that we have come to realize the importance of the fire extinguisher.

You Should Be Thinking about Fire Extinguishers

Thanks to Ambrose Godfrey, who patented the first fire extinguisher in England in 1723, this important safety device was introduced to society. You probably don’t think about the importance of fire extinguishers very much. They’re the kind of thing you don’t really notice or think about until you need one. If you start to look for them, though, you’ll notice that they’re just about everywhere.

Most likely, you have a small one in your kitchen just in case, but did you know that fire extinguishers are in a lot of public places, too? You’ll find them in schools, hospitals, hotels, and restaurants. In fact, there are OSHA guidelines that clearly spell out how many and what kind of fire extinguishers need to be present as well as how close they need to be kept to busy areas. OSHA also maintains guidelines about how often fire extinguishers must be maintained.

The Importance of Fire Extinguishers

The latest statistics from the National Fire Protection Association are from 2015:

  • There were 501,500 total structure fires in the U.S. that led to 2,685 civilian deaths and $10.3 billion in property damage.
  • Fire departments responded to a fire call every 23 seconds.
  • There were 136,000 non-home structure fires with 125 civilian deaths, 1,925 injuries, and $3.3 million in property damage.
  • 13,570 structure fires happened in retail stores yearly; 5,100 in schools, 5,650 in healthcare facilities, and 7,640 in restaurants.

You can see from these statistics that fires are more common and deadlier than you might think. But these are just the statistics that include the fire department being called. What about when a fire extinguisher is properly used in a fire situation? Some fire extinguisher facts:

  • Between 75-80% of all fires are put out using only a fire extinguisher.
  • Of all fires, the fire department only has to be called 60% of the time when a fire extinguisher is used.

Fire1 for All Your Fire Extinguisher Needs

If you have a business or are in charge of safety, use Fire1 for all your fire extinguisher needs. Our technicians will come to your place of business to perform maintenance, repair, refilling, and installation of your fire extinguishers. We understand all the legal requirements and documentation and will make certain everything is legal and fully up to code. Fire1 Services can help you meet all of your fire extinguisher requirements.