Thanks for posting.
I've inspected thousands of extinguishers over years and years. They
had vanilla cards; dates and initials were required for the inspection
date. We followed the safety managers policy. Never once did we shake
a unit. They were rotated as necessary.
That sounds like a very convincing argument for shaking the extinguisher as
often as practical. That way, you won't have to worry about those pesky,
troublesome lumps ever forming.
The extinguishers we are discussing here are HOME extinguishers, not commercial
extinguishers. They are not serviced either properly or improperly. They get
replaced when the cheap little gauge is no longer pointing to the green wedge.
In a matter of seconds I can find tens of thousands of website pages that
recommend that dry chemical extinguishers should be turned upside down and
shaken MONTHLY. These sites include many government agencies, large non-profit
organizations with an interest in safety, fire prevention departments of cities
large and small, and commercial websites.
Try a google search for yourself. Here's one that gets well 16000 hits using the
serach terms fire extinguisher" "maintenance" "shake"
Take a peek at your fire extinguisher. Aim at the base of the fire;
using sweeping motions.
That was the was I was trained in office safety classes.
The other was to use the correct type for the fire - ya don't put
liquid type on and electrical fire....
I hope your brother misunderstood the safety expert. It has been my
experience that the discharge RATE or "strength" is about the same for
the smaller units as it is for the larger ones.
Get the larger one. In fact, based on FIRST HAND experience, I highly
recommend that you get as large an extinguisher (ABC-type) as you can.
The larger models are of a higher quality, too.
The little ones are just that: Little. They are too little to be
effective on all but the smallest fire. You would be surprised to learn
how quickly they empty.
In the case of my aforementioned first hand experience, a "little" fire
extinguisher made a very nice, small "hole" in the fire. This
conflagration required the fire department but convinced me of the LACK
of effectiveness of the small extinguisher. They have their place (RV,
boat, kitchen wall, etc) but, if you are purchasing your first
extinguisher, you should get a large one and keep it in a central part
of the home, near an exit.
Good luck. I hope you never HAVE to use it.
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