Can a Fire Extinguisher Freeze?

As a commercial property owner, you might be wondering about the freezing temperature of a fire extinguisher in Lawrenceville, GA—especially if you store a few of them in less insulated areas like a garage, shed, basement or even outdoors. Right off the bat, it’s important to note that uninsulated areas may or may not damage your fire safety devices. It depends on a few factors, like the type of fire extinguisher, but a typical ABC fire extinguisher can operate in temperatures ranging from -65 to 120 degrees.

Whether you work outdoors or in uninsulated spaces, make sure your fire extinguishers are stored properly so they work as they should when you need them to. Here’s what you need to know about fire extinguishers in cold temperatures in Lawrenceville, GA.

The types of canisters

There are several different types of fire extinguishers for residential and commercial use, and each one is made to handle different types of fires. A fire extinguisher canister made with water mist and pressurized water—as well as AFFF foam, FFFP foam and class K extinguishers—will freeze when left out in temperatures below 40 degrees Fahrenheit.

If you need fire extinguishers to be more resistant to freezing temperatures, talk to your local fire safety equipment provider about ABC extinguishers that use dry chemicals. Most of these are made to put out electrical fires and class A fires, such as those involving paper, wood and textiles. Other fire extinguishers resistant to freezing temperatures (down to -40 degrees F) are comprised of pressurized water with antifreeze, halon, halotron and CO2, and class D and other dry chemical extinguishers are also cold friendly.

How to store your fire safety device

According to the National Fire Protection Association, you should have a fire extinguisher on each floor of your building. Keep bigger canisters in areas out of the way of heavy traffic—like in garages and sheds—but ensure they remain easily accessible. Smaller canisters are suitable for more compact rooms, while larger or multiple canisters are designed for commercial use. All should be mounted on brackets or wall cabinets, whether inside or outside in an uninsulated area.

Checking your fire extinguishers for damage

The majority of fire extinguishers will still function adequately after being stored in freezing temperatures. However, for safety reasons, you must replace devices that are damaged.

Storing fire extinguishers outdoors in normal or freezing temperatures leaves them open to precipitation and humidity. This can cause rust and corrosion, which can cause the canister to lose pressure and fail. A fire extinguisher with dents, rust or a busted handle may be ineffective at releasing the contents inside. Regularly check the pressure gauge. The needle should be in the green zone—replace any canisters that are not. Next, inspect the canister for signs of corrosion or a clogged nozzle. And no matter what, always replace a used canister, whether it’s empty or not.

Now that you have information about storing fire extinguishers in cold temperatures in Lawrenceville, GA, let AAA Fire Protection Resources, Inc. know what we can do for you. You can also call us to order new fire safety equipment!

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