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Fire Protection Frequently Asked Questions

Have questions about fire protection? Read our FAQs below or contact United Fire Protection by phone at (407) 218-8348 or online today!

Fire Extinguishers

How often is testing required for fire extinguishers?

The Florida Fire Prevention Code requires annual inspections performed by a state licensed technician. In addition, dry chemical extinguishers (like ABC fire extinguishers) must be tested and recharged every six years and pass a hydro-test every 12 years.

What is a fire extinguisher hydrostatic test?

Hydrostatic testing, or hydro-testing, is done to test the strength of your fire extinguisher and detect any leaks or defects of the unit. During a hydrostatic test, the extinguishing agent is discharged from the unit so the cylinder shell can be tested.

Once discharged, the shell is filled with water or oil and then pressurized to detect any drops in pressure that could indicate a leak in the cylinder.

After the cylinder is tested, the unit is put back together and refilled with the proper extinguishing agent.

What are the different types of fire extinguishers?

There five main types of fire extinguishers that are designed for specific fire classifications.

  • ABC fire extinguishers: capable of extinguishing Class A, B, and C fires and commonly known as “general purpose” fire extinguishers.
  • CO2 fire extinguishers: designed for use in rooms or building delicate electrical equipment.
  • Wet chemical fire extinguishers: Wet chemicals are designed to tackle Class K fires in commercial kitchens.
  • Halon fire extinguishers: Halon is rated for Class B and C fires, but it’s also effective against Class A fires. Production of Halon has been discontinued, though recycled Halon can still be used for fire extinguishers.
  • Halotron fire extinguishers: This halogenated clean agent is similar to Halon, but it has been approved as environmentally acceptable by the EPA. Halotron extinguishers can be rated for Class A, B, and C fires or Class B and C fires.

You can read more about the classes of fires and types of fire extinguishers here.

Do fire extinguishers need inspection tags?

To signify a fire extinguisher is certified for use, it receives a certification tag, which can be a paper tag or a sticker tag. The tag is updated during its annual inspection by a licensed inspection technician.

When an extinguisher is hydro-tested, recharged, or receives a six-year maintenance, a sticker is placed on the back of the extinguisher marking the service and, if necessary, the hydrotest pressure.

For fire extinguisher services in Central Florida, contact us today!

Fire Suppression

What is a fire suppression system?

A fire suppression system is used when water would damage property or would not properly contain a fire. Suppression systems discharge specific chemicals or gases to smother the fire and prevent damage.

Per Florida Fire Prevention Code and insurance regulations, United Fire Protection installs UL 300 wet chemical fire suppression systems for the protection of commercial cooking outlets such as restaurants, hotel kitchens, hospital and school cafeterias, and banquet facilities.

United Fire Protection also installs industrial dry chemical fire suppression systems for the protection of paint booths or mixing rooms.

Do I need a fire suppression system?

An automatic fire suppression system is ideal to provide a quick response and protect property or equipment in your building. Some of the types of businesses that use fire suppression systems are:

How often should fire suppression systems be tested?

Depending on the type of fire suppression system and the building it is in, semi-annual or annual maintenance and testing is required.

Fire suppression cylinders also require six- or 12-year maintenance, depending on the type of system.

Do you need a fire suppression system installed or inspected at your business? Contact us today!

Hydrostatic Testing

What is hydrostatic testing?

Hydrostatic testing is used to detect leaks and assess the strength of vessels where pressure is involved. Items like scuba cylinders, gas cylinders, and fire extinguishers need regular hydrostatic testing.

Is hydrostatic testing required for scuba cylinders?

Mandated by the U.S. Departments of Transportation, scuba tank cylinders are required to undergo high-pressure, hydrostatic testing every five years for the inspection of leaks and flaws.

United Fire Protection is an authorized DOT hydrostatic cylinder retesting facility.

Do high-pressure gas cylinders need hydrostatic testing?

High-pressure gas cylinders, or bottled gases, are required to undergo visual and hydrostatic testing every five to 10 years, depending on the gas. United Fire Protection can pressurize gas cylinders up to 10,000 psi and some of the most common cylinders that we test are nitrogen, oxygen and carbon dioxide.

Need to schedule hydrostatic testing in Central Florida? Contact us online or call (407) 218-8348!

Exit/Emergency Lighting

Where do I need emergency lighting/exit signs installed?

OSHA and the Life Safety Code® produced by the National Fire Protection Association requires illuminated directional exit lighting at the interior of all building exits. In addition, emergency lighting should illuminate paths to exits, as well as the exit itself.

What are the requirements for emergency lighting and exit signs?

Exit and emergency lighting are required to have functional battery backups to provide 90 minutes of illumination post-power outage.

The number and placement of emergency exit signs and lighting can vary depending on your building, so it is best to consult with a fire protection professional.

How often do emergency lighting and exit signs need to be inspected?

Emergency signs and lighting should be tested and inspected on both a monthly and annual basis. Monthly tests last 30 seconds and can be performed by the building owner. A 90-minute test is required annually and should be performed by a licensed professional.

Have more questions about fire protection systems and services? Contact United Fire Protection today online or by calling (407) 218-8348!

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