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Five Tips for Choosing, Positioning, and Supporting the Fire Extinguisher for Your Welding Area

When you are welding, a lot of sparks are going to fly, and if they hit anything flammable, you may have a fire on your hands. Because of that, you need a fire extinguisher in your welding space. Here are some tips to keep in mind:

1. Invest in an ABE dry chemical fire extinguisher.

When you start shopping for fire extinguishers, you will notice that they all carry different symbols or letters. The letters indicate which type of fire the extinguisher works on. When you are welding, a number of different items may catch on fire including the walls of your workshop or items in your workshop. An ABE extinguisher covers everything because it’s rated to fight fires on wood, paper, flammable liquids or live electrical equipment.

2. Make sure your extinguisher is in date.

Fire extinguishers don’t last forever. They all have an expiration date on them. When you have an extinguisher, you have to check the date on a regular basis, and if your extinguisher expires, you should replace it on a timely manner.

3. Position your extinguisher near your work space.

If a spark hits something in your workspace, a fire can start quickly. So that  you can put it out, have the fire extinguisher positioned in arm’s reach of the spot where you are doing the welding. Ideally, the extinguisher should be mounted on a wall or a stand next to you or behind you. You should not have to reach over what you are welding to reach it, as that could make it hard if not impossible to grab the extinguisher if a fire starts.

4. Consider more than one fire extinguisher.

One fire extinguisher is certainly better than none, but there are cases where your safety may depend on having more than one extinguisher. To augment the extinguisher next to your workspace, consider installing another one near your fire exit. That way, if a fire escalates quickly, you can run to the exit, grab the extinguisher and try to put out the fire while standing safely in the exit, ready to leave if you cannot extinguish the fire.

5. Support your fire extinguisher with other supplies and processes.

Although a fire extinguisher is essential, it’s not the only form of fire protection you should have in your work space. Ideally, you should also have some sand buckets, fire-resistant blankets or water available to suppress a fire if it occurs. This can be especially essentially if you realise at the last second that your fire extinguisher doesn’t work or if you have used all of the contents in your extinguisher to no avail.