Frequently Asked Questions

Why do I need fire extinguishers if I already have a sprinkler system?

Fire extinguishers are for incipient stage (small early stages like a trash can fire) fires.  For a sprinkler head to go off, the ceiling temperature needs to be around 155 degrees F.  By that time, the fire will typically be large in size.

 Per Fire Code, here are fire protection equipment inspection intervals:

  • Fire extinguishers- inspected annually
  • Emergency Lights and Exit signs- inspected annually
  • Backflow Preventer- inspected annually
  • Fire Alarm- inspected annually
  • Fire Pump-inspected annually
  • Fire Hydrant-inspected annually
  • Sprinkler- inspected quarterly
  • Hood Fire Suppression System- inspected semi-annually

Per Fire Code, here are the fire protection equipment service intervals:

  • Fire extinguishers- 6 year Maintenance every 6 years), hydrostatic test (every 5 – 12 years depending on extinguisher type.)
  • Sprinkler System- 5 year internal inspection (every 5 years), Dry system full flow test (every 3 years)
  • Hood system tanks- hydrostatic test (every 12 years)

How many fire extinguishers do I need for my business?

It depends on square footage, stories and travel distance.  Typically extinguisher spacing requires a travel distance not to exceed 75 feet allowing for spacing of every 150 feet in a perfect world depending on the hazard protected.

What geographic locations does Empire Fire Protection Services cover?

We cover all of New York State (except NYC and Long Island), and we cover all of Pennsylvania.

Why do I need a Class K fire extinguisher?

Per fire code, a class k is needed because the chemical agent in a hood fire suppression system produces a "foam blanket” after discharge.  If a dry chemical extinguisher is used on the “ foam blanket”, it will break it down causing reignition of the fire.  A class K will not break down the foam blanket the Hood system applied to the fire and it will keep the fire out instead of reigniting it.

Why does my hood system need to be inspected so often?

Per fire code, hood fire suppression systems need to be inspected every 6 months because cooking’s grease laden vapors can adversely affect the mechanisms that will activate the system in the event of a fire.  We make sure the system trips correctly and all cables move freely.

Why does my sprinkler system have to be inspected every quarter?

Per fire code, a fire sprinkler system needs to be inspected quarterly because of the water that is in the system and the city water supply.  Stagnant water can cause issues inside your sprinkler pipes that may reduce flow and in turn diminish its effectiveness.  In addition, there may have been construction in your area causing debris to migrate into your sprinkler system or a drop in city water pressure may lead to hydraulic ineffectiveness.

Why is my insurance company making me get this done and not the fire marshal?

Typically we find that the Fire Marshals make most of our customers adhere to the fire code, however, insurance companies have become proactive and are now requiring the same adherence and enforcement of the fire code to reduce their risk and liability.  Talk with you insurance provider for more details.