Fire Extinguisher Success Stories

Fire Extinguisher Success Stories: The First Line of Defense

It seems to us that it has been too long since we wrote a fire extinguisher success story wrap-up. As usual, the stories aren’t hard to find.  Small fires kept from turning into large, devastating fires by quick thinking individuals using these critical life safety devices.  Here is a wrap up:

Nursing Home Employees Keep Fire From Spreading

Nursing home employees in Missouri used a fire extinguisher to save the Bluffs Nursing home from burning down after a food warmer caught fire.  According to an article from Connect Mid-Missouri:

The Columbia fire department says employees at a nursing home saved the building during an early evening fire.It happened at about 5:00pm last night at the Bluffs nursing home on Bluff Creek drive.

Firefighters found a small fire involving the plug from a food warmer and an electrical outlet that had been extinguished by employees using a fire extinguisher.  The fire caused about $4,000 worth of damage.

Without the use of proper fire extinguishers by the employees this accident could have been much worse.  Evacuating elderly people can be a very dangerous activity for both the firefighters and the people being evacuated.


Fire Extinguishers (and Good Fences) Make Good Neighbors

 A neighbor with a keen eye saved a house in New London Connecticut using a fire extinguisher to put out a blaze before fire officials would even arrive.  These actions prevented injuries and minimized the damages to the house.  According to Connecticut’s

An alert neighbor grabbed a fire extinguisher and quickly knocked down an outside fire at 12 Home St. on Monday afternoon.  Battalion Chief Keith Nichols said fire personnel arrived around 2 p.m. to find lots of smoke with the blaze knocked down but still smoldering. No one was injured, Nichols said, and the damage was contained to the outside, porch and siding area of the multi-family home.  Firefighters pulled siding from the home and sprayed it down. One firefighter used a chainsaw to cut away burnt siding and another peeled up porch slats to make sure the fire had not spread.  Nichols did not know the cause of the fire, which remains under investigation by the fire marshal’s office.

 This good neighbor was prepared and ready for an accident, when it happened he reacted and saved the house.  Without the necessary equipment this small fire could’ve easily engulfed the entire house


Dig Deeper:  Watch The Brief Presentation, 4 Reasons it is an Emergency When An Extinguisher is Pulled on Your Campus 


Tenant Fights Kitchen Fire: Protects Fellow Residents, Building

 The occupant of an apartment in Ohio saved his unit as well as others’ in the apartment building when he quelled a kitchen fire using a fire extinguisher.  The article in reports:

According to reports, fire crews responded to 1819 Miles Ave. NW around 9:45 p.m. Fire Chief Tracy Hogue said that the occupant of the apartment where the fire started used a fire extinguisher to put out the flames and that the department needed minimal amounts of water to extinguish the fire.  Smoke from the fire filled the entire apartment and forced the residents of the adjoining apartments to evacuate.  The only damage reported was to the apartment where the fire originated. The smoke and heat damage, which was contained to the kitchen, was estimated at $5,000.

This quick thinking tenant was well prepared and potentially saved not only his unit, but also the entire building.  

Couple Uses Fire Extinguishers To Escape Aggressive Blaze

A well prepared Oregon couple narrowly escape their home unharmed by using fire extinguishers to fend off flames that filled their home.  An article by The Oregonian reports:  

Regina and Dwayne Dennis discovered a blaze in their home in the 3700 block of North Vancouver Avenue and called 9-1-1 at 4:45 a.m. They then fought the blaze with fire extinguishers they kept in the house as they backed away from the flames and toward safety.  "This is a case where the homeowners did everything right and got out of the house quickly and safely," said Paul Corah, spokesman for the Portland Fire Bureau. "They had working smoke alarms, portable fire extinguishers, called 911, and met firefighters out front just as they should have."

With millions of fires each year being effectively fought with fire extinguishers, it is vitally important to ensure that these silent heroes are available, accessible and working properly.  Find out more about how enGauge monitors your organization's extinguishers so they are ready when you need them.






Fire Extinguishers Extinguish an Estimated 5.32 Million Fires in US in 2010

According to the most recent NFPA (National Fire Protection Association) data, in 2010 U.S. fire departments responded to an estimated 1,331,500 fires. These fires resulted in 3,120 civilian fire fatalities, 17,720 civilian fire injuries and an estimated $15,478,000,000 in direct property loss.Fire extinguisher saving property and lives

Of these fires 98,000 were responded to in commercial or municipal buildings. Of the over $11.6 billion in property damage, more than $2.6 billion took place in these non-residential structures. This represents an average loss per reported incident in non-residential / commercial structures of over $34,000.

This only tells a portion of the fire story, however.

Fire Extinguishers Effectively Put Out 80% of All Fires

To highlight the effectiveness of extinguishers in the early stage fire fighting, a 2002 UK study performed by FETA (Fire Extinguishing Trades Association) and IFEDA (Independent Fire Engineering and Distributors Association)5 reviewed over 2100 fire incidents and found that in 80% of the cases a portable fire extinguisher successfully extinguished the fire and in 75% of those cases, the fire department was not required to attend.

A similar survey was conducted in 2002 by EUROFEU (European Committee of the Manufacturers of Fire Protection Equipment and Fire Fighting Vehicles)in 6 European countries and it found strikingly consistent results. In over 2600 incidents recorded it concluded that in 81.5% of cases the portable extinguisher successfully extinguished the fire and in 74.6% of the cases the fire department was not required to attend.
Extrapolating the results of these surveys to the U.S. market provides solid statistical evidence that in approximately 80% of all fire incidents a portable fire extinguisher is the only fire fighting tool needed to extinguish the fire. Further, they indicate that in 60% of all fire incidents the fire department is not notified (and thus the event would not appear in NFPA statistics).

Fire Extinguisher Success Rates (Estimated)

  • Fires Handled entirely by extinguishers with Fire Department not being notified = 1,997,250
  • Commercial Strucure fires handled entirely by exinguishers with Fire Department not being notified = 147,000
  • Estimated savings in avoided property loss in commercial buildings = 147,000 X $34,000 equals $4.998 Billion
  • Fires in which fire extinguishers were the only needed form of fire supression = 5,326,000
  • Fires in commercial structures in which extinguishers were the only needed form of fire suppression = 392,000

Although these are only estimates, these numbers make clear that the positive impact of fire extinguishers on society is tremendous.  When fire extinguishers are not available to do their job because they are blocked, missing or depressurized, the results can be deadly, catastrophic and costly.  en-Gauge's electronic fire extinguisher monitoring solution makes sure these vital life safety devices are available, accessible and working properly.

To learn why electronically monitored fire extinguishers are also the most environmentally friendly form of fire protection, check out this White Paper going over all the details.

Fire Extinguisher Stops Fire At VA Medical Center

At en-Gauge, we are always keeping our eyes open for Fire Extinguisher Success Stories,   We

VA Hospital Fire Safety

 ran across this story earlier on

A malfunctioning air conditioner was blamed for a fire in a second-floor office at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center on Ramsey Street (In Fayettville, AR) on Wednesday morning, authorities said.

The fire was reported about 11 a.m. in a file room and was put out with a fire extinguisher in about 5 minutes, said Nixon Spell, a battalion commander with the Fayetteville Fire Department.

Some people were briefly evacuated, Spell said, but no patients were affected.

The en-Gauge system is installed and monitoring fire extinguishers at a number of VA Medical Centers,  we're proud to be helping make our VAs safer.  Having extinguishers monitored 24 x 7 x 365 provides en-Gauge customers with the confidence to know that their extinguishers are where they are supposed to be, accessible and in working order when an emergency occurs.  For more information about how the en-Gauge electronic fire extinguisher monitoring system works, watch this short video.




Success Story Roundup, Proving Fire Extinguisher Safety and Fire Codes Work

Fire-Extinguisher-Suppressing-FireFire Extinguishers are the first line of defense when a fire incident occurs.  For the extinuisher to do its job, it must be available, accessible and function properly - all things the en-Gauge electronic fire extinuisher monitoring solution insures. 

With that said, we love to read stories about Fire Exinguishers doing their job and putting out fires or helping people control fires until help arrives or they can evacuate.

Here is a list of Fire Extinguisher Success Stories from the last few days:

Smith and Wesson Employee Uses Fire Extinuisher to Save Building From Burning

In Springfield, MA an employee at Smith and Wesson quickly put out a fire at one of the gun manufacturers buildings.  According to the article by Channel 22 News at

Captain Mike Richard of the Springfield Fire Department told 22News that the employee used a fire extinguisher to put out the fire, which started at Smith & Wesson Building R around 6:00 A.M. ...

Richard says the employee’s action saved the building. He also said that the employee had received training on the use of the extinguisher, which is very important.

Great story, made better by the fact that the employee was part of the S&W emergency response team and had been trained in the proper use of Fire Extinguishers.


Assistant High School Principal Tackles School Fire in Pennsylvania

On Veteran's Day, an assistant High School Principal - a veteran himself - extinguished a fire with a fire extinguisher at Whitemarsh High School in Pennsylvania.  According to The Times Herald:

Assistant Principal Dan Balek, a veteran, was on hand to save the day at Plymouth Whitemarsh High School (PWHS) after part of the east wing faculty kitchen area caught fire Thursday afternoon.

While the cause of the fire remains unclear, school spokesman Dave Sherman said Balek happened to be in the area at the time.

"The school was evacuated briefly and (Balek) used a fire extinguisher to put out the fire before the fire department arrived," said Sherman.

It is common to hear about fires put out prior to the fire department arriving.  This emphasizes the importance of consistent monitoring of the fire extinguishers to be confident that they are available and ready to work.


Boston Subway Fire Subdued with Fire Extinguisher

A small fire on the Orange Line in the Downtown Crossing MBTA Station in Boston caused disruption of service and the evacuation of the station, but no injuries were reported.  According to Logo

A small fire in the Downtown Crossing MBTA station Saturday night disrupted subway service, but caused no reported injuries, Boston Fire Department spokesman Steve MacDonald said.

Officials evacuated the station as a precaution after the fire, which occurred about 10 p.m., MacDonald said. The flame started around the wheel of a Orange Line train, and firefighters quickly put it out with a fire extinguisher before it could make a lot of smoke, MacDonald said.


Intentionally Set School Fire in Washington State Supressed with Fire Extinguisher

A fire intentionally set in the 3rd floor girls bathroom at Kitsap High School in Kitsap, Washington was identified and extinguished by school officials after smoke was reported.  According to the Central Kipsap Reporter: Central-Kitsap-High-School

School officials were alerted to the fire and used a fire extinguisher to snuff out the small blaze, according to a statement from the fire department. No one was injured.

Estimates put the damage at about $2,000.

District spokesman David Beil said about 1,200 students were temporarily evacuated.

According to a student at the school who commented on the article: 

omg me and my bros and my friendsgo to this schoolitwas so creepy!! there was smoke everywhere!! 

We love this comment and think that the english teachers at the school probably will too.


Fire Put Out with Fire Extinguisher at Washington Manufacturing Plant

According to the Kitsap Sun - yup, the same Kitsap - a fire at a manufacturing plant on Bainbridge Island experienced an electric fire:

Employees at the rod-and-reel plant noticed sparks and a flame coming from the wall socket about 8:30 p.m., according to a report from Bainbridge Island Fire Department. An alert employee grabbed a fire extinguisher and put out the blaze.

As a precaution, the building was evacuated.

When firefighters arrived, they checked the outlet and surrounding wall with a thermal imaging camera and found no lingering heat. Employees were allowed to go home, and maintenance staffers took over repairs.

 This is a perfect example of why you call the Fire Department, even if you think you have fought the blaze successfully.  Fires that may look like they have been extinguished can smolder for hours and come back to life later.  The Fire Department knows what to look for and should always be contacted in any fire emergency.

Remember, make sure you perform your yearly fire extinguisher inspections and to ensure that your extinguishers are available, accessable and ready to use 24 X 7, 365, rely upon en-Gauge.  The only electronically monitored fire extinguisher solution.  Contact Us today to Learn More

RA extinguishes residence hall fire

Despite the early morning hour, a resident assistant knew exactly what to do when a student found a trash can fire in a residence hall bathroom. First the alarm, then the extinguisher -- which worked great and put out the fire. No injuries, and just a little clean up needed. Kudos to both involved!

Doorman Opens Extinguisher on Fire

Great story and photo demonstrating the value and importance of having operating fire extinguishers at the ready.


Truman State dorm evacuated. Safety officer extinguishes fire.

Thank goodness for that fast acting safety officer and his trusty fire extinguisher or the damage could have been worse. The accidental fire required the evacuation of 600+ students, but thankfully no one was hurt.

School staff in Peoria use extinguisher to put out locker fire

You just have to love it when school officials act fast and avert a dangerous situation. Kudos to the folks in Peoria for using a nearby fire extinguisher to knock down a fire before it spread.

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