Fire extinguishers can save lives when properly placed and maintained.
Milledgeville has a local expert to help people stay up to date with in-house fire protection.
Baldwin County firefighter and licensed fire extinguisher technician Jeff Bloodworth started Central Georgia Fire Extinguishers in September.
Bloodworth began his career in 2005, after first joining the county fire rescue team.
His father used to work on the fire extinguishers when he retired. Bloodworth carried on the tradition.
“The first day I walked in the door I was put on fire extinguishers. I began doing it and saw a need for someone local doing the servicing,” he said. “It took almost five years for me to get my license through training and certifications. The work involved in the fire extinguishers isn’t manual labor, but it’s little things you have to look for because you have to ensure that fire extinguisher will work when needed.”
Fire extinguishers are required to be in commercial buildings for insurance and fire marshal regulations.
Each year these entities must past a state licensed inspection.
“Monthly, the fire extinguishers are supposed to be inspected by someone at the facility,” Bloodworth said. “They have to call for me to come in and help.”
To safeguard proper operation, the model’s needle must be in the green range and the hose shouldn’t show signs of damage, for example.
Sometimes the hoses get dry rotted or during the last point of inspection the unit might have been dropped.
The pressure gauge can often be inaccurate. Also, Bloodworth said a fire extinguisher must be in an ideal location.
Different business types demand different fire extinguishers to handle varying fire sources.
“You see that a lot. Companies will come in and open in a building and leave for something else to come in,” he said. “They may need more fire protection.”
Fire extinguisher installations are graded on low, medium and high hazard levels.
Central Georgia Fire Extinguishers does offer training classes.
“When I come in contact with a new customer, I can look inside the building and see if it’s been maintained. I can see if they are knowledgeable. At that point, I’ll tailor my training to their needs to help them out,” Bloodworth said.
Numerous fire extinguisher classifications douse certain chemical blazes.
Having the proper protection for the work materials in the area is vital.
Since 2008, fire extinguisher regulation updates make certain models obsolete.
“Currently, any fire extinguisher manufactured in 1984 and earlier is obsolete at this point in time,” Bloodworth said. “They want a fire extinguisher that when you press the handles together to discharge the powder there should be an average of 13 to 16 seconds of discharge time.”
Fire extinguishers should be near exits, according to the local expert.
“The bottom line for the fire extinguisher is they are intended to put out a fire of small size to help the people get out of the building,” he said.
This new business benefits from a firefighter perspective. Facility inspections are done with a keen eye.
“I look at what the extinguisher can do on this side,” Bloodworth said. “If it can stop a fire, it saves lives. When I go into a building, I really nitpick it. If there are other hazards that I see, I’ll let the client know about it. You try to give them that knowledge.”
With the New Year coming, Bloodworth can set up a consultation for local needs.
The county firefighter takes care of each job personally.
“When I have my stamp of approval on it, I know it’s right,” he said.
Call Central Georgia Fire Extinguishers at 478-452-9108 or 478-251-3760. Interested parties can also email Bloodworth at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The business is located at 462 SW Pancras Rd. in Milledgeville.