Failing to conduct a Risk Assessment could result in no insurance payout!

Using Fire Extinguisher

What if you a computer caught fire in your office and you used a Dry Chemical Powder (DCP) Extinguisher instead of a Carbon Dioxide (C02) extinguisher.  There is no problem with using the DCP extinguisher except if the powder got into other computers. This happened to a company. The staff used a DCP extinguisher on the fire and put it out but the powder got into nine other computers.

Dry chemical powder extinguishers are also known as ABE extinguishers because they are capable of putting out class A (regular solid combustibles such as wood plastic), class B (liquid fuel fires such as gasoline), and class E fires (electrical fires). Using your DCP extinguisher on electronics will destroy your electronics.

How are your electronics destroyed by a DCP?

Dry chemical extinguishers can also be quite corrosive to metals such as aluminium and are also potentially abrasive.
Using the Dry Chemical Powder extinguisher, the powder, being fine like talcum powder got into nine other computers. So, the company put a claim in to replace the ten computers. The insurance companies denied the claim and stated they would only pay for one.

Why was the claim denied?

According to Legal Aid Qld on why insurance claims are denied… the damage was not caused by the disaster. The damage to nine other computers was caused by using the wrong fire extinguisher. Had the staff used a C02 extinguisher then the other computers would not have been damaged.  The insurance company would only pay for the replacement of the one computer that was damaged by fire.

What should they have done?

Had they conducted a full risk assessment then they would have determined that they had the wrong extinguishers, or had they consulted a qualified Fire Safety Adviser they would have been advised to install C02 extinguishers

Have you conducted and documented your Hazard & Risk Assessment?  If not you need to enrol in the Hazard & Risk Assessment Training course for Business owners and Supervisors.

Contact The Answer is Yes today to have your premises audited. 

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