Update 09/24/14 07:17 PM:
I received an email from our Fire Marshal about an hour ago. This is his email response:
This photo was taken by the Property management company of another extinguisher located in the complex. NFD have spoken to the property management regarding the code requirements and the options that they have regarding this situation.
Although this one has a sign on it with instructions on opening the cabinet, it is not required by code to be installed. We are recommending that they install signage on all of the cabinets.
I have attached a copy of the code section and the SFM interpretation on the subject.
B/C Bill Tyler, Fire Marshal
Novato Fire District
Thank you Fire Marshal Bill Tyler for helping us out with this situation. I know that we all are very appreciative of your intervention here to ensure that all of our fire extinguisher cabinets in Meadow Park have the same consistent signage attached. This added information will allow each of us to use these if necessary and not panic or get injured….
I happened to be taking a walk around my building this morning and ran into Frank Stagnaro, a technician from North-Cal Fire. He was there with his partner doing the yearly, state required fire extinguisher inspection. I asked him a few questions about these fire extinguishers. His company, North Cal Fire, was not the original installer of these extinguishers. I asked him about accessibility to these fire extinguishers in an emergency. These are not easily accessible and user friendly at all and he agreed. He had to use his key to open the cabinet housing the fire extinguisher. I told him this was not a good way of maintaining our fire extinguishers. He made some suggestions and said this was not the way his company installs fire extinguishers. I asked him to follow through with the owner of the company and make these suggestions to our HOA ASAP….
I hope that our HOA approves all of the suggestions from his company in a very responsible and timely manner. I hope that these fire extinguishers are either unlocked or a key is attached to the cabinet, and instructions are clearly posted. As you can see from this picture it is not clear what to do and how to access this fire extinguisher. All you can see is the lock… Whatever company installed these did a very poor job…
It must be corrected ASAP. I am also alerting our Fire Marshall about this unsafe situation with our communities’ fire extinguishers. I also hope that we can have instruction sessions on how to use them in the event of a fire emergency. I have had this training many times in the past but I know there are many Owners needing to be trained on how to use them ..
If we had to use one right now, it would be very difficult. There would be panic and frustration that the extinguisher was not easily able to be put into use. Minutes can go by quickly in a fire emergency and damage can occur to our buildings because of this poor installation. We should not be suffering because of poor installation….
I am not accepting this situation! Frank said another Owner here on Captain Nurse Circle was also questioning him about it too today….We Owners are very concerned!!
So, Fire Marshal Bill Tyler, and Meadow Park HOA, you have to see the bad job that was done here with our fire extinguishers! This community has a lot of things to do if we are going to be the most fire safe community in Marin County… And this is another way we can get there….