By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Your safety is HFD's business
Hinesville firefighters
HFD Capt Earnest McDuffie
Capt. Earnest "Moe" McDuffie is the fire marshal/chief fire inspector for the Hinesville Fire Department. - photo by Photo provided.

The Hinesville Fire Department is dedicated to safeguarding lives, property and the environment. One of the ways we pursue this mission is through educating the public. Starting today, you will see a monthly column in the Coastal Courier with important tips and information from one of our very own firefighters. I am proud to be kicking off this great initiative.

Many of you in the community know me as "Moe." I came on board with the Hinesville Fire Department in 2001, was promoted to deputy fire marshal in 2010 and in 2013, I became the fire marshal/chief fire investigator. I am a participating member of the Georgia Search and Rescue Team, a Georgia state local fire marshal, a member of the Georgia Fire Inspector’s Association and a member of the International Fire Investigators Association. I have a deep commitment to the community and, in particular, our local businesses.

As a business owner, knowing how to protect your business from fire should always be a top priority. The Hinesville Fire Department inspects businesses once a year and, unfortunately, one of the most frequent violations found has to do with fire extinguishers.

The city of Hinesville requires every local business to have a fire extinguisher on the premises, and it is up to the business owner to ensure that the extinguisher is working and the correct type. Extinguishers must be inspected every 12 months by a Georgia certified fire extinguisher company as well as be inspected monthly by the business itself to ensure that the gauge reads full, the safety pin is secured by a breakaway tab, the nozzle is free of obstruction and is not worn or cracked and should also be held in the inverted position and struck on the bottom with a hand to loosen the extinguisher agent.

If the extinguisher has to be taken by the fire extinguisher company for testing, it is important to remember that one of equivalent size and type must be left in its place. Remember, a fire can occur at any time.

Some businesses may require more than one fire extinguisher, as there must be one every 50 feet, not to exceed 75 feet of travel distance, and be located in continuous and unobstructed way of exit travel from any point in a building.

Fire extinguishers must be mounted no less than 3 feet at the base of the extinguisher — and no more than 5 feet at the neck — from the floor and must always be in plain view.

Fire safety is a top priority of the Hinesville Fire Department, which is why we offer training on the use of fire extinguishers at no charge. To schedule training, call 912-876-4143. For questions or concerns, call the Fire Marshal’s Office at 912-876-4145 or go to and click on "contact us."

Sign up for our e-newsletters