If you are getting a fire extinguisher for the first time you need to think about what is appropriate for your business. It is not a case of getting the bare minimum to pass an inspection, it is about keeping the people in your home or working environment safe. One possible option you may not have considered when comparing the different types of extinguisher are water additive extinguishers (Chubb Fire call these Hydrospray – our Firepower version is made alongside the Chubb one).
How Do Water Additive Extinguishers Work?
Water additive extinguishers work by removing surface tension on the water. This makes it more “wet” so in effect it attaches to the burning material and soaks into it rather than simply running off it. Additional additives such as soaping agents are also added into the mix and this further enhances the effectiveness of the extinguisher.
Water additive extinguishers are best suited to Class A fires (for materials such as wood or cloth). They are not appropriate for electrical or flammable liquid fires (CO extinguishers are more appropriate for this kind of fire).
Benefits of Water Additive Extinguishers
There are a number of benefits to using water additive fire extinguishers as opposed to standard water-based fire extinguishers-
- Weight – A 6 litre water additive extinguisher weighs around 10kgs and has a 21A fire rating. A bog standard 9 litre water extinguisher weighs around 15kgs.
- Effectiveness – An equivalent 6 litre water additive extinguisher is 150% more effective than a traditional 9 litre water model.
- Lightweight does not mean ineffective – The lightest 3 litre model is easy to use, light but still very effective, matching the 13A rating of an ordinary 9 litre water extinguisher.
- Safety – The nozzle is tested to 35V conductivity and therefore keeps you safe if the additive is accidentally sprayed on electrical equipment. Furthermore the polyester coating can handle extremes of temperature, light and dust (ideal for industrial environments).
If you are looking to get a new extinguisher, or you are looking to replace an old one it is worth looking at a water additive extinguisher with its more effective firefighting capabilities and lighter handling to protect your home or working environment.
Remember that, as well as the right equipment, make sure that anyone who uses an extinguisher has the right training and that they are properly maintained in order to ensure that your extinguisher works when you really need it.