Similar to CO2 fire extinguishers, a clean agent fire extinguisher is the safest to use on electrical fires. These are non-conductive and non-corrosive, meaning no harm will come to the individual operating the extinguisher, and collateral damage to the equipment is reduced as much as practically possible. This also means it is suitable for use on antiques too.
An environmentally-safe alternative to Halon, these are mostly used in the aviation, maritime, and telecoms industries, and are ideal for server rooms and data banks as they help ensure vital data is not lost in the process of tackling a fire. Although a liquid in the canister, once sprayed it turns into a gas which has a cooling action upon the flames.
As well as being suitable for fires involving live electrics, the clean agent fire extinguishers also have a Class B rating which means that they’re suitable for small fires involving flammable liquids also. Although these are commonly found in automatic fire extinguishers, they’re now used in traditional fire extinguishers as well.
Before using a clean agent fire extinguisher, it is advisable to quickly assess the situation to ensure it’s safe to do so, checking the extinguisher for signs of damage and that it is in pressure. Most importantly, make sure you can still safely exit if your attempts are unsuccessful.
How to Use A Clean Agent Fire Extinguisher
- Holding the extinguisher in your hand or on the ground a safe distance from the fire, remove the safety pin and break the tamper seal.
- Aim the hose at the base of the fire with one hand. Don’t aim for the flames, but instead for the base, moving the jet across the area of the fire.
- Holding the lever in your other hand, you then start to slowly squeeze it to discharge the water. As the fire starts to die down, you can then start to move closer.
- Using the entire contents of the clean agent fire extinguisher, make sure the fire is fully extinguished to cool down the area and watch out for re-ignition.