A CO2 fire extinguisher (carbon dioxide) is by far the safest to use on an electrical fire and is the only one which is actually recommended for use. Unlike other extinguishers, there is no risk of electrocution, and it will not cause corrosive damage to electronic components.
Having a CO2 fire extinguisher is recommended in all workplaces in the modern age, partnered with a water, foam or powder extinguisher in order to cover all potential risks.
As well as being safe to use on electrics, a CO2 fire extinguisher is safe to use on Class A and B fires.
Before you use a CO2 fire extinguisher, first check that the extinguisher is safe to use. You can do this by making a quick assessment of the situation, and look for signs that it has been damaged or used. Most importantly, make sure you can still safely exit if your attempts to put out a fire are unsuccessful.
Turn off any electrics before using the extinguisher if it is safe to do so, and be careful not to splash burning liquids.
How To Use A CO2 Fire Extinguisher
- Holding the CO2 extinguisher in your hand or on the ground a safe distance from the fire, remove the safety pin and break the tamper seal.
- Swivel the horn so it is aimed at the base of the fire or the electrical equipment. Avoid holding the horn, even frost-free horns if possible, as it becomes extremely cold.
- Holding the lever in your hand, you then start to slowly squeeze this to discharge the water, gently aiming it across the area. As the fire starts to die down, you can then start to move closer.
- Using the entire contents of the CO2 fire extinguisher, make sure the fire is fully extinguished to cool down the area and watch out for re-ignition.