Most offices will have some form of fire extinguisher. The problem is you may not necessarily have the right kind to suit the fires that could potentially occur in your working environment. CO2 fire extinguishers are popular because they cover fires that can occur in any premises.
However, it is important to be aware of what they are suitable for so you know which to use for the right kind of fire. It is better to be ready before an emergency happens so it is worth knowing that you have the right type of extinguisher and you know how to use it.
How Do CO2 Extinguishers Work?
Carbon dioxide gas is fired from the extinguisher at extremely high pressure towards the fire. This removes the oxygen and interrupts the ‘triangle of fire’, putting it out. The ‘horn’ device acts as a pressure diffuser to make it easy and safe to use.
What Are CO2 Extinguishers Used For?
CO2 extinguishers are always required because they are the most effective extinguisher against electrical fires. Therefore, whether you work in an office or a factory the chances are you will have electrical equipment that needs to be covered by CO2.
CO2 extinguishers are also designed for Class B fires. This covers a range of potential fire hazards including:
- Oils (but not cooking oil)
Why Does The Horn Need To Be “Frost Free”?
In simple terms, the CO2, when it comes out, is colder than you could ever imagine. If the horn of the extinguisher is not one of the special “frost free” safety versions and you accidentally hold it, you can freeze your hand and cause a serious frost burn. All of our CO2s have frost-free horns – beware of cheap imports.
What Size Should I Get?
2kg and 5kg models are the two most used sizes. 2kg extinguishers are mainly used in offices because they are lighter and therefore better to deal with smaller fires. Larger models are better if you are in an industrial environment or you are dealing with potentially larger fires.
Large industrial sizes on a wheeled frame are available in 10kg and 20kg for higher fire risk premises.
What Should I Look For When Buying A CO2 Extinguisher?
- A red main body with a black label area identifying the extinguisher.
- Avoid all black cylinder CO2 extinguishers as these are older and do not conform to current standards.
- It is recommended you have a Class A extinguisher, like foam or water, alongside a CO2 extinguisher in order to cover all potential fire risks (Class A covers paper, wood, cardboard etc).
- Check to see that it is BSEN3 certified.