There are 5 main types of fire extinguisher, with each one of them serving the purpose of putting out different types of fire. Therefore, it can be said that choosing what fire extinguisher to use is of paramount importance.
Water, Foam, CO2, Dry Powder, and Wet Chemical are the different types of extinguisher that you need to know about. You are likely to come across them on your premises, as they are an integral part of the fire safety provisions for any building.
When it comes to what fire extinguisher to use for a certain situation, the following blog post will tell you everything that you need to know.
Electrical fires can be extinguished most effectively with a CO2 fire extinguisher. This works by penetrating into the electrical circuitry within an electrical appliance. So, if you are unable to cut the electricity supply, this type of extinguisher should be your first port of call. Never use water or water-based extinguishers as water conducts electricity and has the potential to cause electrocution.
Flammable Gas Fires
Referring to gases such as methane and butane, flammable gas fires are otherwise known as Class C fires. Should you have to put out this type of fire, then the only type of extinguisher you should use is powder.
This particular type of extinguisher can be used on many types of fire, and is commonly referred to as an ABC fire for that reason. They work by producing a barrier between the source of oxygen and the fuel.
Flammable Liquid Fires
Flammable liquids include the likes of petrol, paint, and turpentine, and fall under the Class B fire category. These types of fires can be extinguished with one of two types of extinguishers – powder or foam.
Powder extinguishers act as a thermal ballast. Essentially, this creates an environment which means that chemical reactions cannot continue. On the other hand, foam extinguishers are predominantly water based. This involves a foaming agent which breaks down the interaction between the fuel surface and the flames.
Deep Fat Fires
Deep fat fires are categorized as Class F. This particular type of fire involves fats and cooking oils including maize oil, butter, lard, and sunflower oil. In the event a fire such as this occurs, a wet chemical extinguisher should be your first port of call as it is the most effective choice.
Upon applying the fine spray to the fire, this will prevent re-ignition as the surface of the cooking oil changes to a soap-like substance. Correct application will ensure that burning oil stays within the container and doesn’t overflow.
Common Material Fires
When it comes to this particular type of fire, it can be said that a water extinguisher is the most effective. Useful for organic solid materials such as wood, paper and cloth, a water extinguisher has a ‘dampening down’, or cooling effect. Essentially, this then reduces the pyrolysis rate of the fuel.
These types of fires come under the Class A category, and the use of a water extinguisher will allow heat to be rapidly extracted, which increases your chances of putting the fire out as quickly as possible.