Ensure Safety With The Correct Fire Extinguisher

By: Sam Eastward

Fire extinguishers need little in the way of introduction. This is safety equipment which is (or should be) in every workplace and home; they are used to extinguish smaller fires or to keep them under control to minimize damage until the appropriate authorities arrive. You shouldn't use a fire extinguisher on fires which have already gotten out of control. Nitrogen extinguishers and water-pressurized foam or water extinguishers are the most common types you'll see.
Different fires call for different types of fire extinguisher; it's vitally important to use the correct fire extinguisher lest the situation become even more hazardous.
Fire extinguishers are printed with information on the kinds of fires they are designed to put out. Look at a fire extinguisher before you use it to be sure it is the correct fire extinguisher for the fire which has broken out. Each county has a different classification system for fires and fire extinguisher. These standards however, are very similar in every country.
CO2 fire extinguishers are powder-based. These work by stopping the chemical reactions which allow the fuel to oxidize, suffocating the fire quickly.
For an electrical fire, the UK uses either CO2 or a powder, and there will be an electrical pictogram signifying that this fire extinguisher is for electrical purposes only. Some fire extinguishers use foam. There are different types of foam for different types of fires. Aqueous Film Forming Foam is used to suppress vapors on both Class A and Class B fires. Alcohol resistant Aqueous Film Forming Foam is used on chemical fires that contain alcohol. This type of foam forms a membrane between the fuel and the foam, which prevents the alcohol from breaking down the blanket of the foam. Film Forming Fluoroprotein is more heat resistant and is used more in the racing industry. Compressed Air Foam System fire extinguishers are charged with foam and pressurized with compressed air. They are used mainly for wooded areas, which are classed as A, or B. Arctic Fire is a liquid extinguisher that cools heated materials faster than the ordinary foam and is used on Class A, B, and D fires in the steel industry. The use of Co2 fire extinguishers is necessary for sensitive electronic and even important documents. The reason Co2 is used is that it does not leave any type of residue on the fragile parts of the electronics.
There are powder-based fire extinguishers, which prevents the chemical reaction between the fuel, the oxygen, and the heat and stops the production of free radicals and extinguishes the fire.
A CO2 fire extinguisher uses powder to halt the chemical reaction which cause the fuel to oxidize; this cuts off the flames from the fuel to quickly extinguish fires. Grease and electrical fires call for specialized fire extinguishers. Water can present a hazard with grease or electrical fires (and in the case of electrical fires, can be fatal).
Everyone should be informed of the types of fire extinguishers that are being used around their work areas. If you do not know or are not sure, ask one of your supervisors to explain them to you.

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For quality, UK approved Fire Extinguishers, fire blackets, smoke alarms and fire safety products, visit www.fire-safety-equipment.co.uk,

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