All commercial and residential buildings are required to have fire extinguishers. They’re used to put out tiny fires or control them. Extinguishers must be properly placed and easily accessible in the event of an emergency.
However, in the stress of a fire, knowing which fire extinguisher to use on a fire might be challenging. Water, powder, foam, CO2, and wet chemical are the five primary types of extinguishers. Depending on the sort of fire that has erupted, each extinguisher has a different application. Here’s a rundown of the main types of extinguishers and how to use them.
A white label that says “water fire extinguisher” is frequently attached to a water fire extinguisher “WATER, WATER, WATER. Water fire extinguishers have a class A rating and can be used to put out fires made of wood, paper, or cloth. Water fire extinguishers are not ideal for electrical fires since water is a conductor, and if used on this type of fire, you risk electrocution. They are also not ideal for combustible liquid or metal fires because they will not put out the flames. A water extinguisher used to put out a flammable liquid fire may spread the liquid about, potentially causing more harm than good and exacerbating the fire. Water extinguishers are advised for warehouses, paper mills, and storage facilities that contain huge amounts of combustible materials.
A blue label that states “powder fire extinguisher” can be used to identify a powder fire extinguisher “POWDER, TO BE EXACT. Powder extinguishers can be used to put out fires in wood, paper, and cloth. They can also be used to extinguish combustible liquid, gaseous, and electrical fires. Powder extinguishers CANNOT be used to put out flames involving cooking oil (such as pan fires), electrical equipment with a voltage more than 1000 volts, fires in enclosed places, or fires with combustible metals ” (unless it is a “specialist dry powder extinguisher). Powder extinguishers are indicated for large-scale outdoor fires involving chemicals, fuels, or even cars. They’re ideal for huge commercial boiler rooms, large workshops, and hazardous liquid storage facilities.
A cream-colored label that reads “Foam Extinguisher” distinguishes foam extinguishers “FOAM is an acronym for foam. These can be used to put out fires made of wood, paper, or fabric. Foam extinguishers can be used to put out flammable liquid flames as well. They CANNOT be used on electrical or flammable metal fires since the extinguisher may worsen the situation. Foam extinguishers are appropriate for a variety of fire-prone environments, such as offices, factories, warehouses, and hotels.
A black label saying CO2 fire extinguisher can be spotted “CO2 is a greenhouse gas. CO2 fire extinguishers are safe to use on electrical and flammable liquid fires. They should not be used to put out fires made of wood, paper, or fabric. They’re also not recommended for cooking fires involving oil and grease (such as chip pan fires), as the extinguisher may end up spraying the flames into the surrounding area. It is also not suggested that the user hold the extinguisher by the horn since CO2 gets extremely chilly when it evaporates into a gaseous state and can cause cold burns. CO2 extinguishers, unlike foam and water extinguishers, do not cool the fire; instead, they replace the oxygen around the fire with Carbon Dioxide, rendering the fire unburnable. CO2 extinguishers should be required in places where there is a risk of electrical fire, such as offices, schools, and shops.
A yellow label that indicates “wet chemical fire extinguisher” can be used to identify a wet chemical fire extinguisher “Chemicals that are moist. Wood, paper, and fabric fires can all be put out with wet chemical extinguishers. They’re also safe to use in the kitchen and in deep fat fryer fires. They should not be used to put out electrical, flammable liquid, or gaseous flames since they may cause the fire to spread. Because they emit hazardous fumes that should not be breathed in, wet chemical extinguishers should only be used in well-ventilated places. For any establishment with a professional kitchen and deep fat fryer, such as restaurants, burger bars, and hotels, wet chemical extinguishers are required.
Can I put out an electrical fire with a foam fire extinguisher?
Foam fire extinguishers can be used on both class A and class B fires, however they must be utilized in various ways depending on the type of fire. Please note that only di-electrically tested foam extinguishers should be used on or near live electrical equipment.
Only use an extinguisher to put out tiny fires. If the fire has spread, do not attempt to extinguish it; instead, escape quickly and alert others, then call the fire department. If you do decide to fight the fire, keep a safe distance and follow the recommendations below.
- Pull the safety pin (Fig. 3) to break the tamper seal as well.
- To start discharging the extinguisher, squeeze the lever.
- Where should the fire extinguisher nozzle be pointed?
- Flammable liquids: Aim the hose at a vertical surface near the fire rather than directly at it, as this could cause the burning liquid to splash and the fire to spread. Foam extinguishers create a layer of foam on the burning liquid’s surface, cutting off the fire’s oxygen supply and cooling the hot liquid.
- Electrical fires: You can use your foam extinguisher on active electrical fires if it has been tested to 35000 Volts (35kV). Maintain a safe distance of 1 meter.
- Solid combustibles: Aim the nozzle towards the fire’s base and move it around the area.
- Make sure the fire is completely out; the foam acts as a covering over the flames, preventing it from re-igniting.
Which fire extinguisher exacerbates electrical fires?
When dealing with an electrical fire, water should never be used to put it out. Because water conducts electricity well, it can exacerbate the fire or even generate sparks and electrical shocks, placing you and your home in greater danger. Instead, a Class C fire extinguisher should be used.
Different types of fire extinguishers are available for various types of fires. Ordinary combustibles such as wood, paper, and fabrics are dealt with by Class A fire extinguishers. Extinguishers classified as Class B are used to put out flames caused by flammable liquids and gases such as oil, gasoline, and paint. Extinguishers classified as Class C are meant to put out electrical fires.
Even if you don’t have a Class C extinguisher, you can use an ABC extinguisher, which performs the same functions as Class A, B, and C extinguishers. You most likely already have an ABC fire extinguisher in your home.
Is it possible to use a CO2 extinguisher to put out an electrical fire?
CO2 fire extinguishers are mostly used to put out electrical fires, although they are also suitable for Class B liquid fires and can be used in a variety of ways depending on the type of fire. CO2 extinguishers should not be used in tiny rooms since CO2 gas is hazardous at only 4% concentration and can kill at just 8%.
- The tamper seal will be broken if you pull the safety pin (Fig.2).
- If the horn is not frost-free, do not hold it because it becomes extremely cold during usage and can cause severe frost burns. To avoid this, only purchase CO2 extinguishers with frost-free horns.
- To start discharging the extinguisher, squeeze the lever. Please be aware that the CO2 extinguishers emit a loud discharge noise, which is to be expected.
- How to aim the fire extinguisher:
- Flammable liquids: Aim the horn towards the fire’s base and move around the region. Take cautious not to spray the burning liquid with the CO2 extinguisher’s powerful jet.
- Electrical apparatus: To prevent re-ignition, turn off the power where it is safe to do so, and then direct the horn squarely towards the flames.
- It’s important to keep in mind that a CO2 extinguisher has a very limited discharge time.
- Ensure that the entire fire has been extinguished, as re-ignition is common when using a CO2 extinguisher. After use, CO2 gas escapes, and if the fire is still very hot, it may re-ignite.
Is it possible to put out an electrical fire with a dry powder extinguisher?
We’re continuing our series of fire and security questions that our engineers are commonly asked while out on the road with customers. This month, we’ll clear up any misunderstandings about the kind of flames that CO2 fire extinguishers, dry powder fire extinguishers, and water fire extinguishers can put out.
Carbon Dioxide (CO2) fire extinguishers have a black label and are intended for use on Class B fires, which involve flammable liquids such as paraffin, gasoline, or paint. They’re also great for places with a lot of electrical equipment and a risk of electrical fire, such offices, because they’re safe to use on electrical equipment.
CO2 fire extinguishers function by suffocating the fire and lowering the oxygen level, making it impossible for the fire to continue to burn. When CO2 is emitted from a fire extinguisher, it is extremely cold, which means the operator must exercise extra caution because significant cold burns can result if flesh comes into touch with the horn. Despite the fact that some CO2 extinguisher horns are frost-free, never touch them while the extinguisher is in use.
Dry powder fire extinguishers put out fires by halting the chemical reaction and cutting off the oxygen supply to the fire. They can be used to put out fires caused by solid combustibles, flammable liquids, or electricity. When choosing a dry powder fire extinguisher for a building containing electrical equipment, keep in mind that these extinguishers leave a residue that could harm delicate electronics. Dry power fire extinguishers are identified by a blue label and are hazardous if inhaled, as well as reducing visibility. This extinguisher is suitable for enterprises that use chemical operations, including as welding and flame cutting, as well as garage forecourts and commercial boiler rooms. Dry powder extinguishers designed specifically for flammable metals are also available.
Water fire extinguishers have a red marking and should only be used to put out Class A flames, which are caused by solid combustible items such as paper, wood, or textiles. Because of the risk of electric shock, they should never be used on fires involving electrical equipment. Water fire extinguishers aren’t ideal for Class B fires (fires fueled by flammable liquids such as oils, grease, or gasoline) since the discharge stream could spread the flammable liquid.
Water fire extinguishers function by cooling the burning material with pressurized water. Direct the jet at the base of the flame and keep it going across the fire area to utilize them safely. If the fire is spreading vertically, start with the water fire extinguisher at the lowest place and work your way up. After the main fire appears to have extinguished, keep an eye out for hot areas that may still linger.
It’s critical that you have the right fire extinguishers installed in the right location near the source of the fire risk and/or near fire exits to address the specific risks in your workplace. It’s worth seeking professional advice to ensure you have the right fire extinguisher types installed in the right location near the source of the fire risk and/or near fire exits.
Next month, we’ll talk about how to figure out how many fire extinguishers you’ll need and why you should use a wet chemical fire extinguisher.
On live electrical equipment, which types of fire extinguishers should you use?
There are several varieties of fire extinguishers, each of which is designed to tackle a specific sort of fire:
Foam extinguishers, which are effective against both Class A and Class B fires, can protect surroundings from material fires involving solids such as paper and wood, as well as fires involving flammable liquids.
How it works: The foam is used to suffocate the fire, and as it smothers it, it seals the surface of the burning object or materials, cooling it down. It also keeps wayward materials from spreading and causing fires in other areas.
Water Fire Extinguisher
Class A fires, such as those involving organic solid materials including wood, cloth, fabric, paper, and plastics, are best tackled using water fire extinguishers.
Dangers: Do not use on flames involving electrical appliances or while burning fat or oil.
The water from the fire extinguisher soaks the burning components, cooling them down and extinguishing the fire altogether.
CO2 Fire Extinguisher
Carbon dioxide fire extinguishers are appropriate for use in areas where electrical appliances (Class E) are present, as well as fires involving flammable liquids (Class B).
CO2 extinguishers should not be used on solid-fuel fires, such as those involving paper, wood, or fabric, and they are also not ideal for use on flammable gases.
The CO2 operates by cutting off the oxygen supply to the fire. This suffocates it, extinguishing the flames in the process.
Powder Fire Extinguisher
Powder extinguishers are effective against Class A, B, and C fires and are ideal for multi-risk situations. As a result, they can be used on solids, flammable liquids and gases, as well as electrical equipment.
Fires involving cooking oils or fats should not be extinguished with powder fire extinguishers.
How it works: The powder, which is released by a compressed gas, acts as an extinguishing agent, forming an efficient blanket over the flames, suffocating the source and, as a result, cooling and halting the spread of the fire.
Automatic Fire Extinguisher
Fires involving frying oil or fat are not suited for automatic fire extinguishers.
How it works: They are normally set off automatically and release an extinguishing substance to safeguard a specific area. This makes them excellent for applications such as machinery and plant equipment, boat engine bays, and flammable product storage locations, where manual operation is not always practicable and quick activation is sometimes required.
Wet Chemical Fire Extinguisher
Wet chemical extinguishers are appropriate for commercial and domestic kitchens since they are specifically intended for fires involving cooking oils and fats (Class F fires).
Dangers: They are not ideal for tackling flames involving flammable liquids or gases, metals, or electrical equipment, and should never be used to do so.
How it works: The current moist chemical is released in a fine spray, dampening the flames. Simultaneously, the chemical element reacts with the fire’s fuel to form a layer that seals the surface and extinguishes it completely.
On an electrical fire, which two types of extinguishers could be used?
For fires involving electrical equipment, CO2 fire extinguishers are utilized. CO2 is not a conductor and leaves no hazardous trace behind. Class A, B, C, and electrical fires can all be put out with dry powder extinguishers.
What can you use a CO2 extinguisher for?
Carbon Dioxide can be used to extinguish both electrical and flammable liquid (Class B) fires. It is absolutely innocuous to electrical equipment because it is a gas.
What are the four different kinds of fire extinguishers?
Fire extinguishers are divided into four categories: A, B, C, and D, each of which can put out a particular sort of fire.
- Extinguishers classified as Class A will put out fires in common combustibles including wood and paper.
- Extinguishers classified as Class B are intended for use with flammable liquids such as grease, gasoline, and oil.
- Only use Class C extinguishers on fires that are electrically powered.
- Class D extinguishers are designed for use on flammable metals
Multipurpose extinguishers can put out a variety of flames and are labeled with many classes, such as A-B, B-C, or A-B-C.