Fire Extinguisher Types
Choosing the right type of fire extinguisher can be a complicated task because of the many fire extinguisher types offered. You must be very mindful when you select a fire extinguisher since each class is intended to put out a fire brought on by various materials.
The six classes of fire
- A Class – fires including solid products such as wood, paper or fabrics.
- B Class – fires involving flammable liquids such as gas, diesel or oils.
- C Class – fires involving gases.
- D Class – fires including metals.
- E Class – fires including live electrical apparatus.
- F Class – fires including cooking oils such as in deep-fat fryers.
Types of fire extinguisher
Dry Powder Extinguishers
Dry powder fire extinguishers are an excellent multi-purpose fire extinguisher because they can fight Class A, B, C and E fires. They can likewise fight fires involving electrical appliances. However, they do not cool the fire so it can re-ignite. Powder extinguishers can also produce a loss of sight in confined spaces, and you might develop breathing problems. They are generally not recommended for use inside structures unless there is entirely no alternative.
Powder extinguishers have a white band.
Carbon Dioxide Extinguishers (CO2)
Carbon dioxide or Co2 fire extinguishers are safe to use on electrical fires. The Co2 gas is non-conductive and does not leave a residue behind that will impact the future efficiency of electrical equipment, unlike dry powder extinguishers. These fire extinguisher types are also useful on Class B fires (combustible liquids). Co2 fire extinguishers are distinguished by a black band on the extinguisher body and by their horn which is to be pointed at the fire however not held in case of a freeze burn. Some more recent co2 fire extinguisher types have frost free horns as an included protection function.
Carbon Dioxide Extinguishers (CO2) has a black band.
Foam fire extinguishers are for Class A and B fires. They are most matched to extinguishing liquid fires such as petrol or diesel and are more versatile than water extinguishers because they are also useful on solids such as wood and paper. The foam snuffs out liquid fires by sealing the surface area of the liquid, avoiding flammable vapour reaching the air and starving the fire of fuel. They are not appropriate for use on free streaming liquid fires.
Foam extinguishers have a blue band.
A water fire extinguisher is a solid red with a hosepipe and nozzle attached, so you can direct a stream of water at the bottom of the fire As water performs electricity, water fire extinguishers shouldn’t be exposed to live power. Water extinguishers are best kept together with a CO2 extinguisher, so the threat of electrical fires is covered in your structure. Water extinguishers work by extinguishing the flames and soaking (cooling) the products in the fire.
All water extinguishers are red and have no band.
Wet Chemical Extinguishers
Wet chemical fire extinguishers are excellent for extinguishing deep fat cooking fires. (Class F fires). Before the production of wet chemical extinguishers, many commercial kitchens had foam or powder extinguishers. Nevertheless, basic fire extinguisher types such as these can aggravate a cooking fat fire as they can not lower the temperature of oil risking re-ignition, and can make hot oil splash upon contact with the snuffing out agent.
When operated, a wet chemical extinguisher cools the flames and fat and smothers the hot fat to prevent re-ignition. A wet chemical fire extinguisher has an oatmeal band on its body, and a long lance utilised to distribute the snuffing out agent at a distance safely. This fire extinguisher is not for use on electrical devices.
Wet chemical extinguishers have an oatmeal band.