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Types of Fire Extinguishers are listed below

  • Water and Foam extinguishers
  • Carbon Dioxide extinguishers
  • Dry Chemical extinguishers
  • Wet Chemical extinguishers
  • Clean Agent extinguishers
  • Dry Powder extinguishers 
  • Water Mist extinguishers 
  • Cartridge-Operated Dry Chemical extinguishers
  • Using a Fire Extinguisher
  • PASS Method
  • Fire Extinguisher Inspection
  • Fire Extinguisher Maintenance

 

Water and Foam extinguishers

Water and Foam fire extinguishers extinguish the fire by taking away the heat element of the fire triangle. Foam agents also separate the oxygen element from the other elements.

Water and Foam

Water extinguishers are for Class A fires only - they should not be used on Class B or C fires. The discharge stream could spread the flammable liquid in a Class B fire or could create a shock hazard on a Class C fire.

 

Carbon Dioxide extinguishers

Carbon Dioxide fire extinguishers extinguish fire by taking away the oxygen element of the fire triangle and also be removing the heat with a very cold discharge.

Carbon Dioxide

Carbon dioxide can be used on Class B & C fires. They are usually ineffective on Class A fires.

 

Dry Chemical extinguishers

Dry Chemical fire extinguishers extinguish the fire primarily by interrupting the chemical reaction of the fire triangle.

Today's most widely used type of fire extinguisher is the multipurpose dry chemical that is effective on Class A, B, and C fires. This agent also works by creating a barrier between the oxygen element and the fuel element on Class A fires.

Ordinary dry chemical is for Class B & C fires only. It is important to use the correct extinguisher for the type of fuel! Using the incorrect agent can allow the fire to re-ignite after apparently being extinguished succesfully.

 

Wet Chemical extinguishers

Wet Chemical is a new agent that extinguishes the fire by removing the heat of the fire triangle and prevents re-ignition by creating a barrier between the oxygen and fuel elements.

Wet chemical of Class K extinguishers were developed for modern, high efficiency deep fat fryers in commercial cooking operations. Some may also be used on Class A fires in commercial kitchens.

 

Clean Agent extinguishers

Halogenated or Clean Agent extinguishers include the halon agents as well as the newer and less ozone depleting halocarbon agents. They extinguish the fire by interrupting the chemical reaction and/or removing heat from the fire triangle.

Clean Agent

Clean agent extinguishers are effective on Class A, B and C fires. Smaller sized handheld extinguishers are not large enough to obtain a 1A rating and may carry only a Class B and C rating.

Dry Powder extinguishers 

Dry Powder extinguishers are similar to dry chemical except that they extinguish the fire by separating the fuel from the oxygen element or by removing the heat element of the fire triangle.

Dry Powder extinguishers

However, dry powder extinguishers are for Class D or combustible metal fires, only. They are ineffective on all other classes of fires.

 

Water Mist extinguishers 

Water Mist extinguishers are a recent development that extinguish the fire by taking away the heat element of the fire triangle. They are an alternative to the clean agent extinguishers where contamination is a concern.

Water Mist extinguishers

Water mist extinguishers are primarily for Class A fires, although they are safe for use on Class C fires as well.

 

Cartridge-Operated Dry Chemical extinguishers 

Cartridge Operated Dry Chemical fire extinguishers extinguish the fire primarily by interrupting the chemical reaction of the fire triangle.

Cartridge-Operated Dry Chemical extinguishers

Like the stored pressure dry chemical extinguishers, the multipurpose dry chemical is effective on Class A, B, and C fires. This agent also works by creating a barrier between the oxygen element and the fuel element on Class A fires.

Ordinary dry chemical is for Class B & C fires only. It is important to use the correct extinguisher for the type of fuel! Using the incorrect agent can allow the fire to re-ignite after apparently being extinguished successfully.

 

Using a Fire Extinguisher

The following steps should be followed when responding to incipient stage fire:

Sound the fire alarm and call the fire department, if appropriate.

Identify a safe evacuation path before approaching the fire. Do not allow the fire, heat, or smoke to come between you and your evacuation path.

Select the appropriate type of fire extinguisher.

Discharge the extinguisher within its effective range using the P.A.S.S. technique (pull, aim, squeeze, sweep).

Back away from an extinguished fire in case it flames up again.

Evacuate immediately if the extinguisher is empty and the fire is not out.

Evacuate immediately if the fire progresses beyond the incipient stage.



PASS Method

Most fire extinguishers operate using the following P.A.S.S. technique:

PULL

Pull the pin. This will also break the tamper seal.

AIM

Aim low, pointing the extinguisher nozzle (or its horn or hose) at the base of the fire.

NOTE: Do not touch the plastic discharge horn on CO2 extinguishers, it gets very cold and may damage skin.

SQUEEZE

Squeeze the handle to release the extinguishing agent.

SWEEP

Sweep from side to side at the base of the fire until it appears to be out. Watch the area. If the fire re-ignites, repeat steps 2 - 4.

Fire Extinguisher Inspection

Like any mechanical device, fire extinguishers must be maintained on a regular basis to ensure their proper operation. 

You, the owner or occupant of the property where the fire extinguishers are located, are responsible for arranging your fire extinguishers' maintenance.

Fire extinguishers must be inspected or given a "quick check" every 30 days. 

For most extinguishers, this is a job that you can easily do by locating the extinguishers in your workplace and answering the three questions below.

  1. Is the extinguisher in the correct location?
  2. Is it visible and accessible?
  3. Does the gauge or pressure indicator show the correct pressure?
 

Fire Extinguisher Maintenance

In addition, fire extinguishers must be maintained annually in accordance with local, state, and national codes and regulations. 

This is a thorough examination of the fire extinguisher's mechanical parts, fire extinguishing agent, and the expellent gas. 

Your fire equipment professional is the ideal person to perform the annual maintenance because they have the appropriate servicing manuals, tools, recharge materials, parts, lubricants, and the necessary training and experience.

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Thanks for reading - Types of Fire Extinguishers
Naitik Patel
Industrial Guide

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