Extinguisher 101 – The ABC of Fire Extinguishers

17 Feb

We are aware of how dangerous fire can be. It will not only destroy our homes and properties but it will also destroy our lives. Many lost their lives in a fire incident. Those who survived carry a scar and trauma with them.

Since we know how serious fire can be, we invest in items that can save our lives and property when it occurs. One of the best firefighting devices available to us today is the fire extinguisher. Understanding its various types and ways to use them is very helpful when the need arise.

The different fire extinguisher types depend on the classification of fire it can deal with. You probably see the signs A, AB, C, ABC, and other letter codes on the label. To understand it better, let us discuss the classifications of fire. Its classification depends on its fuel source. These are the following:

1. Class A – The fuel sources for this classification are the ordinary combustible materials. This includes wood, fabric, papers, and plastics.

2. Class B – The fuel sources for this type of fire are the flammable liquids. Examples of these are cooking oils and greases, alcohol, kerosene, petroleum, and other similar liquids.

3. Class C – This type of fire on the other hand have electricity and other electrical equipments as its fuel source. Other sources falling under this classification are home appliances, circuit breakers, fuse boxes, and wirings.

4. Class D – For this classification, the fuel sources are flammable metals. Examples of these are aluminum, magnesium, and lithium.

It is important to familiarize yourself with these classifications of fire because it is essential when picking the right type of fire extinguisher for your need. The first thing that you are going to check when planning to purchase an extinguisher is the potential fire hazards at home. In the kitchen, you have cooking liquids, appliances, and ordinary combustible materials like the towels. Having this in mind, look for the extinguisher that is suited for the above mentioned fuel sources. You can check that on its label.

You also have to familiarize yourself with the different fire extinguisher types. These are the following:

1. Stored-pressure water extinguisher – You should only use this type of extinguisher on class A fires. Using this on other types will cause other problems like electrocution, or worst it can cause the fire to grow.

2. Film Forming Fluoroprotein Foam extinguisher – This is made to extinguish classes A and B fire. Its compositions are water and FFFP foam. Be careful when extinguishing class B fire because of its water content.

3. Halon Fire Extinguishes – You use this type of extinguisher to stop class B and C fire. It fumes can cause dizziness, so see to it that you vacate the enclosed area after using the device.

4. Dry Chemical Extinguishes – Some of these devices can take both class A and B fires. Others can take on classes A, B, and C. You should take precautionary measures when using the device as it produces dust that affects vision and breathing.

Specialized extinguishers are devised for class D fires. Most are exclusive for laboratory use.
It is important that you know the various fires and it extinguishers. This will lead you to picking the right type of device to extinguish the fire when it happens.

Source by Brian Ayling

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