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Fire extinguishers are more often found within the domestic setting these days, on the recommendation of fire prevention organisations and fire service professionals. Fires are classed A, B, C, D, F and electrical, depending on the ignition source so you may be wondering which extinguisher you need in your home.
Water Fire Extinguishers may be used for burning paper, soft furnishings or wood [Class A fires], and flames are extinguished as the material becomes cool and wet. It is important not to use water based extinguishers for electrical fires as this is extremely dangerous. This problem can be overcome with environmentally friendly additives in case of accidental exposure to electricity.
Foam Extinguishers cover Class A&B fires, and work to smother the flames and starve them of oxygen and can be used on petrol and flammable liquids. The foam will damage any electrical product, but where a dielectric test has been performed successfully it is safe as long as it’s at least one meter away from electrics. Fires caused by combustible metals [or Class D fires] can be controlled with a metal powder extinguisher.
CO2 Fire Extinguishers contain compressed carbon dioxide, which is suitable for fires involving electricity, flammable liquids and solvents or [Class B fires]. The compressed carbon dioxide ensures that there is no damage done to the electrical equipment by the extinguisher. Our clients Fire Logistics offer carbon dioxide extinguishers with non-conductive anti-static discharge horns which are effective at reducing pressure. CO2 extinguishers must not be used with fat fryers, as hot fat could be carried along by the spray.
Powder Fire Extinguishers are fine for Class A, B and C fires, although the powder should not be inhaled while using, so do not use in confined spaces. Also care must be taken to ensure that the fire does not relight which sometimes happens if it has not been properly extinguished. These extinguishers can cause damage to electrical appliances like computers, and are not allowed in offices and homes.
Wet Chemical Fire Extinguishers are ideal for Class F fires involving oil and deep fat fryers, and also Class A fires, though not overly powerful here! They are often kept in kitchens, along with a kitemarked fire blanket which can be placed over the burning pan etc.