Knowing The Different Types Of Fire Extinguishers
Different types of fire extinguishers tackle different types of fires. There are different categories of fire extinguishers, just as there are several classes of fires.
Classes Of Fires
Class A- This is fired from solid materials such as wood.
Class B- Flammable substances such as oils, are hazardous and can cause a fire. These fires are known as Class B fires.
Class C- Fires as a result of gasses fall under this category of fires.
Class D- Metals may cause a fire. These fires fall under the Class D category.
Class E- Live electrical circuits are a significant cause of fire outbreaks. These types of fires are commonly known as Class E
Class F- Fires from cooking oils are in the Class F category. Such oils include deep-fat fryers.
Types Of Fire Extinguishers
1. Water Extinguishers
The most cost-effective way of fighting a fire from solid materials such as textiles, wood, and paper is using water extinguishers. The solid materials cause Class A type of fires.
Types Of Water Extinguishers
Fog or water with mist
Water with additives
These are the four different categories of water extinguishers.
2. Foam Fire Extinguisher
Foam fire extinguishers can put out class B and A fires. Foam fire extinguishers are more effective than water jet fire extinguishers, for they can also put out fires from liquids and solids such as paper and wood. Foam fire extinguishers are mainly used on liquid fires such as diesel and petrol. They use the technique of starving the fire.
The foam from the fire extinguisher seals the surface of the liquid propagating the fire, thus stopping the fuel vapor from reaching the air. It is not advisable to use foam fire extinguishers on fires caused by free-flowing liquids.
3. Powder Fire Extinguishers
This type of extinguisher can be used on Class C, B, and A fires. For this reason, they are effective multi-purpose fire extinguishers. Fires involving electrical systems can also be reduced using powder extinguishers, though not wholly. The fire might re-ignite as they do not cool the fire.
Cons Of Powder Extinguishers
Can lead to breathing difficulties and illnesses.
Loss of visibility.
4. Carbon Dioxide Fire Extinguishers
It is ideal to use Carbon Dioxide fire extinguishers for areas with lots of electrical machines, such as server rooms or offices. Unlike foam fire extinguishers, CO2 fire extinguishers do not leave traces of residue.
CO2 extinguishers are also used on fires caused by flammable liquids such as petrol or paraffin. These types of fires are known as Class B fires, as earlier mentioned. The smoother the fire and then cut off the air supply to the fire.
5. Wet Chemical Fire Extinguishers
Class F fires involving fats and cooking oils such as butter, maize oil, sunflower oil, olive oil, and lats can be put off using wet chemical fire extinguishers.
When used correctly, this type of fire extinguisher is incredibly effective.
To prevent the re-ignition of the fire, the wet chemical quickly puts the flame out, reacts on the burning oil to rapidly cool it down, and reacts chemically, forming a soapy solution that seals the surface.
Class A fires(fabrics, paper, and wood) and class B fires(highly flammable liquids)can also be put out using this type of fire extinguisher. The wet chemical extinguishers are mostly used on Class F fires, deep fat fryers, and cooking oils.
6. Fire Blankets
Fire blankets are specially designed to be used on small deep fat fryers, frying pans, and other hot oil fires.
If a person’s clothing catches fire, fire blankets extinguishers can also be used.
When sprayed on a fire, the fire blankets smother the fire, prevent the fire from accessing more oxygen, and extinguish it.