One of the most cost-effective ways to fight Class A fires, those fueled by solid materials like wood, paper, and textiles, is by using water extinguishers. These come in four different types: jet, spray, water with additives and water mist or fog. They work by spraying a jet of water at the burning material, cooling it, and preventing re-ignition. However, they should not be used on live electrical equipment as this can cause a fire to spread. Another type of water extinguisher is the water mist or fog fire extinguisher, which has a special nozzle that forms a fine mist. Its fine spray extracts heat more quickly and helps to cool down flames, which makes it less likely to re-ignite the burning material. There are also water foam extinguishers that contain a combination of liquids and powder to put out Class A, B, and C fires. These are generally more expensive than some other types of extinguishers and can be hazardous to use in the wrong situation, so you should only use them if you know it will be safe.
Dry Chemical Extinguishers
Dry Chemical Extinguishers use a powder of sodium bicarbonate (NaHCO3), potassium bicarbonate (Purple-K), or monoammonium phosphate (MAP). The powder coats the fuel, smothering it and stopping the fire. These extinguishers are available in regular or ABC or Multi-Purpose models. The ABC or Multi-Purpose variety contains a specially fluidized and siliconized mono ammonium phosphate chemical. This chemical melts at approximately 350degF coating the surface to which it is applied. It smothers Class A fires and breaks the chain reaction of Class B fires.
Dry chemical extinguishers are ideal for fires involving flammable liquids and gases, as well as electrical equipment. They are also non-conductive, making them safe for use in buildings with energized electrical equipment. They are also excellent for putting out running fuel fires. In addition, they act as remarkable heat shields.
Carbon Dioxide Extinguishers
Carbon Dioxide Extinguishers are a type of fire extinguisher that contains liquid carbon dioxide under pressure. This is discharged as a white cloud of “snow” that effectively smothers the fire. A CO2 fire extinguisher is ideal for Class B and electrical fires because it smothers the fire by displacing the oxygen that the fire relies on to continue to burn. This prevents damage to delicate equipment and minimizes downtime in a business, allowing for more productivity and higher profits. However, there are a few things to keep in mind when using these types of extinguishers.
First, you should know that these extinguishers have a higher pressure than water-based extinguishers, which means they can be dangerous to use. Second, they should never be used in enclosed spaces because they displace oxygen, which can cause asphyxiation. Finally, they should always be used with a proper hose and horn. This will protect your hands and reduce the chance of getting burned by the discharged carbon dioxide.
When choosing the right fire extinguisher, think about what types of fires are most likely to occur in your area. For example, if you live in a kitchen, you will want to make sure that you choose an extinguisher that can handle cooking-related fats and oils fires. Foam extinguishers are able to remove the heat and oxygen that fuels the fire, preventing the burning process from continuing. They are non-toxic and can be used on flammable liquids, but not on electrical equipment as it could cause an electric shock. They are most effective at fighting Class B flammable liquid fires, such as petrol, diesel, paints, and solvents. They also provide excellent vapor suppression after the extinguishment is complete.
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