Choosing the Correct Fire Extinguisher

Often, somebody who needs a fire extinguisher will buy an ABC fire extinguisher without providing much thought to the real fire hazards they require to protect against. When purchasing fire extinguishers, you need to know a number of aspects of extinguishers in order to make an informed decision, particularly, the fire class you need to protect versus and special conditions you need to consider (computer electronics, for instance).

Classes of fire extinguishers

When it concerns fire extinguishers, there are five classes of fires: A, B, C, D, and K.

Class A – Fire extinguishers ranked for Class A fires have a green triangle with an “A” in the center as well as a pictogram of a garbage can and wood burning. These extinguishers are utilized to put out fires for common combustibles like paper, fabric, rubber, and some plastics (materials that leave ash when scorched, for this reason, the “A”).
Class B – Fire extinguishers rated for Class B fires have a red square with a “B” in the center as well as a pictogram of a gas can with a burning puddle. These extinguishers are utilized to extinguish fires for flammable liquids like gasoline, lubing oil, diesel fuel, and numerous organic solvents discovered in labs (things found in barrels, for this reason “B”).
Class C – Fire extinguishers ranked for Class C fires have a blue circle with a “C” in the center as well as a pictogram of an electrical plug with a burning outlet. These extinguishers are utilized to extinguish electrical fires for energized electrical devices, electric motors, circuit panels, switches, and tools (” C” for current-electrical).
Class D – Fire extinguishers ranked for Class D fires have a yellow pentagram (star) with a “D” in the center in addition to a pictogram of a burning equipment and bearing. These extinguishers are utilized to snuff out fires from metals and metal alloys like titanium, sodium, and magnesium.
Class K – Class K fire extinguishers are used particularly for cooking fires from grease, fat, and cooking oil (” K” for cooking area).
You can get fire extinguishers with a single class rating or numerous fire class ratings (ABC or BC, for instance).
Fire extinguishing materials

Fire extinguishers use various products for extinguishing fires. When choosing your extinguisher, you require to identify what type of fire you might be battling and then choose the very best snuffing out material for your application.

Water: Water, or APW, extinguishers usage pressurized water to snuff out fires. APW extinguishers can only be used for Class A fires (combustibles such as paper, cloth, and so on); they can not be utilized for putting out other classes of fires.
Dry chemical: Dry chemicals are utilized to snuff out A-, B-, C-, or D-type fires. Dry chemical extinguishers are extremely reliable at putting out fires.
Co2: Carbon dioxide works by eliminating oxygen from the instant area of the fire. Co2 extinguishers are only ever used for B (combustible liquid) and C (electrical fires) extinguishers. For computer system, medical and scientific devices, and aircraft electronics, carbon dioxide would be a much better choice than dry chemical extinguishers due to the fact that a co2 extinguisher leaves no residue.
Metal/sand: Some class D fire extinguishers utilize metal or sand, such as sodium chloride (NaCl) or powdered copper metal, to smother fires from metals and metal alloys.
Unique applications
Some fire threats require specialized extinguishers. Here are a few examples of those applications.

Metal or sand extinguishers are utilized to put out class D (metal and metal alloy) fires:

Salt (sodium chloride– NaCl) is the most typically used material in metal/sand extinguishers. NaCl extinguishers work well with fires including magnesium, sodium, potassium, alloys of potassium and salt, uranium, and powdered aluminum.
Sodium carbonate extinguishers are also used on fires involving sodium, potassium, and alloys of potassium and sodium. Where tension rust of stainless-steel is a factor to consider, this type of fire extinguisher would be a much better choice than an NaCl extinguisher.
Powdered copper (Cu) metal is utilized for fires involving lithium and lithium alloys.
Graphite powder extinguishers are used on lithium fires in addition to fires that involve high-melting-point metals like titanium and zirconium.
Sodium-bicarbonate-based extinguishers are utilized on fires involving metal alkyls and pyrophoric liquids.
Halotron I is a tidy agent replacement for Halon 1211, which was banned from usage due to its ozone depleting properties. Halotron I extinguishers are utilized for extinguishing fires in computer rooms, clean rooms, and where telecom equipment or electronic devices are present.
FE-36 extinguishers are less hazardous than Halon 1211 and Halotron I and apparently have no ozone-depleting capacity. FE-36 is also used for fires in computer system spaces, tidy spaces, and where telecom equipment or electronic devices are present.

Nonmagnetic fire extinguishers: Wherever strong magnets are in use, for example, near magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) or nuclear magnetic resonance spectrometers (NMRSs), nonmagnetic fire extinguishers ought to be selected. The strong magnetic fields created by this kind of devices can cause steel cylinder fire extinguishers to fly throughout a room with lethal force.

It is important to guarantee that you have the proper fire extinguishers for your environment or possible fire dangers. It can be the distinction between whether your fire is removed or causes a catastrophy.

Dry chemical: Dry chemicals are utilized to snuff out A-, B-, C-, or D-type fires. Dry chemical extinguishers are very reliable at putting out fires. Carbon dioxide extinguishers are only ever utilized for B (flammable liquid) and C (electrical fires) extinguishers. Halotron I extinguishers are utilized for extinguishing fires in computer rooms, clean spaces, and where telecom devices or electronic devices are present. FE-36 is also utilized for fires in computer system spaces, tidy rooms, and where telecommunications equipment or electronic devices are present.

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