Did you know that more than one type of fire extinguisher exists? Read on to study the different types of fire extinguishers and their uses.
Despite what everyone believes, not all fires are the same. Hence, you can’t put out every fire with the same fire extinguisher. You need different types of fire extinguishers for different classes of fire. Most of us realize how important it is to have fire extinguishers, yet very few of us know about the different types of fire extinguishers.
So, let’s explore the different types of fire extinguishers:
Water and Foam Fire Extinguisher
These extinguishers are designed to take away the heat element of the fire triangle to put off the blaze. The foam agents sprayed from the extinguisher work by separating oxygen elements from other elements.
Water extinguishers, in particular, should be used to fight only Class A fires. Using them for Class B fires can cause the flammable liquid to spread and using them for Class C fires can result in a shock hazard.
Carbon Dioxide Fire Extinguisher
Since they leave behind no residue and require no post-fire cleanup, carbon dioxide fire extinguishers are often regarded as the cleanest extinguisher.
As their name suggests, they are meant to fight carbon dioxide to remove oxygen, a vital element in fire. They are ideal to destroy electrical fires and Class B fires that are fueled by flammable liquids.
Clean Agent Fire Extinguisher
Also known as halogenated extinguishers, clean agent extinguishers contain halon agents and the recently introduced less ozone-depleting halocarbon agents.
Effective for Class A, B, and C fires, these extinguishers destroy fires by eliminating the heat and/or interrupting the chemical reaction from the fire triangle.
ABC Powder Fire Extinguisher
This multi-purpose fire extinguisher offers multiple advantages over others. Hence, they are the most commonly used to fight fires.
The extinguisher shoots a fine chemical powder mostly composed of monoammonium phosphate. This substance blankets and suffocates the fire. Since they can efficiently break the chain reaction on a gas or liquid fire and are not electrical conductors, power extinguishers are ideal for extinguishing Class A, B, and C fires.
Wet Chemical Fire Extinguisher
The wet chemical fire extinguisher is used to kill Class K fires that involve cooking media. They have a potassium solution that helps extinguish the fire.
The liquid mist sprayed from the extinguisher first cools the fire. Then, a thick, soap-like substance forms when the solution chemically reacts with the cooking medium. This substance prevents re-ignition by sealing the surface of the liquid.
While these extinguishers are ideal to fight Class K fires, they can also be useful to extinguish Class A fires fueled by paper or wood.
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