Different Types of Fire Extinguishers and Their Respective Uses

13 July 2020

Generally speaking, a fire extinguisher is an equipment that functions as a fire protection device to mitigate and manage fire-related incidents during emergency situations. Normally, it is not the default equipment used to put out a fire that is considered “out-of-control.” Out of control fire incidents are characterised by flames reaching up to the ceiling, user-endangering categories that include lack of escape route, toxic smoke, big explosions and hazardous occurrences. A fire extinguisher consists of a hand-held cylindrical pressure vessel containing an agent that can be discharged to extinguish a fire. Fire extinguishers manufactured with non-cylindrical pressure vessels also exist but are less common. To further learn the basics of using fire extinguishers, it is important to know the different types of fire extinguishers and their respective uses.

Water and Foam Fire Extinguishers

Water and Foam fire extinguishers extinguish the fire by taking away the heat element of the fire triangle. Foam agents also separate the oxygen element from the other elements. Water extinguishers are for Class A fires only – they should not be used on Class B or C fires. The discharge stream could spread the flammable liquid in a Class B fire or could create a shock hazard on a Class C fire.

Carbon Dioxide Fire Extinguishers

Carbon Dioxide fire extinguishers extinguish fire by taking away the oxygen element of the fire triangle and also be removing the heat with a very cold discharge. Carbon dioxide can be used on Class B and C fires. They are usually ineffective on Class A fires.

Dry Chemical Powder Fire Extinguishers

Dry Chemical Powder fire extinguishers extinguish the fire primarily by interrupting the chemical reaction of the fire triangle. Today’s most widely used type of fire extinguisher is the multipurpose dry chemical that is effective on Class A, B, and C fires. This agent also works by creating a barrier between the oxygen element and the fuel element on Class A fires. Ordinary dry chemical is for Class B and C fires only. It is important to use the correct extinguisher for the type of fuel. Using the incorrect agent can allow the fire to re-ignite after apparently being extinguished successfully.\

Wet Chemical Fire Extinguishers

Wet Chemical is a new agent that extinguishes the fire by removing the heat of the fire triangle and prevents re-ignition by creating a barrier between the oxygen and fuel elements.

Know more about fire extinguishers from Key Compliance. We will ensure that your property is completely compliant with all New South Wales fire safety regulations. Also, if any repairs or replacements are needed for your fire safety equipment, our fine team will recommend expert repair and maintenance companies to handle these improvements.