Fire Extinguishers: A Basic Fire Safety and Compliance Requirement

08 April 2020

More often than not, people feel that fire safety and compliance begins and ends with provision of safety equipment within businesses and homes. However, knowing the best safety device also includes proper determination of fire fighting equipment. That it is also highly-significant to know what equipment is right for your business or home. One of the most basic fire safety and compliance requirements are fire extinguishers.

Classes of Fires

Class A

Class A fires involve paper products, fabrics of textiles, wood-based products, plastics, and rubber-based products. The type of class A extinguishers that fall into this category are powder ABE, water, foam and wet chemicals.

Class B

Class B fires started due to flammable or combustible liquids. In the work environment, this could include chemical-based cleaning products, electrical contact cleaner, and lubricants used for equipment.

Class C

Class C fires are started by flammable gases. Circumstances in which these gases are used to operate machinery could lead to a fire or probable explosion. These extinguishers could put out the fire before pressure builds and produces further events. The type of class C extinguishers used for these fires are Powder ABE and BE.

Class D

Class D fires are caused by combustible metals often used in laboratories.

Class E

Class E fires are caused by electrical fires. This includes events related to electrical equipment that requires electricity or circuit to operate. The class E extinguishers used for electrical-based fires include Powder ABE and BE, carbon dioxide, and vaporizing liquid.

Class F

Class F are fires caused by cooking oils and fat based products. They address fires that could occur in a kitchen setting of the workplace.

Types of Fire Extinguishers

Water and Foam

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

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

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

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.