What do you Need to Know about Portable Fire Extinguishers?
PORTABLE FIRE EXTINGUISHER
Fire extinguisher maintenance and inspection must be done to ensure that they will work when you really need them to.
Inspecting your fire extinguisher is not only an essential part of fire risk assessment, but it is also a legal requirement that applies to any kind of building.
Failing to maintain fire extinguishers places you in violation of the Regulation Reform (Fire Safety Order 2005) as well as other European legislation and it may also place you in breach of the terms of your insurance cover, invalidating and claim you may make.
We test and service all types of fire extinguisher including water, Dry Powder, carbon Dioxide CO2, AFFF and Wet Chemical to British Standards BS5306 depending on the potential type of fire that can originate in your premises.
√ Fully BAFE qualified fire safety engineers.
√ Full legal service carried out.
√ Replacement of O rings
√ All extinguishers signs displayed for correct usage.
√ Inspection & maintenance of all operating mechanism of each unit.
√ Replacement of condemned extinguishers.
√ Dry Chemical Extinguisher – Use for Class A, B, C Fires
Available in two categories (ordinary and multi-purpose), dry chemical extinguishers interrupt the fire’s chemical reaction by creating a barrier on the fuel.
The multi-purpose (or ABC) dry chemical extinguisher is the most widely used these days, and it’s the one you probably come across all over the place—you know, that tall red canister you see in the office, library, restaurants, etc. It utilizes fluidized and siliconized mono-ammonium phosphate powder and ammonium sulfate.
The ordinary (or BC) dry chemical extinguisher isn’t as ubiquitous as its multi-purpose counterpart. It contains sodium or potassium bicarbonate. Use ONLY for Class B and C fires.
√ Wet Chemical Extinguisher – Use for Class K Fires
Developed specifically for cooking fires involving oil or fat, the wet chemical extinguisher is one of the newest options on the market. The active ingredient is potassium acetate, and when activated, it sprays a fine mist that cools the flames and prevents splashing, then creates a foam layer that smothers the fat. You’re less likely to see these around unless you happen to work in a commercial kitchen that uses a hot oil immersion fryer (think French Fries) and commercial stove tops, all of which is covered by a listed or approved exhaust hood.
√ Carbon Dioxide Extinguisher – Use for: Class B, C, D, K Fires
It’s not effective on Class A fires, but a carbon dioxide extinguisher works by decreasing the concentration of oxygen in the immediate vicinity of the flame and by absorbing heat energy from the flame. Keep in mind that it must be used at a close range of 3-8 feet.
√ Clean Agent Extinguisher – Use for Class A, B & C Fires
Clean agent extinguishers contain one of several clean agent chemicals, which were developed to replace ozone-depleting halons previously used in portable extinguishers. Clean agents exit the extinguisher as a liquid and vaporize enroute to the base of the fire, which is why they are referred to as “streaming agents”. Clean agents extinguish the fire primarily by chemical reaction with the fire chemistry. Clean agent extinguishers are available for Class A, B and C fires. They are ideal for use in data centers with sensitive electronics because they leave to residue behind that could be harmful to the electronic equipment.
√ Water Mist Extinguisher- Use for Class A and C Fires
An alternative to clean agent extinguishers where contamination is a concern, water mist extinguishers remove the heat element of the fire tetrahedron, and also cool the burning fuel. They can be safe for Class C, but are intended primarily for Class A fires.
√ Foam Extinguisher – Use for Class A and B Fires
Foam extinguishers are best for Class B spill fires, because the foam agent blankets the surface and prevents the flammable liquid vapors from contacting oxygen in the air. The foam extinguishing agent is water-based so the extinguishers are also appropriate for Class A fires, but unsafe for use on Class C fires.
√ Dry Powder Extinguisher – Use for Class D Fires
The method is similar to that of the dry chemical extinguisher in that it coats the fuel with a thin layer of dry chemical powder to create a barrier, but it’s only effective on fires that involve combustible metals.
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