What is a Fire Extinguisher?
A fire extinguisher is a fire safety tool (portable fire safety equipment) and used for extinguishing different types of fires. Firefighting equipment such as Fire extinguishers is metal cylinders or containers. This fire-fighting device consists of a firing cylinder with a directional nozzle that uses to direct a spray of water, inert gas, chemically generated foam, or fine powder onto the fire at high pressure to control or put out even the small fires. These cylinders or fire extinguishing equipment contain different chemicals, but depending on the application as nitrogen used with dry chemical extinguishers and the air is used with water and foam extinguishers.
What is Fire and its Classes?
Fire is a chemical reaction that can burn if it comes in contact with oxygen, fuel, and heat. The flames or fires occur when small particles of the combustible material or fuel (wood, flammable oil, gasoline, electrical equipment, etc.) are heated to the point of burning and shot upward. The combustion or ignition (the chemical reaction of fire) happens when fuel reacts with oxygen to release heat energy. Even the combustion outcomes in a flame are very fast then it is called burning.
Whether the combustion is slow or fast but it all depends on the capacity of oxygen available. Several classes of fire that is based primarily on the fuel source. Here is a list of different categorizations of fire.
Class A - fires involving solid materials such as wood, paper or textiles, fabric, trash, and plastics
Class B - fires linking flammable liquids such as flammable oils, petrol, diesel, kerosene, and certain types of paint
Class C - fires connecting varied gases and electrical apparatuses
Class D - fires relating combustible metals
Class E - fires relating live electrical apparatus like TV, computer and other home appliances (Technically ‘Class E’ doesn’t exit)
Class F or Type K - fire concerning cooking oils such as in deep-fat fryers; liquid cooking materials such as cooking oils, vegetable fat, greases, and animal fat.
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VariEX® fire extinguishers are even portable fire safety devices and used to apply an agent that will extinguish the burning fuel or remove oxygen so the fire cannot continue to burn. A portable fire extinguisher on the VariEx brand can control the small fires swiftly. It is advisable to fix the fire extinguishers throughout the building including every room of the concerned premises. Variexonline ensures that its range of fire extinguishers is meticulously inspected as per the International Safety & Quality Standard, confirming the proper safety of the end-users. You should know the types of fire extinguishers and their operation or use to properly use an extinguisher.
Types of Fire Extinguishers and their uses as per Classes of Fire
There are mainly five different types (fire extinguishers types) of fire extinguishers such as Dry Powder, Water, Foam, CO2, and Wet Chemical and offered to extinguish the fire. However, there is not any single extinguisher type available in the market that works on all classes of fire.
WATER FIRE EXTINGUISHER
Water type fire extinguishers are the most common fire extinguishers used for class A type of fire risk. The water has a cooling effect on the material or fuel, which is capable of extinguishing the fire immediately. It is recommended to hang the water type extinguishers at the exit point of every floor’s wall where a Class A fire risk can be identified.
In practically, there are two categories of extinguishers such as Water Spray and Water Mist. Water spray extinguishers are fitted out with spray nozzles, which means greater surface areas can be covered more quickly and put out the fire more rapidly. Water mist extinguishers are comprised of different types of nozzles that help in releasing microscopic water particles to create a wall of mist between the fire and the person using the extinguisher, reducing the feeling of heat.
Uses of water / A type extinguishers:
• Residential properties
• Other buildings constructed of wood or other organic materials
FOAM FIRE EXTINGUISHER
Foam type fire extinguishers are one of the popular categories of fire extinguishers and used for Class B fire hazard or fire risk. Like the water extinguishers, foam extinguishers also have a cooling effect on the fuel, and the foaming agent of the cylinder creates a barrier between the flame and the fuel for extinguishing the fire. A foam fire extinguisher is water-based, hence it works on Class A fires. It is advisable to use the foam extinguisher at the exits on a floor where the chances of a Class A or Class B fire risks can recognize.
Uses of foam / Type B extinguishers:
• Residential properties
• Buildings where flammable liquids are stored
DRY POWDER FIRE EXTINGUISHER
Dry powder type fire extinguishers are also known as ABC fire extinguishers as they use for extinguishing the class A, B, and C fire and prevent any fire-related risk. Dry chemical powder extinguishers are used to cool down the fires by forming a barrier between the fuel and the source of oxygen. ABC powder extinguishers generally use some electrical fires. However, they are not flawless for use in surrounded spaces.
Uses of ABC type or dry powder fire extinguishers:
• Businesses using flammable gases for chemical processes
• Premises where welding and flame cutting works takes place
• Premises with large, commercial boiler rooms
• Garage forecourts
• Liquid petroleum gas (LPG) dispensing plants
CARBON DIOXIDE (CO2) FIRE EXTINGUISHER
Carbon dioxide type fire extinguishers are also called CO2 extinguishers and used for electrical fire risks. Carbon dioxide or CO2 extinguishers work in such a way to suffocate fires by displacing the oxygen that the fire needs to burn. They are also used to extinguish Class B fires that may happen because of contact with flammable liquids, such as paint and petroleum). It is recommended to place the carbon dioxide fire extinguishers near to the source of the fire exits and also inside the vehicles.
Uses of carbon dioxide / CO2 type extinguishers:
• Construction sites
• Computer server rooms
WET CHEMICAL FIRE EXTINGUISHERS
Wet chemical type extinguishers are fabricated to use for Class F or Class K fire risks. This particular type of extinguisher can also use to put out Class A fires (although it is more usual to have a foam or water extinguisher for this type of fire risk). Wet chemical fire extinguishers create a layer of foam (has a cooling effect) on the surface of the burning cooking oil or fat, preventing oxygen from fueling the fire any further.
Uses of wet chemical / K type extinguisher:
• Commercial kitchens
• Hospital cooking areas, etc.
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