Getting started with fire extinguishers


Hopefully, we’ll never have to find out how good this is, but we are immensely grateful we had two extinguishers 6 months ago when our electric water heater started a fire in our utility room. we had full-on blazing! the second extinguisher was just starting to run out when the fire department arrived. if it wasn’t for having two and my hero of a husband, we would have lost everything. we now have four extinguishers. kitchen, utility room, a living room is hidden in a basket near the fireplace and one in the back of the house. since writing this review I realize we don’t have one in the garage. got one more to order.

How Fire Extinguishers Work


The two most common types of extinguishers in laboratories are pressurized dry chemical (type bc or ABC, left) and carbon dioxide (co2, right) extinguishers: you can buy these in our online store, you may have other “clean agent” extinguishers besides co2 (see next section), particularly if your workplace has sensitive electronic devices such as computers. those who work with flammable metals may also have a specialized class d dry powder extinguisher for use on fires (in a pinch, a bucket of dry sand will do, but you really should have a class d unit if you work with such materials). water-filled extinguishers are not acceptable for chemistry laboratory use. if you have a water-filled extinguisher in your laboratory, have it replaced immediately by contacting your campus or corporate fire marshal’s office.

Class c fire extinguishers are effective against electrical fires from live wires, panels, and circuit breakers. the extinguisher works by releasing materials that stop the conduction of electricity.

Cartridge operated dry chemical fire extinguishers extinguish the fire primarily by interrupting the chemical reaction of the fire triangle. like the stored pressure dry chemical extinguishers, the multipurpose dry chemical 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.

Carbon dioxide extinguishers are responsible for the jet clouds we’re all so familiar with when it comes to fire extinguishers. they work by smothering flames and sucking in heat. dry-powder extinguishers contain sodium bicarbonate; they, too, smother flames, by denying them oxygen. class k extinguishers contain a potassium acetate-based compound that foams after being expressed. there are also extinguishers that contain water that’s compressed with air.

Portable Fire Extinguishers and Children

fire extinguishers

NFPA believes that children should not be trained on how to operate portable fire extinguishers. teaching children to use portable fire extinguishers runs counter to NFPA messaging to get out and stay out if there is a fire. furthermore, children may not have the maturity to operate a portable fire extinguisher properly or decide whether or not a fire is small enough to be put out by the extinguisher. they may not have the physical ability to handle the extinguisher or dexterity to perform the complex actions required to put out a fire. in the process of extinguishing flames, children may not know how to respond if the fire spreads. nfpa continues to believe that only adults who know how to operate portable fire extinguishers should use them.

Types of Fire Extinguishers for the Home

types of fire extinguishers
Types of Fire Extinguisher

Ideal locations different rooms in a home can often have different dangers associated with them. some fire extinguishers have features that specifically address these types of dangers. examples include kitchens – the only special-purpose fire extinguisher that is ul listed to 711a (residential cooking equipment)* and meets NFPA 10. the proprietary nozzle design allows a broad, dispersed discharge of agent that delivers a high volume, low-velocity delivery of dry chemical.

CO2 Fire extinguishers
CO2 Fire extinguishers

Fire extinguishers are classified as types a, abc, bc or k. it is important to use the right type of extinguisher on the specific class of fire to avoid personal injury or damage to property. the wrong type of extinguisher could cause electrical shock, explosion, or spread the fire. portable extinguishers are useful for putting out small fires; however, they are not effective against large, spreading fires. in these situations, doors should be closed to contain the fire.

Best Practices on Creating a Fire Extinguisher Safety Plan

Creating a fire extinguisher safety plan isn’t as simple as making the devices available in your company. consider these best practices when developing your plan for the best results:

How to Use a Fire Extinguisher

Fire extinguisher, portable or movable apparatus used to put out a small fire by directing onto it a substance that cools the burning material, deprive the flame of oxygen, or interferes with the chemical reactions occurring in the flame. water performs two of these functions: its conversion to steam absorbs heat, and the steam displaces the air from the vicinity of the flame. many simple fire extinguishers, therefore, are small tanks equipped with hand pumps or sources of compressed gas to propel water through a nozzle. the water may contain a wetting agent to make it more effective against fires in upholstery, an additive to produce a stable foam that acts as a barrier against oxygen, or an antifreeze. carbon dioxide is a common propellant, brought into play by removing the locking pin of the cylinder valve containing the liquefied gas; this method has superseded the process, used in the soda-acid fire extinguisher, of generating carbon dioxide by mixing sulfuric acid with a solution of sodium bicarbonate.

A fire extinguisher is an active fire protection device used to extinguish or control small fires, often in emergency situations. it is not intended for use on an out-of-control fire, such as one which has reached the ceiling, endangers the user (i.e., no escape route, smoke, explosion hazard, etc.), or otherwise requires the expertise of a fire brigade. typically, a fire extinguisher consists of a hand-held cylindrical pressure vessel containing an agent which can be discharged to extinguish a fire. fire extinguishers manufactured with non-cylindrical pressure vessels also exist but are less common.

When operating a fire extinguisher, tell residents to remember the word pass: pull the pin. hold the extinguisher with the nozzle pointing away from you and release the locking mechanism. aim low. point the extinguisher at the base of the fire. squeeze the lever slowly and evenly. sweep the nozzle from side-to-side.

The first thing to do when choosing a fire extinguisher is to decide which rooms in your house need one. you should keep at least one on each level of your house. make sure you keep fire extinguishers handy where fires are more likely to start, like in the kitchen and garage.

If a fire breaks out, it can spread fast. that’s why it’s so important to have a small fire extinguisher on hand. with a home fire extinguisher, you can protect your family and your home from severe, costly fire damage. shop ace to find multiple fire extinguisher types from the top brands.

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