Types and Uses of Portable Fire Extinguishers

No one likes to think about the possibility of a fire starting at their office, but it’s important to be prepared for that possibility.

AAA Fire Protection Resources, Inc. provides fire extinguisher service in Lawrenceville, GA to ensure that your fire extinguishers are in top working order at all times. Here are a few helpful facts about fires, and some tips on using the right portable fire extinguisher to fight them.

Know your fire triangle

A good way to remember how fires work is to imagine a triangle with four elements—one on each side of the triangle, and one at its center. The three elements along the sides of the triangle are heat, oxygen and fuel. In the middle, the last element is a chemical reaction, which must occur between those first three elements. If you can remove even one of these four elements, you can put out a fire. This is the principal around which all fire protection is based.

Know your fire classes

There are five types of fires, and knowing about each will help you fight a fire correctly:

  • Class A: Ordinary combustibles (such as paper, cloth, wood or plastic)
  • Class B: Flammable liquids (such as paint, petroleum oil, propane, butane or gasoline)
  • Class C: Energized electrical equipment (such as kitchen appliances, transformers or motors)
  • Class D: Combustible metals (such as magnesium, sodium, potassium or aluminum)
  • Class K: Cooking oils (such as vegetable fats, animal fats, greases or other cooking oils)

You can sometimes use the same fire extinguishing agent on several different fire classes, but be sure to read the warnings and consult a knowledgeable fire safety professional first. In some cases, using one type of extinguisher on the wrong class of fire could actually help the fire spread and become more powerful.

Know your fire extinguisher types

There are eight important types of fire extinguishers. Familiarize yourself with them, and schedule fire extinguisher service in Lawrenceville, GA to make sure any that you use are in working order at all times:

  • Water and foam: Removes the heat element from the equation. For use in Class A fires.
  • Dry chemical: Used for Class A, B and C fires, dry chemical extinguishers help interrupt the chemical reaction.
  • Wet chemical: This is a newer extinguisher which works by removing heat and preventing re-ignition through a barrier it creates between fuel and oxygen. Primarily for use with Class K fires to help extinguish fats and oils.
  • Carbon dioxide: Removes oxygen and works with Class B and C fires. Generally ineffective for fighting Class A fires.
  • Cartridge operated dry chemical: Extinguishes fire by preventing further chemical reaction. For use with Class A, B and C fires.
  • Water mist: A newer extinguisher, it removes heat, and works with Class A and C fires.
  • Dry powder: Separates oxygen and fuel and removes heat. Only effective for Class D fires.
  • Clean agent: Includes halocarbon and halon agents to interrupt chemical reactions. For use in Class B and C fires, but can sometimes be used for class A as well.

Contact AAA Fire Protection Resources, Inc. for fire extinguisher service in Lawrenceville, GA. We’re here to help protect your commercial building and its occupants year-round.

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