What Are the Dangers of Using the Incorrect Fire Extinguisher?

Contrary to popular belief, not all fire extinguishers operate in the same way. Depending on the source of the fire, the medium its burning and the conditions surrounding the blaze, discharging the wrong type of fire extinguisher may actually spread or agitate the flames. It’s important to understand the primary types of fires and the best respective extinguishers suited for putting them out. Talking with fire safety consultants in Lawrenceville, GA is the best way to identify and obtain the types of fire extinguishers that best match the risk factors present at your place of business.

There are several types of fire extinguishers, each of which are designed to quell a certain type of blaze. When you are developing a fire safety plan for your place of business, you should carefully identify potential risk factors and invest in fire safety solutions that match your risk factors.

Here are just some of the most common types of fire extinguishers, and the respective types of fires they’re best equipped to quench:

  • Water extinguishers: These are the most cost-effective, yet least versatile, types of fire extinguishers available. Water-based fire extinguishers dispense water in the form of a stream, mist or fog. They’re only suitable for use on fires that are burning solid fuels, like wood or textiles.
  • Powder extinguishers: Powder extinguishers are extremely versatile, because they can be used on several different types of fires. They dispense a dry chemical powder that quells the flames. Because they create reduced visibility and can cause additional breathing problems, it’s inadvisable to use powder extinguishers indoors.
  • Wet chemical extinguishers: Designed to quench fires feeding on greases and cooking oils, wet chemical extinguishers consist of a complex chain of chemicals that all interact with the flames differently to stop the fire quickly and effectively. Wet chemical fires both stop the burning action and cool the area down.
  • Fire blankets: These low-tech fire prevention devices are best used on grease or oil fires that are confined to a small area, like a cooking grill. Additionally, fire blankets can help put out flames that may have started on someone’s clothing. Whereas chemical extinguishers may cause additional skin damage, fire blankets are relatively gentle.
  • Foam extinguishers: Foam extinguishers are best suited for use on fires burning liquid fuels, like gasoline, as well as solid-based fires. Foam extinguishers work by starving the fire of oxygen, thus preventing it from continuing to burn.

Since 1981, AAA Fire Protection Resources, Inc. has been one of the most trusted fire safety consultants in Lawrenceville, GA. We are proud to provide each and every one of our clients with personalized advice and fire safety action plans. If you are looking for a trusted partner to help you develop a fire safety plan for your business, reach out to one of our knowledgeable and friendly representatives today. We can assist you with creating a meaningful action plan that will help you and your employees and assets remain safe and sound in the event of a fire.

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