Almost every commercial and residential property has a fire extinguisher installed at every level, including the garage, workshops, and electric-meter rooms. Although many are aware of the benefits of a fire extinguisher, few know about the types available and how they actually operate.
Extinguishers are categorized into several classes, namely Class A, B, C, D and K. All of these classes have their own applications and are used to put off specific types of fires. Below is a brief explanation of each of these types:
Fires fuelled by materials such as cloth, paper, plastic, and wood can be extinguished using the Class A extinguishers. These make use of pressurized water to put off fires. They are best suited for homes.
These are installed in places that store flammable liquids such as solvents, grease, paints, oils and gasoline. Class B extinguishers are loaded with a non-flammable gas such as carbon dioxide. Keep in mind that using water to extinguish the fire can be dangerous. Instead, Class B extinguishers are highly recommended.
Fires caused by electrical equipment require Class C extinguishers. In such cases, the prime causes of fire are usually faulty wiring, circuit breakers, and damaged power outlets.
These types of extinguishers are used in places that deal with flammable metal powders, flakes, and shavings. Chemicals such as sodium, titanium, magnesium and potassium can be a major cause of the fire.
Class K extinguishers can easily tackle kitchen fires that involve cooking fluids such as oils and fats. However, in such cases, it is recommended that the power outlets be switched off before using the Class K fire extinguishers.
Why do you even need a fire extinguisher?
Well, if you too have the same question, you are probably unaware of the amount of damage fire can cause. No doubt, you may be living in one of the safest residential areas in the city. But, that’s not good enough to keep you safe from an uncertain fire. Fire extinguishers can not only prevent properties from damages but can also save human lives.
Carry out a regular fire extinguisher inspection
You may already have a fire extinguisher installed, but that’s not where the job ends. A periodic inspection of the extinguisher is highly recommended. The inspection should include the following pointers:
- The extinguisher is installed in a place accessible by all.
- Make sure the locking pin is intact
- Are any signs of physical damage visible, such as a crack or a dent? If yes, get it replaced immediately.
- The pressure indicator should be in a working condition
Research when buying a fire extinguisher
Like mentioned earlier in the article, numerous types of fire extinguishers are available. You need to choose one based upon the nature of property in question. For instance, if you require one to be fitted in your kitchen, you may want to pick the Class K extinguisher. Class B, C, and D extinguishers are best suited for industrial properties.