Why Are There So Many Different Kinds Of Fire Extinguishers?
There is no one kind of fire. Fire can be caused by different kinds of fuel and to tackle each type of fire a specific type of fire extinguisher needs to be used. If you use water in oil based fires, you will increase the fire instead of decreasing it.
What Are The Fire Classes?
Class A – Fire that is caused by dry materials such as wood, paper or textiles
Class B-fires containing flammable liquids like coal, petrol or oil.
Class C-gaseous fires, like LPG, methane, etc.
Type D- Metals such as potassium or magnesium fires
Class E- Fire caused by electricity (if electricity is turned off, this fire can be treated like other classes depending on what is burning)
Class F – fires caused by cooking oil such as vegetable oil, fat etc.
What Chemicals Do Fire Extinguishers Use?
Different types of fires require different types of chemicals to be put off.
Dry Powder- Monoammonium phosphate, sodium bicarbonate, potassium bicarbonate, potassium chloride, and dried chemical dependent sodium bicarbonate are the chemicals used in dry powder extinguisher. They are indicated by blue. They can be used to stop almost all kinds of fires specially class C.
Foam extinguishers – They are indicated by white color. The contents are forming aqueous film, alcohol-resistant foams, film-forming fluoroprotein, and compressed air-foam. This is effective in stopping inflammable liquid fire.
Water- Water based fire extinguishers come from water pumps, sprinklers and hose. They extinguish class A fire by cooling the substance which is burning.
Wet Chemical- This is indicated by yellow color and it is effective in stopping class F fires. Wet chemical is the only extinguisher that can stop class f fires. It works by creating a soapy foam sheet over burning oil and cooling the oil below its combustion temperature. It uses wetting agents, antifreeze, and filled flux (an alkali-metal salt solution that decreases the freezing point when applied to water).Through displacing oxygen and extracting heat from the combustion region, carbon dioxide extinguishers put out flames.
WATERMIST – Water mist is a more effective and water saving way of water fire extinguisher. The water that comes out is pressurised, so it’s coller and quickly puts out the fire.
Which Are The Various Fire Extinguisher Color Codes?
For easier recognition, fire extinguishers are color coded. During a fire outbreak, no one is going to read or look for what kind of fire extinguisher it is before suing. The color on the cylinder is an easy indicator of which class of fire the extinguisher can put out. Purple stands for water based fire extinguisher, white is for foam, blue is for dry powder, black is for carbon dioxide, yellow is generally for wet chemicals.
Is there any fire extinguisher that can be used to put out all fires?
However, there are no all-purpose fire extinguishers yet, with a few exceptions, dry chemical extinguishers can be used on most fires.
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