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What is Fire Extinguisher?

Fire Extinguisher

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 that can be discharged to extinguish a fire. Fire extinguishers manufactured with non-cylindrical pressure vessels also exist but are less common.

Fire extinguisher Usage:

The first question comes in mind that what fire extinguisher is used for? So now we will elaborate in detail what is the use of a fire extinguisher. It is important to know the locations and the types of extinguishers in your workplace prior to actually using one.

Fire extinguishers should ideally only be used by someone who has been trained to do so – and the following text does not count as training. Moreover, a fire extinguisher should only be activated once the fire alarm has been triggered and you have identified a safe evacuation route. Evacuate the building immediately if you still feel unsure about using a fire extinguisher or if doing so is clearly the safest option.

Nevertheless, the following technique can serve as a refresher for those who have undertaken training or if someone without training ever needs to use one in order to improve the chances that everyone escapes unharmed.

The following four-step technique can be memorized more easily with the acronym PASS:

  1. Pull: Pull the pin to break the tamper seal.
  2. Aim: Aim low, pointing the nozzle or hose at the base of the fire. (Do not touch the horn on a CO2 extinguisher since it becomes very cold and can damage the skin.
  3. Squeeze: Squeeze the handle to release the extinguishing agent.
  4. Sweep: Sweep from side to side at the base of the fire – the fuel source – until the fire is extinguished.

Perhaps you’d like to be able to fight a fire before it spreads through your home. Here is an important question that Should you buy a fire extinguisher? Or Do we need to fire extinguishers?

Yes, provided you know when and how to use it.

Fire extinguishers can be a small but important part of the home fire safety plan. They can save lives and property by putting out a small fire suppressing it until the fire department arrives. Fire safety experts advise that you attempt to extinguish a fire only if you have first made sure that everyone else has left or is leaving the building, and that someone has called the fire department. Remember, lives are more important than property.

If those conditions have been met, you should pick up the fire extinguisher and attack the fire. Most people also probably wondering about

Do fire extinguishers expire? Well, there is no certainty but manufacturers say that most extinguishers should work for 5 to 15 years. You might not know if you got yours three years ago or 13.  If it falls anywhere else, the extinguisher is unreliable and should be serviced or replaced.

You can also check for an expiry date. Look for a paper tag on the fire extinguisher showing a record of maintenance. It may not connote an expiration date, but if the oldest date on the tag was more than 10 years ago, your extinguisher’s days are likely numbered—it may already have lost its ability to fight flames.

Refilling of fire extinguishers

In case of its expiration then you must do refilling of fire extinguishers. They need to be recharged immediately after each use. Even if the extinguishing agent inside was not completely discharged, the extinguisher still needs to be serviced in order to make sure it’s ready for its next use. Even a minimal discharge will normally result in leakage and an eventual total loss of pressure needed for proper operation. Inspect fire extinguishers at least once a month (more often in severe environments). Fire extinguisher maintenance is important for everyone’s safety.

You must ensure that:

  • 1)The extinguisher is not blocked by equipment, coats, or other objects that could interfere with access in an emergency.
  • 2)The pressure is at the recommended level. On extinguishers equipped with a gauge (such as that shown on the right), the needle should be in the green zone – not too high and not too low.
  • 3)The nozzle or other parts are not hindered in any way.
  • 4)The pin and tamper seal (if it has one) are intact.
  • 5)There are no dents, leaks, rust, chemical deposits, and/or other signs of abuse/wear. Wipe off any corrosive chemicals, oil, gunk, etc. that may have deposited on the extinguisher.

Some manufacturers recommend shaking your dry chemical extinguishers once a month to prevent the powder from settling/packing. Fire extinguishers should be pressure tested (a process called hydrostatic testing) after a number of years to ensure that the cylinder is safe to use. Consult your owner’s manual, extinguisher label, or the manufacturer to see when yours may need such testing.

WHAT CAN HAPPEN IF A FIRE EXTINGUISHER IS NOT PROPERLY MAINTAINED?

The resulting consequences of negligent, or lack of, fire extinguisher maintenance could be grave. In order to avoid problems that could arise at the moment when someone is in desperate need of a fire extinguisher, maintenance should be carried out at least once a month. The disaster of a small fire in a home, restaurant, or office building can be avoided; a flame can be immediately doused with a properly functioning fire extinguisher.

Fire extinguishers can explode

Of equal importance is the fact that a fire extinguisher that is badly damaged, has major dents and/or signs of a leak is potentially dangerous. It is possible for the canister to explode. If you suspect that the extinguisher is in bad shape, it is recommended that you contact a professional fire extinguisher company and request that they come and inspect it. They may suggest that you replace the old one. Better safe than sorry.

What to do after use

Once the fire extinguisher has been used you should replace it or have it serviced and refilled as soon as possible to be properly prepared in the event of another fire. Universal Fire Protection Provides Fire Extinguisher Maintenance and Refilling services in Lahore, Karachi, Islamabad, Rawalpindi, and other cities of Pakistan.  

Where should you keep the fire extinguishers?

Having them located throughout your home or rental properties inaccessible areas means if, or when, the time comes to use an extinguisher, guests or renters won’t waste time searching for one. Being prepared isn’t just a scout’s motto: it’s the first step in making sure your loved ones and property are better protected. The extinguishers should be placed in areas that are accessible within seconds. Place them in easy-to-grab spots, near exits.

The Universal Fire Protection recommends having at least one fire extinguisher on every floor of the home. The first location should be the kitchen. And also other areas like Near Sources of Heat, each floor of your home, The Garage, The Bedrooms, Keep a fire extinguisher within reach of fireplaces and chimneys, wood stoves, and furnaces.

Classes of Fire Extinguishers

No single extinguisher can be used to tackle every fire, and because each type of fire extinguisher has different classes of fire on which it is effective, selection can be a minefield. The first step is to look at what materials are present in the area to be protected from fire.

These can be divided into six categories of a fire involving different substances:

  • A Class : combustible carbon-based solids e.g paper, wood, or textiles
  • B Class : flammable liquids e.g paraffin, petrol, diesel or oil (but not cooking oil)
  • C Class : flammable gases, e.g butane, propane or methane
  • D Class: burning metals, e.g aluminum, lithium or magnesium
  • Fires caused by electrical equipment (indicated by an electric spark symbol and not the letter E)
  • F Class , fats, and cooking oils.

TYPES OF FIRE EXTINGUISHERS AND USES 

DCP FIRE EXTINGUISHER

Dry chemical powder extinguishers are suitable for class A (combustible materials), class B (flammable or combustible liquids) and/or class C (electrical) fires or a combination of ABC class fires. All the extinguishers supplied conform to the minimum fire ratings as specified in SANS 1910:2009.

They are highly effective for electrical hazards. This multi-purpose extinguisher interferes with the combustion process and provides rapid-fire knockdown. They are ideal for mixed fire risk environments and especially suited for protection for liquids, storage of liquid gases, and heating oils used for industry, garages, and workshops. They work by the powder forming a crust which smothers the fire and stops it from spreading.

Disadvantages are that the powder does not soak into materials and does not have an effective cooling effect on the fire, which can result in the fire reigniting.

The powder is hazardous if inhaled, so it should be used in well-ventilated areas and are not suitable for offices and domestic premises. The powder damages soft furnishings, machinery, etc, and needs a lot of cleaning up after use. They cannot be used on-chip pan fires (Class F).

They are generally inexpensive and powerful and come in 1, 2, 4, 6, and 9-kg sizes. A 1kg model can cost as little as £15, while 9kg will cost around £35.

CO2 Fire Extinguisher

CO2 Fire Extinguisher is used to extinguish fires caused by electrical equipment such as fire on electric circuits, electric boards, switches, wires, and other electronic equipment. It is also used in extinguishing Liquid Combustible Matters such as Petrol, Oils, paraffin, Greases, Ether, Alcohol, etc.

 Co2 Fire Extinguisher on trolley protects industrial fires containing dangerous chemicals and gases. CO2 Trolley Extinguisher does not leave a residue when disperses carbon dioxide.
It is very easy to move the trolley fire extinguisher as the trolley has 2 wheels, this is one of the good points that people take interest and buy it. Even a 15 years old child can move it to the required area.

CO2 FIRE EXTINGUISHER TROLLEY IS USED IN THE FOLLOWING CLASS/TYPES OF FIRES

A Class Fire: Solid Matters Forming Glowing Residues E.g. Wood, Rubber, (Car Tire), Paper, Textiles.

B Class Fire: A fire caused by Liquid Combustible Matters E.g. Petrol, Oils, Greases, Ether, Alcohol.

C Class Fire: Combustible Light Metals E.g. Lithium Sodium, Magnesium, Calcium.

D Class Fire: The Burning Gases E.g. Propane, Butane, Methane, Acetylene, Town Gas.

E Class Fire: Fires on Electrical /Electronic Equipment.

Foam extinguishers

Foam fire extinguishers  is used in Class A and B fires. They are most suited to extinguishing liquid fires such as petrol or diesel and are more versatile than water jet extinguishers because they can also be used on solids such as wood and paper.

The foam extinguishes liquid fires by sealing the surface of the liquid, preventing flammable vapor from reaching the air and starving the fire of fuel. They are not suitable for use on free-flowing liquid fires.

Fire blankets

Fire blankets are primarily for use on hot oil fires such as frying pans or small deep fat fryers. They can also be used on someone whose clothing has caught the fire. They work by smothering the fire, stopping access to the oxygen fueling it, and extinguishing it.

How to use your fire extinguisher?

After you buy fire extinguisher, familiarize yourself with the fire extinguisher directions so you’ll be prepared in case you need to put out a fire. Typically, fire extinguishers are fairly easy to use in the case of a fire. Most of the types operate using the P.A.S.S. technique:

  • Pull the pin on the fire extinguisher in order to break the tamper seal.
  • Aim the fire extinguisher low, with the nozzle pointed at the base of the fire.
  • Squeeze the handle of the fire extinguisher to release the extinguishing agent.
  • Sweep the nozzle from side to side while pointed at the base of the fire until it is extinguished.
  • If the fire re-ignites, repeat the last 3 steps.

Where Can I Buy Fire Extinguishers?

Universal Fire Protection will provide you Fire Extinguisher at a reasonable price.

Our main office is located in Rawalpindi. Our subbranches are in Karachi and Lahore.

We have almost all types of Fire Extinguishers including Co2 (Carbon Dioxide) Fire Extinguisher, DCP (Dry Chemical powder) Fire Extinguisher, Foam Fire Extinguisher, Trolley Fire Extinguisher, Halliburton Fire Extinguisher, ABC dry chemical Fire Extinguisher, Water Fire Extinguisher, Clean Agent Fire Extinguisher, Naffco Fire Extinguishers, chines fire extinguishers, Firex Fire Extinguishers etc etc.

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