A Quick Guide to Fire Extinguishers

Environmental Blog

Every home or business needs fire extinguishers. But not all fire extinguishers are alike. Knowing which one is right for you means identifying the types of fires most likely in a given environment and choosing appropriately. 

Categories of fire

In Australia, fires are divided into six categories based on the type of substance that is burning. Category A covers general combustible materials such as paper, cloth, wood and more, while Category B includes combustible liquids like fuel and oil. Category C fires come from flammable gas, while Category D fires result from metals such as magnesium. Electrical fires fall into Category E. Finally, Category F fires result from fats and cooking oils. 

Each type of fire is more likely to occur in a particular environment. Category A fires can happen anywhere, but Category D fires are very rare, since combustible metals are typically only found in certain types of factory. A restaurant needs to be very careful about Category F and Category C fires, while an office should be prepared to deal with Category E fires. The type of fire likely to occur in a particular location will help determine which type of fire extinguisher is required. 

Types of fire extinguisher

Like fires, fire extinguishers fall into six different categories. However, the categories of extinguisher don't match up exactly with the categories of fire. The categories of extinguisher are based on the method used to put out fires. This can be water, powder, foam, vaporising liquid, carbon dioxide or wet chemical. The type of extinguisher is indicated by a coloured band on the cylinder, except in the case of water extinguishers, which are completely red. 

Each type of extinguisher is recommended for a different combination of fire categories. For instance, foam extinguishers are useful against Category A and B fires, but not against others, while water extinguishers are recommended only for use against Category A fires. Using a fire extinguisher on the wrong category can be very dangerous: spraying water on a Category F fire, for example, risks spreading the fire by spattering the burning oil or fat across a wider area. 

Positioning your extinguisher

Once you've chosen the right fire extinguishers, you need to deploy them. If you're installing fire extinguishers in a business, be sure to follow applicable regulations governing height and signs. In your home, think about possible fire locations. It might seem logical to put fire extinguishers in places where you're worried a fire might break out, but you don't want to risk a fire preventing access to the extinguisher. Instead, position them a short distance away; kitchen fire extinguishers should be near the kitchen, for instance, but not under the sink where a fire might block them off. 

With the right extinguisher and the correct positioning, you'll be ready to keep your home or business safe from the danger of fire. Check out websites like http://www.fireprotectionservices.com.au to learn more.


3 January 2018

Elizabeth's Energy and Environment Blog

Did you know that the way we generate and use energy can have a big impact on the environment? I wasn't aware of this fact until my son came home from school. He had been learning all about climate change and he was really worried about the future. Seeing my 7-year-old in tears really moved me and I vowed that I would learn more about green energy. I contacted an energy consultant who came to visit my home. They assessed how energy efficient it was and recommended that I have solar panels and double glazing installed. The contractor who carried out this work was excellent. I decided to start this blog to encourage others to go green.