A Brief Guide On Commercial Fire Extinguishers

Fire Extinguisher

A Brief Guide On Commercial Fire ExtinguishersCommercial Fire Extinguishers
Everyone knows that a bucket or two of water is enough to kill a simple camp fire but many people are not aware of the fact that there are many different types of fire and there is a specific method of extinguishing each type of fire. For instance, trying to kill an electrical fire with water may cause a lot of damage and put lives at risk. Therefore, it is important to be aware of these different types of fire and the best way to put them out with the help of commercial fire extinguishers.

Here is a brief guide on different types of fire and what type of commercial fire extinguishers should be used to kill those fires.

Fire Classifications

There are a total of five different classifications of fire as follows:

Class A

Fires that are fueled by organic combustible materials such as paper, cloth and wood are classified as Class A. These types of fires usually start when combustible materials such as rubber, clothing, paper and dry wood are exposed to extreme heat in the right conditions. This type of fire can be easily extinguished by water.

Class B

This refers to fire fueled by various flammable liquids and gases such as propane, paint thinner, gasoline and acetylene among others. Since oil and gasoline float on water and continue to burn, water is not effective in killing these fires. Therefore, it is better to cut the oxygen supply using carbon dioxide.

Class C

This class refers to the electrical fire. Water should not be used as it may put human lives at risk of electrocution.

Class D

This class refers to fires fueled by burning of combustible metals. Various metals such as potassium, magnesium and sodium burn hotly when exposed to heat. This type of fire needs fire extinguishers labeled D. These fire extinguishers contain sodium chloride.

Class K

This class refers to kitchen fires that involve cooking oils and fats. Throwing water on these fires usually spread the fire around the kitchen as cooking oils float on the water surface. A fire extinguisher containing dry chemicals or carbon dioxide should be used for killing a kitchen fire.

Types of Commercial Fire Extinguisher

ABC Fire Extinguishers
As the name suggest, this type of extinguisher can be used for dousing Class A, Class B as well as Class C fires. It uses a dry chemical agent known as Mono Ammonium Phosphate. This chemical agent is corrosive and therefore, it must be scrapped off after use. Though these fire extinguishers are good for killing electrical fire, a carbon dioxide fire extinguisher is better for protecting sensitive electrical equipment.

K Class Fire Extinguishers

These are great for commercial kitchens. These contain a mix of Potassium Citrate and Potassium Acetate. This combination is highly effective for dousing fires fueled by cooking oils and grease. This type of fire extinguishers sprays a fine mist to prevent splashing of oils and works by creating a barrier between oxygen and external heat source to prevent fire from reigniting.

Carbon Dioxide Fire Extinguishers

As the name suggests, this type of extinguisher contains carbon dioxide that works by displacing oxygen in the affected area for killing the fire. These are ideal for fires caused by electricity. As these contain CO2, these should not be used in confined spaces.

Purple K Fire Extinguishers

This type of fire extinguisher uses special dry chemical component for killing Class B and Class C fires. It is highly effective against flammable liquids such as solvents, alcohol, oil based paints as well as flammable gases.

UL Rating

All commercial fire extinguishers come with a UL rating that signals the effectiveness of a fire extinguisher. The rating tells you about the water equivalency of extinguisher, area that can be covered by the fire extinguisher and the type of fire that can be killed by using it.

It is in the form of 4-A:10:B:C

The number before A refers to water equivalency of the fire extinguisher. A represents 1.25 gallons of water which means that for a fire extinguisher with the above rating has an equivalent of 5 gallons of water. Similarly, the number in front of B refers to the square footage that can be covered by the fire extinguisher. The last letter refers to the type of fire where this extinguisher may be used.

In addition to the above-mentioned classification, you also need to invest in various accessories to ensure that the commercial fire extinguishers can be easily accessed when needed. Some of the important accessories include brackets, covers, labels, signs, recessed and surface mount cabinets among others.

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