If you are replacing existing fire extinguishers, it is easy to choose the right fire extinguishers, as long as you are sure that nothing has changed in terms of fire risk since the last visit of a service engineer. Just be sure to purchase fire extinguishers with the same type of extinguishing agent (powder, AFFF foam, CO2, water, etc.) that are currently installed and that the rating of the new units at least matches the rating of the existing fire extinguishers. The physical size of the fire extinguishers does not matter, as long as the classification is met.
If you are purchasing fire extinguishers for new installations or if the building or its use has been altered, we recommend that you ask us to perform a site inspection. We will send one of our fire extinguisher service engineers to conduct the site study and recommend the required fire extinguisher types and locations.
Cartridge driven or stored pressure?
There are two types of portable fire extinguisher: cartridge operated and pressure stored. While most fire extinguishers in use are stored under pressure, it is important to decide whether or not you need cartridge-operated units before making your purchase.
Cartridge-operated fire extinguishers consist of a cylinder filled with the fire extinguisher (water, foam, powder, etc.).) and a gas cartridge containing highly pressurized CO2. The cylinder itself is not pressurized while not in use and the pressure is only released from the cartridge once the handle is tightened and drilled into the cartridge, which will then eject the fire extinguisher from the cylinder through the hose.
On the other hand, stored pressure extinguishers consist of a cylinder containing the extinguishing agent (water, dust, foam, etc.) and are permanently pressurized with dry air or oxygen-free nitrogen. When the extinguisher is activated by squeezing the handle, the inner Valve is released and the pressure pushes the extinguishing agent through the hose.
Cartridge-operated fire extinguishers have an advantage over their stored pressure counterparts in that their outer cylinder can be drilled without the fire extinguisher exploding. If a stored pressure extinguishing cylinder were drilled, it would release the pressure explosively. If the environment in which you want to install the fire extinguishers is particularly harsh, i.e. there is a real possibility that the fire extinguishers will suffer blows, bumps, etc.then it may be prudent to invest in cartridge-operated units. However, if you are installing fire extinguishers in a regular environment, such as an office building, the stored pressure would be perfectly suited to your needs.
How Many Fire Extinguishers Do I Need?
The basic requirement for fire extinguishers (Class A fire hazards) of a building is calculated by multiplying the area of the area of a building in square metres by 0.065. For example, if a single-storey building is 20m x 10m, it would have an area of 200 square meters. Multiply this by 0.065 and you get to number 13. Now you know that the supply of the fire extinguisher has to be 13A or higher. However, the actual minimum Class A arrangement per floor, according to BS 5306-8:2012, is 2 A-rated fire extinguishers with a combined rating of at least 26A. once you have determined which rating you need, you can select your fire extinguishers. If you are required to provide, for example, 26A, you would have to choose fire extinguishers with a total Class A rating of 26a or higher. Fire extinguisher ratings are advertised with fire extinguishers and vary from brand to brand.
Example: if your building is 600 square meters, your minimum requirement for Class A fire extinguishers would be 39A(600 times 0.065 = 39). This could be covered, for example, with two 6ltr water extinguishers (with additives) with a rating of 21A each.
In addition to this, you will need to consider any specific risks your building contains by considering some questions (Risk Assessment):
Is there an area of your building that is used to store flammable liquids? For this, you will need Class B fire extinguishers to cover the risk. The rules on how many Class B fire extinguishers are required are very complex; the minimums are governed by the exposed area of the flammable liquids stored, the distance between the storage containers, the total volume stored and the risk of spillage, and the different requirements for each of them must be considered separately. As such, we recommend, where flammable liquids are stored, that a Competent Person conduct a site survey to ensure that their coverage is sufficient and legal.
Where live electrical equipment is in use, it will need to include a CO2 extinguisher, although foam extinguishers (if tested at 35 kV) and dry water mist extinguishers can also be used.
Does the building have a kitchen area and, if so, what appliances are located there? For electrical appliances, you may want to include a dry water or CO2 mist fire extinguisher, and if you have a deep fat fryer, you should install a Class F wet chemical fire extinguisher or a dry water mist fire extinguisher.
Other considerations when provisioning fire extinguishers
Fire extinguishers located on the same floor of a building or on all floors if it is a single occupancy must have a similar method of operation and must have a similar design and standard. Therefore, EN3 fire extinguishers, which are red with a color bar indicating the type of fire extinguisher, should not be mixed with older BS 5423 fire extinguishers, where the entire body is colored to indicate the type of fire extinguisher. Fire extinguishers located on different floors should be located in a similar location to make it easier to locate them in an emergency.
The user should not have to travel more than 30m for Class A and C hazards and 10m for Class B and F hazards. fire extinguishers should be located on escape routes, near room exits, next to final exits, in corridors, etc.
The Regulatory Reform Order 2005 requires a person controlling a building to carry out a fire risk assessment, part of which consists of the provision of fire-fighting equipment. The person who controls the building may want to outsource this to a trained person who can perform the risk assessment and indicate the correct provisioning for the building. Safelincs can conduct on-site fire extinguisher inspections, fire risk assessments and supply you with any of the necessary equipment.
TYPES OF FIRE EXTINGUISHERS
ABC fire extinguishers
ABC fire extinguishers can be safely used on fires involving flammable solids, liquids, and gases as well as those involving electrical equipment. Dry powder is corrosive, so you need to be careful and clean it thoroughly after using it. It shouldn’t be your first fire extinguisher choice for sensitive electrical equipment (a carbon dioxide fire extinguisher will work better here).
Class K Fire Extinguishers
K class fire extinguishers are better for cooking oil or fat fires. These types of fire extinguishers suffocate and cool flammable cooking grease to eliminate the risk of re-igniting. They are also perfect for Class A fires and are not electrically conducive, for greater user protection.
Carbon dioxide fire extinguishers
CO2 extinguishers protect electrical equipment without leaving residue. They can also be used in gasoline and oil. However, make sure you never use them in cooking grease fires: rapid discharge has the potential to spread cooking grease, increasing the fire area without quenching it.
FIRE EXTINGUISHER CLASSIFICATIONS
All fire extinguishers come with a UL rating that indicates how effective the fire extinguisher is. But grading can be something like this:
4-A: 80-B: C
If you can decode that, you may already be working in the fire protection industry. For the rest of us, here’s the classification, decoded:
A-the number in front of the ” A ” measures the water equivalence of the extinguisher. A single A equals 1.25 gallons of water, so 4-A has an equivalent of 5 gallons of Class A fire fighting water.
B-the number in front of” B ” illustrates a relative measure of the number of square feet the fire extinguisher can cover.
C (or K) – these letters indicate that a fire extinguisher can be used effectively against these kinds of fire.
The numbers indicate the Relative Strength of each extinguisher. For example, 4-a:80-B:C is four times more powerful fire Class 1-A:10-B:C, and 4-a:80-B:C is eight times more powerful fire Class B-1-A:10-B:C.
ACCESSORIES FOR FIRE EXTINGUISHERS
Fire extinguisher accessories include things like:
Surface Mount cabinets
Fire extinguisher covers
Labels and signs
You probably already know that a smoke alarm is by far the best home security investment you can make. For as little as 1 10, a smoke detector can help you literally be sure that a fire won’t catch You Sleeping.
But you’d like to take the next step in Fire Protection. Maybe you’d like to be able to fight a fire before it spreads through your home. Should I buy a fire extinguisher?
Yes, as long as 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 or suppressing it until the fire department arrives.
But there’s an important addition to that statement: Don’t even think about buying a fire extinguisher until you already have working smoke detectors and a good home fire evacuation plan.
Fire safety experts advise that you try 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. Be careful to ensure that your back is at a safe exit at all times. You’ll also want to make sure the fire is limited to one area. If it begins to spread to other areas, such as walls and curtains, it should be removed from the room if there is a chance that the fire will surround it.
You should also be careful with smoke. If the room begins to fill up to the point that you can’t see or breathe, you should withdraw.
Quick use of a household fire extinguisher can put out a small fire before it spreads, but fire extinguishers can be dangerous in inexperienced hands. Fighting an electric fire with a water-based fire extinguisher, for example, could cause an electric shock, and trying to put out a large or rapidly spreading fire with a fire extinguisher is useless and could leave you trapped in a burning building.
A grease fire in a kitchen can be especially dangerous. If you catch it early, you might be able to turn it off. But if a grease fire gets out of control, you can easily send a kitchen on fire in three and a half minutes, leaving little time to escape.
So, if you decide to buy a fire extinguisher, take the time to learn a little about its proper use.
Don’t burn a hole in your wallet
So you’ve decided to buy a fire extinguisher. Do you need a 3-A: 40-B: C? Or maybe you’d like one of those clean 5-B:C units? Or maybe you want the heavy hitter, a 1-A: 10-B:C?
What do all those letters and numbers mean? They may sound confusing, but if you take a little time to understand the coding, you can get the most suitable fire extinguisher at the lowest price. Some tips:
The letters indicate the type of fire that can be fought with a particular extinguisher. “A” fires involve the types of materials that can be extinguished with water, such as paper, wood, and fabric. “B” fires involve flammable liquids, such as cooking grease and paint solvents. “C” fires involve electrical equipment, such as a TV, fuse box, or stereo.
For home use, you will usually want an A-B-C rated unit. it will work on all fires. The exception is the small B: C units sold for kitchen use. A 5-B: C unit can cost as little as $10, but it can be very useful for putting out a stove fire before it gets out of hand.
You know what the letters mean. But what does the ” 5 ” in 5-B:C mean? It is a measure of the unit’s firefighting capability. The formula gets a little complicated, but generally the higher the number, the more powerful the extinguisher will be. You can expect a unit rated at 10-B to put out twice as much liquid as a 5-B unit.
How to use a fire extinguisher
Fire safety experts advise you to learn how to use a fire extinguisher before an emergency arises. Check with your Fire Department to see if they offer training for homeowners. Keep fire extinguishers where you can easily see and reach them, near the exit of the room. That way you can fight the fire with your back to the door and make a quick escape if the flames get out of control.
To help you remember how to use a fire extinguisher, use the acronym PASS:
Pull the safety pin on the fire extinguisher.
Point the chemical at the source of the flames rather than the flames themselves, standing at least 6 feet from the fire (or as indicated on the extinguisher label).
Pull the trigger and hold it, keeping the fire extinguisher upright.
Sweep the source of the flames until the extinguisher dries.
Whenever you have used a fire extinguisher, whether it is completely empty or not, you should replace or refill it immediately. The same goes for any fire extinguisher whose pressure gauge slides out of the green zone in red over time. Fire extinguisher companies charge around 1 15 to recharge a typical 5 pound a:B:C fire extinguisher, provided it has a metal valve. Fire extinguishers with plastic valves are not rechargeable and should be discarded after use.
Refilling of fire extinguishersA home fire extinguisher can lose pressure over time, making it useless when you need it. But if you’re the type that forgets to take a look at your gauges periodically, consider this system of sensors from MIJA, called EN-Gauge. It is powered by a 9 volt battery and keeps track of the fire extinguisher pressure. If the meter goes down, a red light flashes and an alert sounds, reminding you to refill the extinguisher. An alert also sounds when the fire extinguisher has been removed from the wall, as it would during a fire. And like a smoke detector, the sensor beeps when the battery is low.
A more elaborate version can be connected to a home security system; the alarm company receives a signal when the fire extinguisher is used and can, in turn.