Whether you are preparing meals at home, testing materials in a lab, or opening a commercial kitchen, it is important to consider everyone’s safety in case of a fire emergency. Having a portable fire extinguisher in an easily accessible location provides peace of mind at home or your place of employment. There are four basic types of fire extinguishers. Each type works by isolating the elements of heat, oxygen, fuel or the chemical reaction that ignites the flame. The type that you choose depends on where it will be stored and the source of the potential combustion.
Fire extinguishers with pressurized water can put out fires fueled by burning paper, wood or cloth. Water in the canister cools the flames quickly, removing the element of heat to stop the combustion. The canisters are labeled Type A and can be used on Class A fires only. Look for professional guidance when selecting fire extinguishers Manhattan NY. Contact your local fire prevention specialists when you have questions about where you can safely use pressurized water to put out fires.
Type ABC extinguishers contain dry chemicals and can be used on all classes of fire. They smother the flame and stop the chemical reactions that are driving the combustion. The canisters hold a yellow powder called monoammonium phosphate that can leave a film after the fire has been put out. Dry chemical extinguishers are appropriate to keep at home or at work.
Pressurized carbon dioxide stops chemical and electrical fires. Canisters with carbon dioxide are labeled Type BC. They remove oxygen and provide a cooling discharge that lowers the heat of the fire. When electrical equipment, appliances, gasoline or oil are involved, a fire extinguisher that uses carbon dioxide is effective.
Fires that originate near a cooking area are usually fueled by animal fats, grease or vegetable oil. A good extinguisher to keep in a kitchen is Type K or wet chemical extinguisher. These fire extinguishers use alkaline mixtures on burning grease to create a soapy foam that traps steam and puts a barrier between the oxygen that keeps the fire burning and the fuel that feeds the flame. Type K extinguishers may also work with Class A fires when paper, wood or cloth is ignited.
Once you have chosen the correct fire extinguisher, you will need to check it regularly to ensure that it remains pressurized. An inspection tag on the canister will let you know how often regular maintenance is required and when the extinguisher should be replaced. If the tag is missing or if there are loose parts, then you know that it is no longer functional.
The right fire extinguisher in a secure location can save lives, prevent damage to your property and ensure that everyone is safe and protected.