10 Things You Didn’t Know About Fire Extinguishers

Fire Extinguisher Trivia

Fire Extinguishers - Assorted - AKE.com

Image of assorted, used fire extinguishers.

  1. A majority of adults do not know how to use fire extinguishers properly.
  2. Elderly people, children, and those with disabilities are likely to find traditional fire extinguishers too heavy and cumbersome to operate.
  3. An item of antiquity most closely resembling the modern fire extinguisher was invented in 1818 by George William Manby, a British Captain, and he called it an “Extincteur”.
  4. On average, given the unit is not already partially discharged; the typical fire extinguisher will provide 10 seconds of firefighting power.
  5. Generally speaking; there are 5 different classifications of fire extinguishers:
    1. Class A fire extinguishers will put out every day combustibles like paper and wood.
    2. Class B fire extinguishers are effective fighting flammable liquids like gasoline and oil and their ignited gas vapors.
    3. Class C extinguishers are used on appliances or situations where electricity is present.
    4. Class D fire extinguishers are called for when certain combustible metals catch fire, most likely inside factories or laboratories working with those metals.
    5. Class K fire extinguishers are used in kitchen cooking situations where grease catches fire on a stove or other kitchen appliance.
  6. There are also several different types of fire extinguishing agents:
    1. Dry chemical
    2. Foam
    3. Water
    4. Wet chemical and water additives
    5. Clean agents and carbon dioxide
    6. Class D (specific agents for specific combustible metals)
  7. It is recommended that traditional powder fire extinguishers be inspected / maintained on a monthly basis, at least, to ensure they are in good working order and to free the powder.
  8. Traditional dry chemical fire extinguishers leave behind a toxic, corrosive chemical residue, which is often very costly to clean up.
  9. Fire extinguisher systems for marine applications are designed to automatically empty their entire contents of fire extinguishing agents.
  10. “PASS” is a good word to remember when fighting a fire with a portable fire extinguisher:
    1. “P”ull the pin, point the nozzle away from you and release locking mechanism.
    2. “A”im low (point at the base of your fire).
    3. “S”queeze the lever slowly and gently, no need for Herculean pressure.
    4. “S”weep the nozzle in a side-to-side pattern.

More detailed instructions on how to use a fire extinguisher.









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