All That You Need To Know About Fire Extinguishers

       Not everyone notices a fire extinguisher, and yet they are everywhere. The ubiquitous extinguisher is installed in shopping malls, movie theaters, apartment buildings, and manufacturing facilities. Some people even have miniature fire extinguishers on their office desks! However, fire extinguishers are not purely for decoration. In fact, these fire safety devices are well-regarded as being the first line of defense against a fire. Any situation that involves burning flames is almost always deadly. Mass casualties and costly damages are just a few of the devastating consequences of uncontrolled fires. That’s why it is important to invest in concrete fire protection solutions, even if it only involves a corner store or a single-storied house. It might seem unreasonable for small-scale locations to be refitted with elaborate and expensive sprinkler systems. Hence, their fire safety can be guaranteed through a portable, red canister filled with a suppression agent. Of course, we’re talking about the all-reliable fire extinguisher. 

The purpose of a fire extinguisher is very useful in tackling minor fires so that they don’t grow into major ones. Research shows that over 80% of fires can be avoided if there is an extinguisher nearby. It goes to show that these seemingly innocuous fire safety devices can make all the difference between life and death. Continue reading to know how fire extinguishers actually operate and its different types. 

The Rest is History

Truth be told, the fire extinguisher or at least a need for it goes all the way back to the primitive ages. When man learnt to create a fire spark by striking two stones together, he also brought about the necessity to handle fires properly. However, the concept of a fire extinguisher as we know it can be traced to the Greek civilization around 200 BC. At that time, unwanted fires were put out using a type of hand water pump or sprayer that could quickly put out the flames. Soon thereafter, the rudimentary Greek design was improvised and the extinguisher took the form of a syringe-like contraption. When initiated, the extinguisher would spurt out water that could be focused on a specific area through a nozzle. 

Fast forward to the 18th century, when a curious chemist named Ambrose Godfrey filed a patent on a fire extinguisher that resembled the one we know today. Its entire mechanism involved the release of a fire-suppressant in liquid form. The extinguisher could be activated by igniting gunpowder stored in a separate pewter chamber within the device. 

Different Types of Fire Extinguishers

Technology has grown at an unprecedented rate, and with it a range of fire protection equipment including fire extinguishers. Today, customers can afford to be fastidious as they have a wide range of products from which to choose. Here are a few distinct extinguishers available on the market:

  • ABC Powder Fire Extinguisher – It uses a fine chemical powder as an extinguishing agent and is perfect for putting out class A, B, and C fires. 
  • CO2 Fire Extinguisher – Carbon dioxide is an efficient fire suppressant that is mostly used on electrical or gasoline-driven fires. 
  • Wet Chemical Fire Extinguisher – This is a commercial type of fire extinguisher that comes in handy when there’s a fire in the kitchen or garage.
  • Foam Fire Extinguisher – Characteristically, foam tends to expand in the air and thus, it covers combustible wood fires with a thick blanket. 
  • Clean Agent Fire Extinguisher – Although the device stores the extinguishing agent in liquid form, the Halon particles convert into gas as soon as they are released into the air.

Make Sure to Refill and Replace

      The bottom line is fire extinguishers are not everlasting. No matter how much you paid for it, extinguishers need to be constantly inspected and maintained. There are two options usually available to customers: First, if you’ve recently put out a fire using an extinguisher near you, make sure that it is recharged with water, gas, or foam. The second option is a complete replacement of the empty fire extinguisher canister. 

In addition, fire extinguisher also tends to become damaged over time. Their nozzles may clog up or the trigger button might get jammed. Believe us when we say that this is not what you want when putting out a fire. That’s why it is highly recommended that you conduct routine inspections of all the extinguishers on the premises. Better yet, call in the experts like SRJ Piping India and we’ll take it from there!