What type of fire can dry powder fire extinguisher be used for?

Views: 8     Author: Site Editor     Publish Time: 2023-02-27      Origin: Site

Dry powder fire extinguishers come in two types; specialist and standard. People use specialist dry powder fire extinguishers for specific types of metal fires and standard dry powder fire extinguishers for most other types. They are versatile since you can use them to extinguish most fires.

You can refer to dry powder fire extinguishers as multi-purpose, ABC fire extinguishers, or dry chemical extinguishers. Remember not to use dry powder fire extinguishers in enclosed spaces because of the nature of their powder dispersal.

What type of fires are dry powder fire extinguishers used on?

You can use Standard dry powder fire extinguishers on:

‘Class A’ fires

Class A fires involve combustible materials like paper, wood, rubber, clothes, and plastics. We call them class A fires because they are easier to extinguish and are the most common types of fires you can encounter.

Often, the fires involve solid materials, and you must interrupt the fire triangle to put them out. The fire triangle comprises heat, oxygen, and fuel. The best way to eliminate the fires is to smother them by cooling the fuel source to less than its ignition temperature or cutting out its oxygen supply.

You can use water, fire blankets, or fire dry powder fire extinguishers. While using water to extinguish the fire, you should be careful if the fire is close to electrical equipment or flammable liquids.

‘Class B’ fires

Class B fires involve flammable gasses and liquids. These include natural gas, oil, and gasoline. The fires are hazardous because they spread fast, produce extreme heat and smoke, and start easily.

Class B fires start when flammable liquids spill or leak or when equipment malfunction and cause flammable gases to ignite. They may also start due to human error, i.e., dropping lit cigarettes into gasoline puddles.

The fires are dangerous and can harm nearby people or cause irreparable property and environmental damage. You should take extra measures when handling class B fires because they are difficult to extinguish. You should not use water to put out class B fires because it can cause the fire to spread further.

Instead, use dry powder fire extinguishers containing dry chemical agents, dry CO2, or foam.

These extinguishers smother the fire and prevent further combustion by cutting its oxygen supply or interrupting any chemical reactions causing the fire.

You should appropriately store and handle flammable liquids and gasses and regularly inspect all storage equipment for leaks. Take extra measures to secure all fuel containers, ventilate all storage areas, and train employees on proper safety procedures.


‘Class C’ fires

Class C fires involve electrical equipment, including machinery, wiring, and appliances. These fires are unique because their main fuel comes from electrical energy and cannot be put out using water and other extinguishing methods.

Using water to extinguish electrical fires is dangerous and could cause electrocution, death, or worsen the fire. The fires result from short circuits and electrical malfunction. They spread quickly when addressed improperly, leading to fatal accidents and property damage.

You should turn off all electrical sources and use dry powder fire extinguishers to put out the fire. Dry powder fire extinguishers contain non-conductive agents like dry chemical agents and carbon dioxide.

Using the extinguisher smothers out the fire and stops electrical reactions causing it. You should be careful when approaching such fires and evacuate the area to keep everyone safe.

You can prevent class C fires by promptly maintaining electrical equipment and promptly addressing all potential hazards and malfunctions. Avoid overloading electrical outlets, use surge protectors, and regularly inspect all electrical equipment. Doing this protects people and property from accidents.

You can use specialist dry powder fire extinguishers on:

Fires involving lithium

You can use an L2 powder fire extinguisher on class B and C fires. The fire extinguisher has a chemical powder that neutralizes chemical reactions that cause medium-sized fires, including those fueled by lithium batteries.

Fires involving other metals

The M28 powder extinguishers work like other fire extinguishers; however, you should not use them on class-A fires. You can use it on class B and C fires, including those fueled by all metals, excluding lithium.

Conclusion: What type of fire can dry powder fire extinguisher be used for?

Dry powder fire extinguishers are used for class A, B, and C fires. They are non-conductive and in powder form, making them perfect for extinguishing fires fueled by solids (wood, clothes, plastics), liquids (propane, oil, natural gas), and electricity (malfunctioning appliances and machines). You should take steps to prevent fires and call firefighters in case of an incident.