An Introduction to Fire Extinguishing

Views: 3     Author: Site Editor     Publish Time: 2023-09-28      Origin: Site

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Since the beginning of time, fire has been one of the biggest dangers people face. Fire can cause great damage in terms of life, property, and health, whether the cause of the fire is natural or man-made. It's up to us to be well informed and prepared to effectively face the challenges of fire just in case we ever have to deal with it.

Keeping a functional fire extinguisher wherever you live or work is one of the best ways to protect ourselves, our property, and those around us safe.

Even so, having a fire extinguisher at the ready might not help you unless you understand how to use it effectively. To help you be prepared for any eventuality, here's a quick introduction to fire extinguishers.

Let's dive right in.

fire extinguishers

The P.A.S.S. Approach

Modern portable fire extinguishers are generally designed according to a universal standard, meaning that they are generally similar no matter where in the world you find them. PASS is an acronym detailing the steps you should go through to effectively use one.

P - Pulling the Pin

Your first step when dealing with a fire will be to extract the pin that every extinguisher comes with. This pin is placed here to prevent extinguishers from discharging on accident. Once you grab the pin and pull it out hold up the extinguisher with the nozzle facing away from you, ready for use.

Note that many extinguishers, especially those located in public, commercial, or residential locations, usually have zip ties attached to the handles to indicate that they have not been previously used. An extinguisher without a zip tie should be taken to the supplier or the fire department to determine whether it needs replacing.

A - Aiming the Hose

The most effective way to deal with a fire is to tackle it at its base. Take hold of the hose with one hand as the other holds up the extinguisher. Aim the hose toward the base of the fire because this is where the fire's fuel will be concentrated.

If you aim the hose at the flames rather than the base you might waste your supply of extinguishers before you have put out the fire. If you're using a carbon dioxide extinguisher take care not to touch the discharge horn because this part can get extremely cold while under use.

S - Squeezing the Handle

Once you have the hose pointing in the right direction, squeeze the levers in your hand together to discharge the extinguisher. Apply even pressure slowly either continuously or in short bursts, and release the levers to stop dousing the fire.

S - Sweeping from Side to Side

For maximum efficiency and effectiveness, use a sweeping motion with the hose in your hand to spread the extinguishing agent as widely as possible. Doing this while aiming at the base of the flame will be the best way to smother it. As the flames begin to die down move closer to the source of the fire so that the jet becomes more focused on it. Pay close attention to any glowing embers that might pose the risk of re-igniting the fire.

NOTE: Once you feel the fire is sufficiently under control, step back while keeping an eye on it in case of any flare-ups. Keep in mind that you should never turn your back on a fire even if you think you might have dealt with it.

Keep your exit behind you at all times so you can leave the area in case the fire persists. If you run out of fire extinguishers leave the area immediately and contact emergency services or your nearest fire department.

Using the Right Extinguisher

There are different classes of fire extinguishers designed to tackle various types of fires. They contain different dousing agents which might be ineffective if used in the wrong situation or make the situation worse. These classes include:

●     Class ABC: Contains a dry chemical that can be effective against class A, B, and C fires.

●     Class K: Contain dry or wet chemicals that are effective against fat, oil, or grease fires (e.g., kitchen fires)

●     Class D: Contain dry powder chemicals that work on combustible metals.

●     Class C: Contain carbon dioxide or dry chemicals that are effective against energized electrical conflagrations.

●     Class B: Contain carbon dioxide or dry chemicals that work well against oil, grease, or gasoline fires.

●     Class A: Contain water or foam and are effective against flames involving plastics, cloth, wood, paper, rubber and most regular fires.

Final Thoughts

Fighting a fire in your home, office, or public space can be an extremely stressful experience but there are ways we can mitigate the risk to ourselves our loved ones, and our property. The availability of functional fire extinguishers can make the difference between tragedy and success. Macro Fire Supply is one of the largest and most trusted suppliers of fire management materials such as fire extinguishers and dry chemicals. For all your fire management needs, make Macro Fire Supply your first call. You won't regret it!