What is a Class B Fire Extinguisher Used For?

Views: 12     Author: Site Editor     Publish Time: 2023-07-26      Origin: Site

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When used by properly trained personnel, fire extinguishers can save us from immense loss of life and property damage if a fire breaks out. Whether a fire is located in a residential or commercial property, the potential fire hazard should never be ignored, and this is why it’s vital to have appropriate fire extinguishers wherever there's a potential fire risk.

Most property owners have a question: what type of fire extinguisher is most appropriate for their circumstances? In this post, we'll highlight Class B Fire extinguishers, exploring how their classification system works, what is contained in such extinguishers, and what type of fires they are designed to deal with.

Let's dive right in.


What is a Class B Fire Extinguisher?

Fire extinguishers are classified according to the type of fire they are designed to put out. Different extinguishing agents work better on different types of fire, which is why these distinctions are of critical importance. Class B fires involve combustible liquids, petroleum greases, flammable solutions, oils, oil-based paints, lacquers, alcohols, flammable gasses, solvents, and alcohols.

These are all insoluble substances, meaning that they are resistant to water. When such materials catch fire, pouring water on them will not be enough to put them out. Water might make the situation worse in some instances. That’s why unique materials need to be brought into play if the fire is to be dealt with effectively.

What do Class B Fire Extinguishers Contain?

Certain types of extinguishing agents or materials work across multiple fire classes, but the following are the most commonly found in Class B extinguishers. You might find that climatic conditions and physical settings affect their performance, but the following are generally acknowledged to be viable, effective options:

Film-Forming Foam Agent Types

FFFP (Film-Forming Fluoroprotein) and AFFF (Aqueous Film-Forming Foam) extinguishing agents are designated for use in Class B as well as Class A fires (fires involving ordinary combustible materials such as wood, paper, cloth, plastics, rubber, etc.).

These extinguishers release a foam over the fire rather than a powdered or liquid fire retardant. While they are not rated for use in freezing conditions, they can float on the fire’s surface and completely secure the surface, making reignition almost impossible, which is the major drawback of water and other agents.

Carbon Dioxide Agent Types

One of the most significant benefits of deploying CO2 (Carbon Dioxide) extinguishers is that CO2 does not leave a residue after use. This is of paramount importance in circumstances where costly and delicate electronic equipment is concerned. The same consideration also makes it a desirable option for laboratories, food preparation areas (hotels, restaurants, kitchens, etc.), printing presses, and so on.

Because of the relatively short range of effectiveness such extinguishers have (3-8 feet or 1-2.4 meters), they are unsuitable for effective outdoor use. Carbon dioxide displaces the oxygen in the immediate area of the cloud released from the tank, depriving the fire of the oxygen it needs to continue combustion, which is why it is most effective in closed-off, indoor areas with minimal wind or air currents.

Maintaining a Class B Fire Extinguisher

Every fire extinguisher on your property should be maintained appropriately to ensure it is ready to function effectively whenever an emergency arises. Every month, it should be visually confirmed that it is in its designated location, can be easily accessed, is easy to see, and is fully operational. Its pressure should be checked by reading the pressure gauge next to its nozzle, and the nozzle itself should be inspected to ensure it is not blocked.

After every year of consistent monthly inspections, a more thorough assessment and maintenance exercise should be conducted, which involves checking the extinguishing agent, mechanical parts, and expelling means. Approved extinguisher servicing companies or your local fire department should conduct yearly inspections.

Final Thoughts

If your home or business deals with any of the combustible materials we’ve mentioned here, you should keep yourself, your loved ones, your employees, and your property safe by having reliable, effective Class B fire extinguishers available.

Macro Fire Supply Company has a history of supplying high-quality, trustworthy, and reliable fire extinguishers and dry chemicals capable of dealing with all types of fire. With decades of experience serving our worldwide clients, you can be sure of getting the best from us. Contact us today. You won’t regret it!