What Type of Fire Requires Dry Powder?

Views: 11     Author: Site Editor     Publish Time: 2023-07-12      Origin: Site

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One thing about fire is that it's non-selective. It can occur in any setting. And when it does, it helps if you have countermeasures in place. Understand this; there are different types of fires, and each calls for a unique suppression method. In today's case, we will discuss dry powder, which usually works for class D or electrical fires.

Electrical fire commonly results from combustible metals such as lithium, potassium, magnesium, or sodium. This post will guide you through the dry powder for fire extinguisher method and usage while discussing its uniqueness and effectiveness for class D fires.

What's Class D Fire?

Class D fires, in general, happen on combustible metals. These metals have unique reactivity and can potentially burst into flames even when excited at slight temperatures. Unfortunately, they are always hard to put out, especially if you are using traditional fire extinguishers. Some of these tools may even aggravate the fires. As a result, there is the need to have specialized fire extinguishers that use dry powder particularly.  

What are the Properties of Dry Powder Fire Extinguishers?

Dry powder fire extinguishers mostly use mono ammonium phosphate. This chemical compound, NH4H2PO4, is super effective in smothering Class D fires. And along with it comes the following benefits.

Non-conductivity: The dry fire extinguisher powder is not conductive, meaning it will not conduct electricity when activated and sprayed on electrical equipment. This property allows the dry powder to be applied efficiently against live electrical through its non-conductivity nature.

Smothering Effect: The dry powder element creates a blanket over the fires. It thus smothers the fires by cutting off oxygen. Moreover, the smothering effect suppresses the combustion process while helping restrain the flame or, at times, preventing further ignition from a particular source.

Dehydration: When exposed to high temperatures, the mono ammonium phosphate within the dry powder undergoes a chemical reaction known as dehydration. This reaction releases water molecules that further assist in the suppression of the fire by smothering the flames and reducing heat.

Heat Absorption: The dry Monoammonium phosphate has a significant heat absorption capability, assisting in reducing the temperature of the fire. This prevents chances of reignition, creates a workable fire suppression environment, and prevents further fire spread.

Multiple Metal Compatibility: Dry powder extinguishers may handle different combustible metals, be they lithium, titanium, potassium, sodium, or magnesium. This versatility not only gives a hand in cost saving but also aids the promptness of your fire response team.

Effectiveness of Dry Powder

Dry powder fire extinguishers are specially formulated to tackle Class D fires. But at the same time, they may be used on propane, butane wood, papers, or textile-caused fires. Additionally, they may put out petrol, paint or spirit-related fires.

On the other hand, their non-conductive natures can be safely used to smother electrical fires. Moreover, a dry powder extinguisher agent absorbs temperatures and flames,  thereby preventing reignition.

dry powder

Dry Powder Fire Extinguisher Safety Considerations and Usage

Even though dry powder extinguishers remain highly effective  on Class D, electrical and petrol fires,  there still are important safety considerations you need to  keep in mind:

Short Range: Dry powder extinguishers offer a short range when juxtaposed with other extinguishers. Therefore when working with them, you may have to be within the optimal distance from the fire outbreak region.

Clean up: During fire emergencies, cleanup is challenging due to residual powder; follow proper procedures or ascertain that the area is unsafe and free of any Class D fire hazards after extinguishing the flames.

Training: Proper training is essential for the effective operation of dry powder extinguishers in handling potential fire emergencies and knowing how to conduct specific procedures needed in combating a Class D fire. Regular training helps to ensure persons are familiar with all aspects of using the extinguisher and, hence, will be fine when called upon to use it during an emergency.


When it comes to Class D, electrical, or fire that results from hydrocarbons, dry powder agent extinguishers are indispensable. Even so, their effectiveness depends on the manufacturers. In this case, Guangdong Macro Fire Technology Co., Ltd.  Has proven its trustworthiness, serving over 20 countries. On top of it, they provide standard products that are in line with their SGS according to ISO 9001:2015 certification.