FIRE EXTINGUISHER TYPES
Water-based Fire Extinguishers
Water-based fire extinguishers act by bringing down temperature below the ignition point.
They are designed to protect areas involving Class A fires (combustible solids).
Typical applications include carpentry shops, archives, sawmills, warehouses and hospitals, among others.
Foam-based Fire Extinguishers (Water and AFFF)
In addition to bringing down temperature, foam-based fire extinguishers isolate the fuel from oxygen.
They are designed to protect areas involving Class A fires (combustible solids) and Class B fires (liquid fuels).
Typical applications include chemical industries, oil companies, labs, chemicals dealership stores, transportation, vessels, aviation, etc.
Carbon Dioxide (CO2) Fire Extinguishers
They remove oxygen, thus creating an inert atmosphere and bringing heat down.
CO2 fire extinguishers must only be used to suppress Class B or Class C fires.
They are of Little effect for Class A, however.
They have been designed to protect areas containing Class B (liquid and gaseous fuels), as well as Class C fire risks (energized electrical equipment).
Typical applications include electrical equipment, dwelling units, transport, stores, schools, aviation, and parking lots, among others.
ABC Dry Chemical Fire Extinguishers
They inhibit the chemical chain reaction in fire.
ABC chemical powder is the most frequently used extinguishing agent today, and it is effective to suppress Class A, B and C fires.
As far as Class A fires are concerned, they cool down the burning area, as it melts, thus absorbing heat, also creating a barrier between the oxygen and the burning fuel.
Class K Kitchen Extinguishers
These extinguishers contain a potassium acetate solution. They have been designed to put out unsaturated vegetable oil fires requiring a cooling agent that reacts with the oil forming a soapy foam that holds the oxygen and seals the surface. The fine mist prevents oil from splashing and goes directly to the fire area. They have been designed to suppress vegetable oil fires in commercial kitchens.
Typical applications include restaurants and industrial kitchens, among others.
HCFC Fire Extinguishers
They have the same mode of action as powder extinguishers, as they interrupt the chemical chain reaction in the fire tetrahedron.
They offer the additional advantage of being clean extinguishing agents, which leave no trace after the fire has been suppressed.
HCFC 123 extinguishers have been designed to protect areas containing Class A (solid fuels), Class B (liquid and gaseous fuels), as well as Class C fire risks (energized electrical equipment).
Typical applications include computer and communications rooms, libraries, document archives, art galleries and labs, among others.
Class D Powder-based Extinguishers
They are used to suppress fires in flammable metals (sodium, lithium, potassium, among others).
These materials may generally ignite when present as powder or shavings. No other extinguisher is suitable, as these materials generate oxygen.
Water Mist Fire Extinguishers
These fire extinguishers have been designed to safely and efficiently to protect Class A (solid fuels) and Class C (energized electrical equipment) fire risks using a clean extinguishing agent.
They are fitted with an especially designed nozzle that produces a water mist. This feature, coupled with the extinguishing agent (distilled water), renders them non-conductive. Additionally, they do not damage the electronic equipment seized by fire.
Typical applications include hospitals, air navigation services, apartment buildings, banks, museums, office blocks, computer centers, electronic industries, telecommunication switches, schools and supermarkets, among others.