Fire Extinguisher

A fire extinguisher is a device used to put out and control small fires. These instruments are great to have in the home, car and in the office. There are two different types of fire extinguishers; there is a stored pressure and a generated pressure extinguisher. The difference is with a stored pressure fire extinguisher; the components inside the device are kept in the same place as the fire fighting solution. There are different solutions that are used in different fire extinguishers.

If the fire extinguisher uses nitrogen, which is most common, the water and the foam are pressurized with air so when you release the handle to expel the solution you are getting a mix of foam and water to put out the fire. The stored pressure fire extinguisher is the most commonly used. The generated pressure fire extinguisher is used mainly in industrial areas; the concept of this fire extinguisher is that it uses a compressed carbon dioxide rather than nitrogen. Nitrogen is used for low-pressure canisters and the carbon is used for high pressure.

The very first fire extinguisher was invented in 1729 and the first modern extinguisher was patented in 1818. The first extinguisher contained a copper vessel with a capacity of 3 gallons and the solution used to put out fires was made of potassium carbonate mixed with compressed air. There were many versions of the extinguisher over the centuries.

Many different solutions were used, since the inception of the Fire Extinguisher; foam was used and is still used today. Other methods used today are Carbon Dioxide, Vaporizing Liquids and Wet Chemicals. Not used anymore is Halon. In some places Halon is illegal.

What can get confusing is what we can use a fire extinguisher on. In the United States there are 5 classes of fire extinguishers, each have its own geometric symbol. The A Class which as a Green Triangle is used with ordinary solid combustible materials. The B Class uses a Red Square for a symbol and it can be used with flammable liquids and gases. Class C has a Blue Circle symbol and this extinguisher is used with energized electrical equipment. The D Class is a Yellow Star Symbol and it works with cooking oils and fats.

Sometimes it can hard to remember so, try to remember the classes like this. A equal Ash, B equals anything in a Barrel like oil and gas. C equals current, D equals, ding things (metals) and K equals anything in the Kitchen. Very often in the middle of a small fire, you may panic and not remember any of those things including where you keep your fire extinguisher.

The best places to keep these devices are in the kitchen, garage, basement and in the car. Often we place a fire extinguisher in its place and forget about it. But we don’t think that every year these extinguishers need to be inspected. Sometimes the extinguishers become old and corroded because of the non-use that sometimes they explode.

If you have extinguishers then you should have them pressure tested every year. There are companies that will do that for you, but it may cost you. Check with your local Fire Department, sometimes they will inspect your extinguishers for free if you bring them down. Make yourself a chart over the place where you keep the extinguisher and make sure you write down when they were put up and when were they inspected.

Then you have a handy sheet to check on whenever you like. Doing inspections can save your life so make sure that you follow up with them. Keep them current; they could be the difference between life and death. You can purchase a Fire Extinguisher in any local hardware store.

This Fire Extinguisher Review is Written/Updated on Mar 15th, 2009 and filed under Home Appliances. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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