Your five-part guide to fire extinguishers - part 2
There are 5 main fire extinguisher types – Water, Foam, Dry Powder, CO2 and Wet Chemical. You should have the right types of fire extinguisher for your premises, or you may not meet current regulations.
There are six classes of fire: Class A, Class B, Class C, Class D, ‘Electrical’, and Class F.
Class A fires – combustible materials: caused by flammable solids, such as wood, paper, and fabric
Class B fires – flammable liquids: such as petrol, turpentine or paint
Class C fires – flammable gases: like hydrogen, butane or methane
Class D fires – combustible metals: chemicals such as magnesium, aluminum or potassium
Electrical fires – electrical equipment: once the electrical item is removed, the fire changes class
Class F fires – cooking oils: typically a chip-pan fire
In this part of your five-part guide, we will be looking at foam extinguishers.
Foam extinguishers are most common type of fire extinguisher for Class B fires, but also work on Class A fires as they are water-based.
Label Colour: – Cream
• Organic materials such as:
• Paper and cardboard
• Fabrics and textiles
• Wood and coal
• Flammable liquids, like paint and petrol
Do not use for:
• Kitchen fires
• Fires involving electrical equipment
• Flammable metals
How foam extinguishers work:
As with water extinguishers, foam extinguishers have a cooling effect on the fuel. On burning liquids, the foaming agent creates a barrier between the flame and the fuel, extinguishing the fire.
Types of premises/business who may need Foam extinguishers:
• Buildings constructed of wood or other organic materials
• Premises where there are organic materials to be found such as:
• Residential properties
• Buildings where flammable liquids are stored
In fact most buildings need either water or foam extinguishers
Where to locate foam extinguishers:
– By the exits on a floor where a Class A or Class B fire risk has been identified