Fire is one of the major factors why a lot of homes have been destroyed, a lot of lives have been sacrificed and why a lot of money has been wasted. We can stop fires by keeping at least two fire extinguishers in our homes.
Fire comes to life if oxygen, heat, fuel and chemical reaction are all present. This is otherwise known as the Fire Triangle. You can extinguish fires by removing or at least isolating at least one of the elements in the Fire Triangle. Fire can also be extinguished by the use of a fire extinguisher.
There are many different extinguisher types on the market. We have to be careful in choosing the appropriate one for putting out a fire. If you use the wrong type of fire extinguisher, chances are that you would not be successful and may even cause the fire to spread. This is because the fire re-ignites even if it has been successfully extinguished if the incorrect agent is used. Be sure that you check the fire extinguisher that you have for your household use.
Normally a fire in a house occurs on wood, paper, cloth, plastic etc. This type of fire is known as Class A fire. Usually, fires start from the kitchen because of grease (animal and vegetable fats) and cooking oil. This Class K fire. Other times, fire can originate from faulty electrical wirings from transformers, appliances and motors. This is called Class C fire.
Recommended fire extinguishers for household:
Dry chemical fire extinguisher – it generally interrupts the chemical reaction of the Fire Triangle. It works great on Class A and Class C fire. It becomes a blockade between the fuel and oxygen elements of Class A fire.
Water Mist – it removes the heat element from the Fire Triangle. This works well for Class A fires.
Cartridge operated dry chemical – it creates a blockade between the fuel and oxygen elements on Class A fires. Although, Class C fires can also be stopped by this.
All three extinguishers mentioned above would give you a lot of savings as they are both effective for Class A and Class C fires.
Fire extinguishers that only works for one type of fire:
Water and foam fire extinguisher – this only works well for Class A fires. It takes away the heat element from the Fire triangle. Class C fires would not be put out because it involves electrical equipments. Electrocution poses a danger because water becomes a current conductor.
Carbon dioxide fire extinguisher – it works well for Class C fires. It removes heat and takes away the oxygen element of the Fire Triangle.
Clean agent and halogenated fire extinguisher – this puts out Class C fires only. Halon agents and halocarbon agents put out the fire by stopping the chemical reaction of the Fire Triangle.
Class K fires in the kitchen usually require the use of a wet chemical fire extinguisher. It works by removing the heat element of the Fire Triangle, and helps stop reignition by being a blockade between the fuel and oxygen elements. This may also work with Class C fires as well.
So, to reiterate, you need at least 2 types of fire extinguishers: one to be used for class A and C fires, and the second one for class K fires in the kitchen.
You just have to make sure that your fire extinguisher conforms with the relevant local laws and regulations.
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