Having a fire extinguisher at many accessible areas of your workplace will make your NZ company better prepared for emergencies. For one thing, fire extinguishers are considerably advantageous as they can quickly snuff out small fires before they get out of control.
The NZ Fire Classification System
According to Fire and Emergency Services New Zealand, fire extinguisher types are made to combat specific kinds of fire. In New Zealand, there are six classes of fire – you should be aware of these before purchasing a fire extinguisher:
- Class A fires which are fires from wood, paper, and plastics. Stuff you’d commonly find on your work desk.
- Class B fires are due to flammable and combustible liquids.
- Class C fires are from a fuel source such as flammable gases.
- Class D fires involve combustible metals. These are metal particulates or metals in dust-form that can ignite or cause a sudden explosion when suspended in the air. Examples of combustible metals are lithium, potassium, magnesium, or sodium.
- Class E fires are from electrically-energised equipment. These can range from computers, equipment, machinery and appliances.
- Class F fires ignite from cooking oils and fats. These are associated with kitchen fires.
Now that you know the six classes of fires. Here are the many different types of NZ fire extinguishers and the classes of fire they can specifically handle:
1. Water extinguishers uses a fine spray discharge to deal with Class A fires particularly wood, paper and textiles.
2.Foam extinguishers – this is a versatile fire extinguisher that blasts out a thick foam that’s capable of smothering out fire. It can handle multi-environment fires, such as Class A and B fires. However, foam extinguishers cannot handle Class C fires and Class F fires.
3.Wet chemical fire extinguisher are made from a potassium-centric solution. It can effectively put out Class F fires. Mainly, kitchen fires involving fat, cooking oil, lard and grease. However, never use a wet chemical extinguisher on electrical fires and flammable gasses.
4.Dry powder extinguishers technically doesn’t cool down fire, what it does is forms a barrier that snuffs out the oxygen in the fire triangle equation. They are effective for Class D fires.
5.Carbon dioxide fire extinguishers are meant to deal with electrical fires. It effectively cools down flames. This fire extinguisher usually has a black label stamped with “C02” on it, and it can handle Class E and Class B Fires.
6.Specialised materials for Class D fires. These are very specific high-hazard extinguishers that are designed to handle Class D fires involving combustible and flammable metals such as magnesium, lithium, or aluminium.
For Whangarei businesses, you need to have more than one fire extinguisher in your property. Moreover, you also need to know where to effectively install and position your fire extinguishers so that they are within reach of employees.
Need advice on the type of fire extinguishers you need for your property or workplace?
Ask the dependable fire safety experts in Whangarei, Fireco can get you fire safe and ready for emergencies with the right kind of extinguishers. We also do fire extinguisher servicing and recharging. Just call us at Fireco 0800 101 232 or email us firstname.lastname@example.org