A fire extinguisher can stop a starting fire in 4 ways, but this is entirely dependent on the kind of content a fire extinguisher has. The chemical reaction it generates when it comes in contact with the flames determines how well it can suppress the incipient fire. It can either snuff it completely or keep the fire from spreading, a few precious minutes to hold the fort long enough until fire emergency services arrive.
One way a fire extinguisher can deal with a small fire is through cooling. Fire extinguishers have a cooling effect over a fire by bringing the flames down below burning temperatures. This is quite common with water-based fire extinguishers.
A second method is through smothering. This is totally blocking oxygen out of the fire triangle.
What’s a Fire Triangle?
This is a simple scientific model explaining how fires happen. This combustion triangle outlines the three elements needed for a fire to ignite and that’s the presence of heat, fuel, and oxygen/air. Remove one of these elements then you got no more fire going.
So through smothering, fire extinguishers get to cut out the oxidising agent. Fire extinguishers that are foam-based or with a Carbon dioxide (C02) medium are able to create a thick barrier that smothers the air away from the flames.
Lastly, fuel is another element of the fire triangle which can also be effectively cut off, either by turning off a fuel line or removing the combustible element in play. Fire extinguishers can weaken a combustion fuel source through pressure and its constant stream of coolant properties, thereby disrupting the chemical reaction causing the fire.
How are Fire Extinguishers Maintained?
Maintenance is crucial to make sure your fire extinguishers are working properly because in reality an emergency can happen at any time. You do not want to be stuck with a broken or malfunctioning fire extinguisher in the event of a fire.
Only through a regular maintenance inspection will you know whether a fire extinguisher has been tampered with or if it is damaged or has an obstruction in its delivery system.
Annual maintenance should include a thorough examination of fire extinguisher parts:
This annual maintenance inspection of onsite fire extinguishers can only be carried out by a licensed/certified fire inspector where the fire expert will provide a log, tag and report of all fire extinguishers on the premises.
Also, another issue to think about is whether there are enough people in your team who can operate a fire extinguisher in case of an emergency. It would be a great idea to ensure most of your employees have adequate fire safety training.
To reduce the occurrence of small fires turning into large fires, employers in Whangarei should take a proactive role in employee safety. Fire safety training should be a priority followed by the acquisition of fire fighting suppression equipment such as fire extinguishers, fire blankets and the installation of smoke alarms in the workplace.
In Need of Fire Extinguishers in Whangarei?
Fire extinguishers are integral to protecting the workplace and everyone in it. Call us at Fireco – 0800 101 232 for a quick consult.
We are the top Whangarei experts in the field of fire safety. We specialise in carrying out relevant fire safety training in workplaces all over Northland.
Consult with Fireco if you are need of fire warning systems and fire extinguishing equipment. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can.