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How to Clean the Residue Left Behind by Fire Extinguishers

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It pays to know the type of fire extinguisher residue you’re faced with.

When it comes to cleaning up after a the the discharge of a fire extinguisher businesses in
Whangarei are in for a surprise. Whilst tackling a fire, no-one is going to second think the clean-up time from the fire extinguisher, accidental or intentional discharge of a fire extinguisher takes some quick next steps however.

Cleaning up fire extinguisher residue requires being aware of your own personal safety, acting quickly, and taking the right steps to treat residue stains.

Depending on the type of extinguisher you used, there are different ways to clean it.

Fire extinguishers may appear the same, don’t let all those bright red canisters fool you, they’re extremely different from one another. As various types of fires require different extinguishing chemicals and these distinct fire suppressing agents have different cleanup and safety requirements. So, before you start scrubbing or mopping up that post-fire mess, know the residue kind.

Different cleanup procedures and safety precautions are necessary for dry, wet, and clean fire extinguishers. You can begin by reading the label information thoroughly as all fire extinguishers are labeled with a sticker or tag identifying the type and extinguishing agent.

If using a portable fire extinguisher to put out a tiny blaze is something you may have done recently, good to know that fire incident is behind you, but cleaning up the fire extinguisher residue is a crucial step before you can resume normal business operations.

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Here's our handy guide to clear out the residue and get your Whangarei business back to business:

Residue from Foam Type Fire Extinguishers

Foam fire extinguishers are used in offices and homes, but they are more powerful because they form a thick layer of foam on the fire that cuts off the oxygen supply.

Residue from Powder Fire Extinguishers (Dry Chemical)

Powder type fire extinguishers leave a lot of residue behind, necessitating thorough cleanup after each usage. Monoammonium phosphate, sodium bicarbonate, and potassium bicarbonate are among the firefighting ingredients found in dry chemical fire extinguishers.

Dry chemical fire extinguisher residue needs to be cleaned up right away because the powder they leave behind is very corrosive to metal surfaces.

“Pro-Tip if you are after a safe hassle free cleanup, contact the team at CleanScape. As
the sister company to Fireco they know how to deal with Fire Extinguisher cleanups with no hassles at all.”

Residue from Wet Chemical Fire Extinguishers

Wet chemical fire extinguishers are made of potassium and they are often used on kitchen fires. Potassium salts are sprayed out in a fine mist (carefully, so that the burning oil or fat doesn’t spread), and these salts react to make a soapy film on the surface of the burning substance. So when you clean up, you’ll have to deal with soapy residue, and you should clean up the mess before you start cooking again.

Safety First

Cleaning off residue is part of post-fire care. It offers your space a fresh start.

But no matter what kind of fire extinguisher you use, there are some general precautions you should take because some of them have the texture of fine baby powder and can irritate the skin particularly if you have allergies or skin asthma. Also some may contain chemicals that can trigger respiratory problems, so be on the safe side and put on some protective gear.

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Better protect yourself by wearing latex or rubber gloves to protect your hands and clothes that cover your arms and legs to avoid getting any residue on your skin. Warning: if you breathe in the chemicals in some fire extinguishers, they can irritate the mucous membranes in your nose and mouth and make your eyes water. It’s important to wear a dust mask and safety goggles when cleaning up like this and seek professional guidance before undertaking any cleanup.

After the tidyup from the discharge of a fire extinguisher,, you will definitely need new fire
extinguishers. Contact us at Fireco 0800 101 232 if you need new fire extinguishers; we are ready to assist you and keep you safe and in compliance or email us at info@fireco.co.nz

Data on cleanup formulas sourced from:

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