Be it your workplace or living area, taking precautions against fire risk is mandatory. 

One should never overlook the requirement of fire safety management and fire safety risk assessment. 

Premises where commercial work is carried forward needs to be more careful. 

By following all the fire safety regulations, businesses not only decrease the potential damage caused by fire but also reduce insurance premiums. 

The fire extinguisher is one of the prominent tools that support in eliminating spreading of fire and minimizing the potential danger along with damage. 

In this blog, we have discussed the types of fire extinguishers and guidelines to maintain it effectively. 

What Is A Fire Extinguisher?

In simple terms, a fire extinguisher is a metal container with water or chemicals that are being used to extinguish small fires and to avoid any big accident. 

How Does A Fire Extinguisher Work? 

There is a small cylinder filled with compressed gas at the top of the extinguisher and a release valve. 

The release valve acts as a locking mechanism and prevents the gases from escaping. When a safety pin is pulled out followed by the squeezing of the lever, the lever pushes a rod down the extinguisher. It opens a passage to the nozzle, resulting in the releasing of the gases and extinguisher’s content. 

Types Of Fire Extinguishers 

There are various types of fire extinguishers, and all of them are used for different types of fire. 

The deployment of fire extinguishers depends on the type of fire. 

A particular type of fire extinguisher can not be qualified for all types of fires, so you need to use a fire extinguisher accordingly. 

The five main types of fire extinguisher are inclusive of water, foam, dry powder, carbon dioxide and dry water mist extinguishers. 

Other than these 6 traditional types of  extinguishers, you can also have access to the latest and innovative type of extinguisher which is a portable one. 

Let’s have a look at all these 6 types of extinguishers. 

Here Are The Description Of Each Type Of Fire Extinguishers:- 

1) Water Fire Extinguishers 

Water fire extinguishers are specially designed to counter fires involving solids as they work by cooling the burning material. 

Water extinguishers are effective against the wood, cloth, paper and plastic. 

It is not advisable to use water-based extinguishers for burning fat or oil and electronic appliances. 

To use a water extinguisher, point the base of the flames and then move it across the area of the fire. 

2) Foam Fire Extinguishers  

When it comes to dealing with various kinds of liquid fires, foam fire extinguishers are the most suitable one. 

As the name suggests, the foam works by forming a skin smoother than the fire. 

While using foam fire extinguishers, it is advisable to point the jet at the edge of fire instead of aiming straight onto the liquid. 

When pointed at the edge of the fire, it allows the foam to creep over the burning liquid. 

The foam fire extinguishers should not be used against chip pan or electric fires.  

3) Dry Powder Extinguishers  

There are two types of dry powder extinguishers – standard and multi-purpose. 

The first one is generally used on combustibles like grease, fat, oil and petrol. 

Whereas, multi-purpose dry powder can also withstand solid fires of wood, cloth, paper and plastic. 

Though standard dry powder can be used for electrical equipment, as it does not have huge cooling powder, an eye should be kept out for fires re-igniting. 

To use a dry powder extinguisher effectively, aim the jet at the base of the fire and sweep across the fire; as a result, the powder will knock down the flames and melt to form a seal over the fire. 

4) Carbon Dioxide Extinguisher 

When a fire is caused by liquids such as grease, fats, oils, paints and petrol, carbon dioxide extinguishers are the most effective and suitable to deploy. 

Carbon Dioxide extinguishers are safe to use for electrical equipment fires; however, it should not be used on Chip pan fires. 

Once the fire is in control, it is advisable to ventilate the premises as soon as possible to avoid the harmful fumes of Co2. 

To use carbon dioxide extinguishers, aim the horn at the base of the flames and move it across the area of the fire.

Carbon dioxide extinguishers smother the fire by displacing oxygen in the air, so it has limited cooling effects, so keeping an eye out for re-ignition becomes essential.

5) Portable Water Mist Extinguishers 

Portable water mist extinguishers are the latest innovation that covers both general and deep fat fryers. 

One of the most prominent differences between water mist extinguishers and conventional extinguishers is that the latest one contains demineralized water which leaves no residue.   

Portable water mist extinguishers are not safe to use on gas fires; nonetheless, it can be used on electrical equipment up to 35,000 volts. 

The structure and usage of the premises decide the type of fire extinguishers one should use. Along with the right type of fire extinguishers, it is equally important to maintain it well so that it works well when you need it the most. 

6) Portable Extinguishers For All Types Of Fire 

We have the latest and innovative kind of extinguisher which provides protection against all types of fire including that of a vehicle, in an event, business or anywhere else. 

Additionally, it can also be used for all classes of fire – be it A, B, C, D, E or F. 

If we look at the environment-friendly aspect of the extinguishing system – it is non-toxic, and cleaner and safer compared to conventional fire extinguishers. 

Firexo 9ltr is one of the  best examples of this type.  

What You Need To Do For Fire Extinguisher Maintenance 

One of the most important factors in carrying out the maintenance of fire extinguishers is keeping that extinguisher labelled with work which has been carried out upon it. Practicing the labelling will make it easier to record important information. 

In order to make sure that the fire extinguishers are working properly, keep in mind the following guidelines – 

  • The fire extinguisher should be easily accessible; it makes no sense to have a good fire extinguisher if you can’t reach it easily in case of fire emergencies. 
  • Make sure that the fire extinguisher is set up for immediate use.
  • Check the fire extinguisher’s pressure dial regularly and make sure that the fire extinguisher is fully charged at all times. 
  • Make sure that the pull pin is secured and held in place by the tamper-evident seal
  • Follow all the instructions properly given on the extinguisher. 

If not maintained properly, a fire extinguisher fails to function effectively in case of fire emergencies; plus fire extinguishers can also explode if not looked after regularly. 

Installing and maintaining extinguisher needs professional support, Orbis Environmental and Safety is always there to help you with your fire safety services requirements.