How to use a fire extinguisher correctly
Although domestic fires are not the most common type of accident in our homes, it is very important to prevent the damage they can cause through fire detection systems and fire extinguishers.
Although in our country there is not much tradition of extinguishers, and it is not obligatory to have one at home, the fact of having one can change the results of a fire. In some businesses, it is mandatory, as well as in some neighboring communities.
In the case of being a company, it is important that the installation is done by an approved company, and that can issue you the official certificate on fire protection. Likewise, it will be essential that all workers know the location of the fire-fighting systems and their operation.
Type of fires
In order to fight a fire, it is vital to know what we are facing. In Europe, fires are classified into 5 categories according to the European standard EN 2: 1992. These are divided into:
A: Are those formed by solid materials, such as organic matter, fabrics, paper, rubber and some types of plastic and that burn with the formation of embers.
B: Liquid fires, which include oils, gasoline, some waxes and plastics, and paint.
C: Those that include flammable gases such as natural gas, propane, butane, and hydrogen.
D: Those formed by combustible metals, such as magnesium, sodium or potassium, among others.
F: Those that involve the use of oils.
Type of extinguishers
To combat the different types of fires, several typologies of fire extinguishers have been created. In day to day we will see, however, three main:
- ABC: They work for most cases and are usually loaded with universal dust.
- CO2: They are special extinguishers for those cases where there is an electrical presence, such as an electrical panel. Currently, they are the most common.
- ABF: They are especially useful for kitchens since they also combat the presence of oils.
Other types of extinguishers are, for example:
- Dry chemical extinguishers: used to fight BC type fires.
- Fire extinguishers for metals: exclusive to combat type D fires.
- Water extinguishers or foamy agent: These use the water element against fire. Within this group, we can find the biologically active ones that encapsulate gases and vapors and prevent the restart of fire. These extinguishers, but, you should avoid using them in fires where there is electric current, as it could be very dangerous.
Operation of an extinguisher.
The operation of a common extinguisher, like the above mentioned, is quite simple. In practice, if we are under a stress situation, it can be complicated. However, all fire extinguishers are designed to be very easy and quick to use.
The procedure consists of three simple steps:
- Pull the ring
- Hold the hose (if there’s one) and point towards the fire
- Press the trigger
That easy! There are prevention procedures, though, that must be carried out periodically and that will help us to make sure that fire extinguishers can carry out their function correctly. We must make sure that the extinguishers are not expired, that is, more than 5 years old, and that the pressure gauge is within the green band, which means that the load is in a good state.
In CiS Serra we are an approved and certified company to carry out the installations in the field of fire protection as well as the revisions. If you have any questions or would like to install fire extinguishers or fire detectors in your home or business do not hesitate to contact us.