Fire is one such component of life that brings mass destruction if not controlled timely. Fire extinguishers come in handy when small controllable fires break out. They are hand-operated cylindrical vessels that contain a pressurized fire suppressing agent that can be released when a fire breaks out. You find these in most public, commercial, and residential complexes as part of the safety measures.
When installing fire safety measures in your office building, it is necessary to be aware of the few classes that might come in hand. For the ones who are a newbie in the firefight game, the following are few fire extinguisher types based on the class that one must be aware of:
- Class A fire extinguishers suppress fires from the burning of solid materials.
- Class B ones inhibit the burning of inflammable liquids like alcohol, glycerine, etc.
- Class C extinguisher is used to suppress the fire breakouts from combustible gases like ethane, acetylene, etc.
- Class D is used when fire breakouts are with metals like Magnesium, Lithium, etc.
- Class E fire extinguisher tackles the fires on electronic equipment.
- Class F deals with fire breakouts caused by cooking oils and fats.
A combined class of A, B, C, or B, C certified extinguishers are in industries that are prone to high levels of fire. Likewise, residential buildings equip themselves with a Class that befits their specifications.
The above differentiation has its basis on the source of fire they suppress. Following are the fire extinguishers types identified based on the suppression agent used.
- Water-based extinguishers are the best to counteract the fire breakouts of the Class A category, also being cost-effective at the same time.
- Foam-based extinguishers are better at handling fires than water-based ones because they can suppress Class A and Class B category fires. It helps to attain better control over fires.
- Powder-based extinguishers can suppress fires of Class A, B, and C category, which makes them a multi-purpose option.
- Carbon Dioxide-based extinguishers do not leave any residue post usage when used. Carbon dioxide is often used as a fire suppressant.
Four easy steps to use a fire extinguisher
After having learned about the fire extinguishers and their types, it is now time to learn what are the 4 steps in using a fire extinguisher.
These steps are a must to consider in fighting against fire breakouts. There is an acronym that covers all the steps required; professional firefighters call it "PASS."
Step 1: Pull the Pin from the extinguisher's handle.
Step 2: Aim the nozzle of the extinguisher at the base of the fire. Failing to do so might lead to an unsuccessful attempt.
Step 3: Squeeze the trigger gently to release the suppressant at the right spot.
Step 4: Sweep the suppressant in sideways motion to reduce the strength that ultimately sets off the fire.
With that covered, it is a common question: who is responsible for using a fire extinguisher? To ensure compliance with fire safety regulations, it is necessary that fire safety measures get exercised by a well-trained person. The safety regulations stipulate that people with no training must not try their hands at fire fighting tools. In most commercial or residential buildings, the one using the extinguisher will be the security guard or individuals with a similar background.
Alarms have struck out!
It is the tensest situation when fire alarms have struck out. A question might pop in your mind that what actions should you take if you hear an intermittent alarm. You can come out a winner, safe out of harm's way if you know these steps.
The following are the steps to be taken in such cases:
- Come upon a decision immediately. Deciding your course of action in such a situation could be a life-deciding decision and depends mainly upon the circumstances. It is the best decision to find your way out and evacuate the fire-struck building immediately.
- Never try to extinguish large fires. Yes! You heard that right. Extinguishing large fires is a waste of time. Instead, make your way out of the building because every second in such situations count.
- Rush towards an assembly area. Every building must have a fire evacuation plan that mentions the course of action and the safe meeting areas.
- Never use lifts. Instead, rush towards the stairs.
- Never attempt to enter the fire-struck building again once evacuated.
When escaping fire, keep your cool, take immediate exit measures, and follow instructions of well-informed people. Commercial buildings should be equipped with fire-safety measures that include having proper exits and fire extinguishers. It is even more helpful if the layout of the space naturally allows exit during an emergency. This makes your building safer. With the help of space planning experts like GXI Group, you can furnish your space with preventive measures and proper exits that minimize chaos during a distressing time.