In buildings and factories equipped with automatic fire safety system, having portable fire extinguishers, may able to prevent more losses in fire accident.
Fire extinguishers are lifesaving equipment that are widely accepted in fire and safety prevention. It is a fact that each building and factory has different materials and fuel inside premises. Selection of fire extinguishers to suit types of fuels is then crucial in order to reduce hazards from fire.
The article will help one understand types of fires and types of fire extinguishers to prompt you with a decision to choose the correct types for your premises.
Types of Fire
Fire starts because of 3 compounds which are fuel, heat and Oxygen. In order to put out the fire that started in Oxygen environment, one element must be eliminated or insufficient and unable to continue.
Damage from fire is different in accordance to the fuel sources, therefore, types of fire are divided in according to types of flammable fuel so that one can choose the right type of fire extinguisher to put out the fire.
Type A: Ordinary Combustibles
Fire starts from ordinary flammable fuel such as wood, fabric, paper, trash, plastics that can be found commonly in residences. This type of fire can be put out by water.
Type B: Flammable Liquids
The fire starts from flammable substances that have basis of crude oils, Kerosene, Benzene and flammable gas such as Butane or Propane. This type of fire can be seen in fuel production industry such as gasoline, lubricating oils, some types of color production. Fuel type B can be prolonged in flames when surrounded by Oxygen; therefore, to extinct the fire, Oxygen must be eliminated.
Type C: Electrical Equipment
The fire caused by electric appliances where electricity current still present or electricity is active such as motors, electronic appliances, and power adaptors. Active electric appliances can generate high heat and if damaged, it can cause Type C fire. To extinct the fire, the electric appliances must be firstly turned off.
Type D: Combustible Metals
The fire starts from flammable metals such as Titanium, Magnesium, Aluminium and Potassium. These types of fuel can be found in operation rooms, laboratories, as well as industries that relate to metals where the flames cannot be extinct by water.
Type K: Combustible Cooking
This type of fire starts from kitchenette, cooking oils and animal fats as well as liquid that uses in cooking, therefore, they can be found in kitchens and restaurants.
Types of Fire Extinguishers
In selecting fire extinguishers for buildings and plants, one must consider suitability to put out the fire in buildings where each fire extinguisher may contain different substances and reflect variable capabilities to extinct the fire as well as sizes need to reflect areas of the property.
1. Dry Chemical Extinguishers
The fire extinguishers are filled with dry chemicals and Nitrogen that can extinct the fire effectively. Once used, it become sprays and immediately obstruct the flames and Oxygens. It is suitable for many types of fire including type A, B and C and for households, residences, and factories
2. Halotron Extinguishers
The liquid chemicals that has very low temperature, once sprays, it become gas and can eliminate heat and obstruct flames. It is non-conductive and left no residues afterwards. The fire extinguisher is used for fire type A, B, C and K and is suitable for computer rooms, electronic industry, vessels, and airplanes.
3. Foam Extinguishers
The fire extinguishers contain foam inside. Once used, foam is spray to cover the flames so that the flames lack of Oxygen and heat. It can also use to conceal the oil covered surface. Foam extinguishers are commonly used in fire type A and B but not for type C because the foam contains water which is a conductor. It is suitable for industries that involve fuel, flammable volatile, residents, and gas stations.
4. Carbon Dioxide (CO2) Extinguishers
The fire extinguisher contains Carbon Dioxide and once spray, it becomes dry ice to cover the fire. It can reduce the heat at instant and can put out the fire immediately, leaving no residues behind. It can be used for fire type B and C and is suitable in large production plants.
5. Water Extinguishers
The fire extinguisher is used for fire type A combustion to reduce the heat of the fuel derived from solid objects such as wood, paper, plastic, and fabric where it contains water and gas inside. It is suitable for residents.
Fire extinguishers that contain environment-safe volatile are for fire type A, B, C, and D where the substance does not harm objects or assets. It is suitable for computer rooms, communication device, manufacturing that involve electronics.
Selection of Fire Extinguishers that Depends on Capabilities to Extinct the Fire
The fire rating is used for determining capabilities to extinct the fire where it is regulated by Thai Industrial Standards Institute or TISI in order to control product quality and safety of users. The standard is so called Thai Industrial Standard (TIS) 332-2537 which is label on the side of fire extinguisher where fire rating is set in order to compare and contrast effectiveness of the fire prevention and for the right usage.
It is a must to certified by Thai Industrial Standards Institute which is Thai Industrial Standard (TIS)
Portable fire extinguishers must suitable for the following fuel and in accordance to the standards
- TIS 332 Dry chemical portable fire extinguishers
- TIS 881 Portable fire extinguishers: Carbon Dioxide
- TIS 882 Portable fire extinguishers: Foam
- Other standards by Thai Industrial Standards Institute or equivalent
Illustrates Fire Rating of fire type A: the higher number, the better capability to extinct fire type A
Illustrates Fire Rating of fire type B: the higher number, the better capability to extinct fire type B
For fire type C, there is no Fire Rating but, on the label, it indicates clearly weather the fire extinguisher can extinct the fire type C.
Fire Rating is an important indicator when selecting fire extinguishers as it is clearly standardise and certified.
In selecting fire extinguishers for buildings and business, types of fuel in accordance to capabilities to put out the fire should be taken into consideration. Moreover, sizes are important too as it needs to be relevant to the covered area so that it can be used at instant in case of fire.
Should there be further inquiries in regards to fire extinguisher selection, please feel free to comment below or contact us here. We will look forward to assist you.
Subscribe to our newsletter
Subscribe to our weekly newsletter to get update to your inbox!