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Fire Extinguisher Types

The different types of fire extinguishers

Different situations call for different styles of fire extinguishers.

SCENARIO PREFERRED CHOICE OF FEs ALTERNATIVE CHOICE OF FEs
Trailer / RV Wet Chemical and ABE Dry Powder ABE Dry Powder and/or Fire Blanket
Garage ABE Dry Powder NZS 4503 Foam
House Wet Chemical and ABE Dry Powder NZS 4503 ABE Dry Powder and/or Fire Blanket
Car ABE Dry Powder Foam
Boat Wet Chemical and ABE Dry Powder ABE Dry Powder, Fire Blanket, and/or Foam

 

  • Trailer / RV – Your Trailer / RV is prone to catching fire due to the cooking oil or fat oil in the kitchen.
  • Garage – There are two reasons for any fire outbreaks inside the garage:
    • Due to activities and hobbies done inside a garage (e.g. woodworking);
    • Flammable liquids (e.g. paints, solvents, or fuels).
  • House – Your kitchen is the most fire-inducing place in the entire house. Here are tips to keep in mind about the fire extinguishers you should keep inside your house:
    • ABE Dry Powder is not suitable for taking out cooking oil or fat oil, use a wet chemical extinguisher. It’s also suitable for other fire hazards at home.
    • However, wet chemical extinguishers should not be used on fire with a live electrical source. Electricity may pose as a secondary hazard. Ensure that the power is isolated before extinguishing fire,
  • Car – The only notable cause for a car to catch on fire is due to car collisions. However, repairs using welding equipments and electrical faults may be a cause for an outbreak.
  • Boat – Due to the small engine design on a boat it is more likely to cause a fire outbreak due to a gas explosion from a leaking fuel.
  • When should you use a fire extinguisher:
    • You should only use a fire extinguisher when:
    • Everyone has been evacuated in the lot and are in a safe place.
    • The fire team has responded to your call.
    • The fire is in an unrestricted area and you can safely retreat once you’ve successfully put out the fire.
    • Consider the size of the fire. If it’s too big and hazardous then it’s better to wait for the fire team to put it out.
  • Where should I install a fire extinguisher?
    • In public places like the mall or school, their fire extinguishers are always mounted on the wall adjacent to the fire exit or inside a glass container along with a fire hose.
    • In houses, mount it on the wall above the normal reach of children. Normally, it should be placed inside the kitchen or at least near it. Don’t put it near the stove top or any cooking appliances.
    • It’s wise to spare another fire extinguisher or two to be placed in the garage and one in the car.
    • In Trailer / RVs, it should be attached to the inside of the door.
    • In Boats, it should be mounted in an area that’s accessible from the open deck.
  • Instructions on how to use a fire extinguisher:
    • Pull and remove the pin on the extinguisher before a trigger can be operated.
    • Aim the hose nozzle 2-3 meters away towards the base of the fire.
    • Squeeze the handle to release the extinguishing agent and sweep side to side until the fire has been extinguished.
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Fire Hoses

Small fires can be put out using fire hoses by civilian personnel.
This allows for fire suppression to take place before the professional fire fighters arrive on the scene.  This fire suppression allows for either complete extinguishing of the fire or it buys additional time for building occupants to evacuate the facility before professional firefighters can take over the firefighting duties.

 

Fire Alarm System Installation

Due to the size of large buildings it is a necessity to have a fire alarm system installation take place before tenets move in.  This ensures that in the event of a fire being sighted by building occupants they can use a manual fire pull station to sound the fire alarm bells and notify the local fire department.  These systems can also be useful before building occupancy takes place.  During the construction phase of large office towers and high-rise condo units larger amounts of activity are taking place then normally would happen when residential or commercial office tenets move in.  Things like welding equipment and power tools are in use which pose a higher fire safety risk then photocopiers, computers, televisions, microwaves and other more common office and residential equipment.

Due to this increased risk often temporary fire safety equipment such as additional fire extinguishers must be installed to provide better access.  Part of the reason behind this is that during this phase things like fire sprinkler systems have not been installed or are in the process of being installed.  By their nature copper pipes and joins need to be welded which involves using an open flame.  The welding process uses 5000 degree flames.  In terms of fire safety there isn’t many more things that are riskier then using such a high temperature flame.  This is part of the reason why welding professionals must pass certain training requirements to be able to perform such activities.

Also seen in to the rear of this photo is a control panel.  To allow building managers control panels are installed to help to provide a more complete picture of the situation.