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Monarch Fire News

Is your fire extinguisher a potential killer?

Fire extinguishers are meant to preserve life but used in the wrong way they can be just as dangerous as the fire itself, more even.

That's why it is imperative to get expert advice when buying one for your home or business. 

Danger 1: Using the wrong type of Extinguishers

If you have an extinguisher in your home or business you may feel equipped to deal with a small fire but one of the biggest dangers with fire extinguishers is using the wrong type of extinguisher to fight a fire. 

For example, a Red label water extinguisher used on an electrical or oil fire can cause electric shock or explosions. 
Using a black labeled C02 extinguisher or a blue labeled dry powder extinguisher on a chemical fire may cause violent explosions that lead to injury or death.

Types of Fire Extinguishers

There are 5 classes of fire, these are listed as A, B, C, D and F and 5 main categories of extinguisher, each is designed to tackle one of the classes of fire.

  • Class A fires involve materials such wood, fabrics paper
  • Class B fires involve fuels and oils 
  • Class C fires involve gasses
  • Class D fires involve metals 
  • Class F fires involve cooking oils mainly in deep fat fryers 
  • Danger 2: Problems when using the extinguisher

    The Blue labeled powder chemical extinguishers pose some of the biggest dangers to consumers. The powder released will fill a room and dramatically reduce visibility hampering escape. 

    Black labeled Carbon dioxide units get very cold when used, and can cause cold burns to operators. They can also deplete oxygen supplies in the room.

    Again this is why it is imperative to get expert advice on the types of extinguisher you need. You may have a small extinguisher in your home that you bought from a hardware store a couple of years ago which is in fact powder and will hamper your escape from a fire, rather than aid your families safety. 

    Danger 3: Maintenance

    Inadequate maintenance can lead to additional problems and dangers with fire extinguishers. External units that are open to the elements or kept in damp areas will often corrode. A corroded fire extinguisher can explode, causing injury or possibly death. This is a common problem especially in industrial settings where chemicals cause extinguisher canisters to corrode rapidly. 

    Danger 4: Failure to recharge

    Failing to recharge your extinguishers after use can also be dangerous. It’s misconception you need to buy a new extinguishers, they can be recharged which will ensure that they are in full working order in case of a fire. If you use an extinguisher either on a fire or accidentally call us and we will check and if safe to do so refil the extinguisher for you. 

    Danger 5: Specialist Considerations

    Most fire extinguishers are made of aluminium or steel. Hospital rooms with MRI machines or companies with nuclear equipment or other magnetised machines run a real risk of the steel extinguisher being drawn towards the source of the magnet, striking people or property on the way.

    Our desire is to protect you from fire, but also to ensure your equipment is safe to use, and suitable for your environment. Give us a call on 01993 840660 for a no obligation chat, and free visit if necessary.

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