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Fire Extinguishers UK How to Select the Right One.

Fire Extinguishers UK

Every home should be equipped with at least one fire extinguisher, because most fires are small at the start and could possibly be contained if a fire extinguisher is available and used properly.

How do I select the right kind of fire extinguisher to fight different types of fire? 

Selecting Fire Extinguishers UK
No single fire extinguisher type is totally effective on every kind of fire.In order to choose the right extinguisher you need to understand the following facts:-

Fire requires 3 elements to exist, known as the fire triangle. Oxygen, Heat and Fuel.

Removing any one of these elements will extinguish the fire; this is what fire extinguishers are designed to do.

Extinguishers are classified according to the type of fire for which they are suitable. The four classes of fires are A, B, C and D: –

Fire Extinguishers Types There are three main types of fire extinguisher: – water, powder and foam.

Water Fire Extinguishers are suitable for class A fires. The water cools the fire and penetrates quickly into upholstery and bedding. NEVER use water on electrical fires or burning oil or fat.

Standard or Multi-Purpose Dry Powder are suitable for the majority of fires (Class A, B & C).The effect of powder is to “knocks down” the flames and it is best for fires involving flammable liquids or gases.Standard powders work well only on burning liquids, however the multi-purpose type is more effective on other types.

Foam Extinguishers are ideal for both A & B class fires. The foam forms a blanket or film on the surface of a burning liquid. Extinguishers containing the agent AFFF (Aqueous Film Forming Foam) is especially suited for fires involving materials such as fats, petrol, oils, paints, etc. This foam also cools solid material fires.Foam extinguishers are NOT suitable for electrical or deep fat fryer fires; wet chemical extinguishers should be used.

CO2 (Carbon Dioxide) Extinguishers are suitable for class B risks involving flammable liquids and electrical fires. They smother the flames by preventing air reaching the fire.

Wet Chemical Extinguishers are ideal for fighting deep fat fryer and cooking oil fires (Class F). They are also suitable for general household fires (Class A, B & F).

Tips Typical home fire extinguishers UK should include A, B & C rating, while the fire extinguisher in the kitchen should be suitable for pan fires as well.

Some extinguishers have passed an electrical conductivity test, in case they are used accidentally on electrical fires.

Do NOT use a fire extinguisher to put out a fire involving burning gas. Turn off the gas supply if it is possible and safe to do so, or leave this type of fire to the fire brigade.

Where and How to Install Them? Install fire extinguishers on every floor level of the home including the kitchen, ground floor and garage.The extinguishers should be sited in a conspicuous position on the wall, (brackets are usually supplied) or on a stand; they should have a sign above to indicate the extinguisher type.

Code of Practice The BS 5839 Part 6O is a very useful document, which states the – Code of practice for the design and installation of fire detection and alarm systems in dwellings.

Standards Approval It is important that the products themselves adhere to a standard of quality and performance.The British Standard BS5446-1 is a national English standard, stating the required construction, responding features and test procedures for fire detectors. (This guideline will be replaced by EN ISO 12239)

Further Advice Your local fire brigade or council will be pleased to provide advice on the sort of equipment that would best suit your home. The fire brigade are willing to send someone round to check your home and advise, on fire prevention and escape routes. 

How to Use Fire Extinguishers UK…Find Out…Now!

Water Fire Extinguishers… are Suitable for Use on Class A Fires.

Dry Powder Fire Extinguishers…Best for Fires Involving Flammable Liquids or Gases.

Foam Fire Extinguishers… are Suitable for Both Class A & B Fires.

CO2 Fire Extinguishers… are Suitable for Class B & C fires, Involving Flammable Liquids and Electrical Risks.

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