Fire Systems Queensland

Fire Extinguishers: Your Essential Guide to Fire Safety

fire extinguisher guide

When it comes to safeguarding lives and property, fire safety is of paramount importance. Fire extinguishers are your first line of defence against unexpected flames. In this blog, we’ll dive into the world of fire extinguishers, exploring the various types available and which type of fire they are best suited to combat. Whether you’re a business owner, building occupier or simply someone concerned about fire safety, this guide will provide you with the essential knowledge you need to stay prepared.

Types of Fire Extinguishers:

Water Extinguishers (Class A):
Suitable for fires involving combustibles like wood, paper, and cloth.
Not suitable for electrical fires or flammable liquids.

Foam Extinguishers (Class A and B):
Effective against Class A Fires (solids) and Class B fires (flammable liquids)
Unsuitable for electrical fires.

Powder Extinguishers (Class A, B, C, D, E):
Versatile: effective against most types of fires except cooking oil fires.
Available in ABC and BC variations.
Often used in industrial settings.

CO2 Extinguishers (Class B and E):
Best for fires involving electrical equipment and flammable liquids. Leaves no residue,
making it ideal for offices and sensitive equipment.

Wet Chemical Extinguishers (Class F):
Specifically designed for kitchen fires involving cooking oils and fats. Suitable for commercial kitchens.

Specialized Extinguishers (Class D):
Intended for fires involving combustible metals, like magnesium or titanium.
Often found in laboratories or industrial settings.

Choosing the Right Extinguisher for the Fire: A Quick Guide:

    • Understanding fire classes (A, B, C, D, E, F).
    • Evaluating the nature of the fire before attempting to extinguish it.
    • Importance of proper training and knowledge.

Using a Fire Extinguisher: Step-by-Step:

1) A simple acronym to use is the PASS method:

    • P – pull the pin

    • A – aim at the base of the fire

    • S – squeeze the trigger releasing the contents 

    • S – sweep from side to side slowly moving forward

2) Maintaining a safe distance from the fire.

3) Staying calm will allow for clear procedures to be processed.

Regular Maintenance and Inspection:

    • Importance of regular inspections and maintenance.
    • Ensuring no obstructions to all equipment to allow for clear access. 
    • Recharging or replacing extinguishers when required.

Additional Fire Safety Tips

Fire extinguishers play a crucial role in protecting lives and property from the devastating effects of fires. Understanding the different types of fire extinguishers and their appropriate uses is essential for effective fire safety. By following the guidelines outlined in this blog, you can empower yourself and others to respond confidently and swiftly in the event of a fire emergency. Remember, staying informed and prepared is key to preventing fires from turning into disasters.

Never fight a fire if:

  • You don’t know what is burning (selecting the incorrect extinguisher or equipment to use can cause further hazards or fuel the situation).
  • The fire is spreading rapidly beyond the area where it started. You only have limited time to plan your escape and an extinguisher will only last approx. 30sec.
  • You might inhale toxic smoke. Do not put your own life in jeopardy. 
  • Your instincts tell you not to or you don’t feel confident.

When did you last have your First Response Training?

Australian Standards 3745-2010 requires all staff to be trained in first response procedures every 2 years.
Contact us today to schedule in your next training session.

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