A fire extinguisher is also commonly known as a flame extinguisher or just as an extinguisher. It is a cylindrical pressure vessel which can be hand held. In the vessel there are agents which when discharged helps in extinguishing fire. The device is used in emergency situations and is very often found in schools, homes, petrol pumps, shopping malls etc.
There are five different kinds of fire extinguishers which are very commonly used today. They are water, carbon dioxide, dry powder, chemical and foam fire extinguishers. The most effective and efficient ones are halon, FE 36, specialist powder extinguishers and the clean agent extinguishers.
The water based fire fighting systems are the simplest and the least expensive ones. They are able to extinguish fire which is caused by the most ordinary and combustible materials. Additives may sometimes be added to the water so as to enhance the fire fighting ability. The foam fire extinguishers are a class higher than that of the water based ones. They carry with them a B rating, which means that these extinguishes can easily put out fires caused by combustible liquids like oil, petrol, paraffin etc. The ABC dry powder extinguisher works on both combustible solids and liquids. They are also effective on flammable gases. Carbon dioxide extinguishers are perfect to put out fires that involve electrical machinery.
The benefit of using this particular type of extinguishers is that they are clean and inert and does not leave behind any residue. They are also very useful in fighting fire caused due to combustion of petrol and oil. A wet chemical fire extinguisher is perfect to put out fires caused due to the combustion of cooking oils. Such extinguishers have the ability to cool the flammable fat and to eliminate the risk of re-igniting. These extinguishers come with an F class rating.
To prevent accidents caused due to the breakout of fires people must be made aware about how to use these extinguishers. When a person buys a fire extinguisher, special demonstration classes are given for easy understanding of the device. A person should know how to unlock an extinguisher and to spray the fire extinguishing substance like foam, water etc, at the base of the fire. In public buildings, flame extinguishers should be kept in proper places so that people can easily reach them. In private homes they can be kept in the hallways and in the exit areas.
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