Fire extinguishers are essential for workplace safety, and often required to comply with legal health and safety requirements. Hand operated fire extinguishers are an effective way of containing small fires, and if properly deployed can prevent accidents from becoming disasters.
The RS Components range of fire extinguishers offers safety solutions to suit all workplace environments and fire inspection requirements.
The most common of handheld extinguishers, the water extinguisher is identified by its red label. Its water jet can be used to douse fires on most combustible materials, such as wood, cloth and paper. However, it must never be used on electrical equipment or burning liquids, as this can pose serious danger to the user. They are suitable for domestic and commercial environments.
Foam Extinguisher (AFFF)
Identified by a cream label, the extinguishers contain a foaming element that is useful for smothering liquid fires, but is also suitable for the same applications as water extinguishers. However, they cannot be used on chip pan fires, or fires in deep-fat fryers.
Dry Powder Extinguishers
Typically identified by a blue label, dry powder extinguishers are sometimes called ABC extinguishers. These multi-purpose extinguishers can be used on fire classes A, B and C, which means they can be used with combustible materials, flammable gases and flammable liquids. Because of their effectiveness on liquid fires, you can often find dry powder extinguishers on garage forecourts and in fuel tankers. They should not be used for cooking oil fires or fat-pan fires, or on electrical equipment above 1000v.
Carbon Dioxide (CO2) Extinguisher
Identified by a black label, the CO2 extinguisher displaces oxygen and suffocates the fire. They are typically used for electrical fires, and so are often found in office and kitchen environments.
Wet Chemical Extinguishers
Identified by a yellow label, wet chemical extinguishers are used for cooking oil fires, or more specifically deep fat fryers. Unlike other extinguishers, that may aggravate a cooking oil fire and lead to injury, wet chemical extinguishers form a barrier that prevents the fire from spreading and cools the oil. As such are commonly found in commercial kitchens, but should also be to hand in any domestic kitchen that uses a deep fat fryer.