TYPES OF EXTINGUISHERS
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CLASSIFICATIONS OF FIRE HAZARDS
EXTINGUISHERS FOR GENERAL PROTECTION:
AN INTRODUCTION / OSHA SYNOPSIS
General protection requirements are specifically divided into two categories: (1) Building Protection and (2) Occupancy Protection:
1. Required Building Protection shall be provided by fire extinguishers rated for Class A fires; NOTE: Class A extinguishers provided for Building Protection also may protect Class A Hazard Areas under the requirements for Occupancy Protection.
2. Occupancy Protection shall be provided by fire extinguishers rated for such Class A, B, C, D or K fire potentials, the extinguisher rating to be determined according to the type of Hazard Area.
3. Computers and electronic gear must be protected in the work place using "Clean-Agent" fire extinguishers due to the corrosive nature of ABC Dry Chemical used in General purpose extinguishers. * This is now a mandatory requirement as per NFPA#10 National Standards.
"Hazard Areas" are classified as Light Hazard, Ordinary Hazard, or Extra Hazard as follows:
Where the amount of combustibles or flammable liquids is such that fires of small siize may be expected. These may include offices, schoolroom, places of worship, and assembly halls etc.
Where the amount of combustible or flammable liquids is such that fires of moderate size may be expected. These may include mercantile storage and display, auto showrooms, parking garages, light manufacturing, warehouse, not classified as Extra Hazard, school shop areas, etc.
Where the amount of combustible or flammable liquids present is such that fires of severe magnitude may be expected. These may include wood working, auto repair, aircraft servicing, marine services, warehouses with high-piled (over 15 feet in solid piles, over 12 feet in piles that contain horizontal channels) combustibles, and processes such as flammable liquid handling, painting, dipping, etc.
TYPES OF EXTINGUISHERS
Dry Chemical Fire Extinguishers
Dry Chemical extinguishers are usually rated for multiple purpose use. These units contain special extinguishing agents which smother and break the fire chain. Dry chemical extinguishers can be rated for Class A, B, and C fire hazards depending upon which fire fighting agent is chosen. ABC Dry Chemical is rated to extinguish Paper, Wood, and Textiles, Flammable Liquids such as Gasoline, and Grease along with a Class C capability for Energized Electrical Hazards.
Standard Dry Chemical & Purple-K Dry Chemical is NOT rated to extinguish Class A (paper, wood or textile) fires. These chemical agents are only rated for Class B & Class C hazards. *Note: Although ABC dry chemical extinguishers have a Class "B" flammable liquid rating, they SHOULD NOT be used to extinguish a Cooking Fire involving Vegetable Oils or Animal Fats. These fires require Class K rated extinguishers.
Purple-K (Potassium Bicarbonate) Dry Chemical fire extinguishers are rated for Class B Flammable Liquid Hazards & Class C Energized Electrical Hazards.
Purple-K Fire Extinguishers offer the best fire fighting capability for flammable liquid fires over ABC and Standard (BC) Units. Purple-K fire Extinguishers can be corrosive when fighting fires where moisture or water is present. Typical Uses: Flammable Liquid (Class B) and Energized (Class C) Hazards.
High Flow Category Dry Chemical Fire Extinguishers are designed to deliver High-Flow Fire Extinguishing Chemical Agents at a High Discharge Rate of 1 lb. Per Second. These Extinguishers offer a Much Greater Capability to Attack and Extinguish Pressurized Flammable Liquids, Pressurized Gas, or 3 - Dimensional Fires. These types of hazards can be Most Difficult to Extinguish. We highly recommend these High-Flow Dry Chemical Extinguishers for these types of hazards, as these High Flow Extinguishers are Now Mandatory under State Fire Codes & NFPA#10 for these types of Pressurized Flammable Liquid type Fire Hazards. Give us a call for your fire protection requirements.
CLASS D DRY POWDER FIRE EXTINGUISHER FOR BURNING METAL HAZARDS:
These extinguishers are specifically designed for use on combustible metal fires. Features a discharge assembly that keeps the operator at a safe distance while providing accurate application of the agent on to the fire. From the heat of the fire, the sodium chloride based agent forms a crust to exclude air from the burning material. Suitable for use on Class D fires such as those involving magnesium, sodium, potassium and sodium-potassium alloys. There is also data showing that zirconium, uranium, titanium, and powdered aluminum fires can be controlled and extinguished with this unique extinguisher as well.
Class D "Copper" Dry Powder is available for Lithium based metal fire hazards.
Clean Agent Fire Extinguishers
Halotron I extinguishers, are "clean agent" units that leave no residue after discharge. This "clean agent" when discharged, vaporizes and does not cause thermal or static shock, leaving no residue and is non-conductive. These properties make it ideal for IT/Computer Rooms, Clean Rooms, Telecommunications Equipment, Electronics, and any other High Value hazard where a Clean/Non-Residue Agent would be required. Halotron extinguishers are available in sizes ranging from 2.5 lbs. to 15.5 lbs.. Larger wheeled units are also available in sizes from 65 # to 150 #.
CO2 (Carbon Dioxide) Compressed Gas Extinguishers also provide "Clean" / Non-Residue Fire Protection. These units displace the oxygen that feeds the fire and because of the Minus -40F
temperature of the CO2 gas, they also provide a "cooling" effect to the burning fire. They have no pressure gauge, are heavier to use than other clean agent extinguishers, can produce a thermal/static shock and have a limited range. They are less costly to recharge than other clean agent type extinguishers and can be an excellent choice for "Clean Fire Protection". CO2 units are NOT rated for Class A paper, wood or textile fire hazards. CO2 units are available in 5#, 10#, 15# & 20# portable sizes. Larger Wheeled units are available in 50# & 100# sizes as well.
Halon 1211 Pressure Gas clean agent fire extinguishers offer excellent fire fighting protection for Class B (flammable liquids) and Class C (energized electrical) hazards. In their larger sizes, Halon 1211 offers a Class A (paper, wood & textile) capability as well. Although Halon 1211 is no longer produced because of their ozone depleting qualities, they can be recharged & serviced under current EPA Protocols using recycled Halon 1211 gas. Halon 1211 extinguishers have the best fire fighting ratings to extinguish fires, over all of the other clean agents available in the fire equipment marketplace.
FE-36 extinguishers (Clean Guard) non-residue/clean agent extinguishers can also be another alternative for the customer. These units have similar fire fighting capabilities as Halotron.
Class "K" Wet Chemical Fire Extinguishers
Wet Chemical extinguishers are designed specifically for kitchen grease fire hazards and meet the new Class "K" listing now required for all extinguishers installed in Restaurant Kitchens and similar Cooking Operations. Note: Prior to 1998, Standard dry chemical and Purple-K extinguishers were used to put out kitchen type fires. These extinguishers did allow for Fire Reflash and have now been replaced under the 1998 Class K fire protection classification. Class K Wet Chemical Fire Extinguishers are rated for Class A and B fires in sizes ranging from 6 liters to 2.6 gallons.
Water Mist Extinguishers
Water Mist extinguishers are designed for Class A and C fires hazards. These units are safe to use in and around electrical equipment up to 100,000 volts. Examples of their usage can be for computer type fires with Class A paper, in the surrounding areas (ie: printer). Water Mist extinguishers use de-ionized water and a special non-conductive hose and wand assembly to provide safe fire protection for the operator.
Water and Foam Extinguishers
Water extinguishers are rated for Class A (paper, wood, and textiles) fires and offer the soaking/quenching effect of a liquid for multi-level, deep seated fires. These units are available in 2.5 gallon size. *Also available for water extinguishers is a "Wetting Agent" concentrate added to the water extinguisher which makes the water wetter and allows for a better and more rapid extinguishment of the fire hazard.
2.5 gallon AFFF (Aqueous Film Forming Foam) Foam extinguishers offer Class A and B fire protection. These units can provide exceptional fire fighting capability and can also offer vapor barrier capacity in the event of a flammable liquid spill.