Fire Extinguisher Guide
We provide cost effective fire extinguisher and fire equipment safety solutions to businesses, organisations and homeowners across Australia. There are a lot properties that are at a high fire safety risk through inadequate fire extinguishers. From a single fire extinguisher to a full building fit out of fire extinguishers, we have a range of the most effective products and packages for almost every situation. Buy fire extinguishers from Aegis Safe today and save.
A fire extinguisher could save your life, property and assets by putting out a fire before it takes hold.
Fire extinguisher services & sales
We supply and install fire extinguishers as well as provide large project fire extinguishers services Australia wide.
We also have fire extinguisher team based in Brisbane, Sydney and the Gold Coast that can help you with your fire safety needs including:
- fire extinguisher selection
- fire extinguisher installation
- fire extinguisher testing
- fire extinguisher maintenance
- fire extinguisher services
Portable fire extinguishers
By definition, a portable fire extinguisher is an equipment utilised for extinguishing a fire. In reality, a portable fire extinguisher is only effective against the size and type of fire it is rated for.
In firefighting terms, portable fire extinguishers are used as “first attack” equipment. They are utilised only in the early stages of fire, up to the stage after which the fire grows beyond the chosen fire extinguisher’s capacity.
With Australia there are 5 main types of fire extinguishers available; carbon dioxide, dry chemical powder, wet chemical, foam and water. The extinguisher must be selected keeping in mind the class of fire it will be utilised against.
In 1723, the first patent of a fire extinguisher was launched by English scientist Ambrose Godfrey. The following 300 years experienced literally hundreds of variations and iterations over the basic design of the fire extinguisher.
If you analyse all the variations, you will be left with five common components present in every variant of the extinguisher manufactured in history;
- a directional nozzle
- a valve
- an expellant (or propellant)
- an extinguishing agent
- a storage vessel
Modern fire extinguishers have continued to retain these common components. However, the advent of new technology has clearly resulted in improvements in the performance (rating and capacity) of extinguishers.
Combustion (fire) is defined as a sequence of exothermic chemical reactions between an oxidant and a fuel accompanied by the by-products of combustion, namely electromagnetic radiation (light), smoke and heat.
There are four elements contributing to create the perfect environment for the initiation of fire and for its continuation. The four elements are namely:
- Chemical Reaction (Oxidation)
The effective removal of any one of these essential elements will result in the fire being extinguished.
In simple terms, a fire extinguisher works by influencing, eliminating or the ongoing effect of one or more of these four elements.
Classification of fires
The classification of fires is done in accordance to the fuel type and if there is a presence of live electrical equipment. The classification is very important, as it has direct influence over the selection and usage of the correct extinguisher for the fire situation. The fire extinguisher that is most relevant for extinguishing the fire.
The 6 classes of fire are:
- Class A – Ordinary Combustibles (such as plastics, wood, paper, etc.)
- Class B – Combustible and flammable liquids
- Class C – Flammable gases
- Class D – Combustible metals
- Class E – Electrically energised equipment
- Class F – Fats and cooking oils
Types of fire extinguishers
As stated earlier, fire extinguishers are broadly categorised into 5 main types;
- Carbon dioxide
- Dry chemical powder
- Wet chemical
For a given classification of fire, the selection of a fire extinguisher is shown by the colour code present in the body of the extinguishers.
Colouring and labels are the primary distinguishing factor for portable fire extinguishers.
The standard colour for portable fire extinguishers was changed in 1997. The extinguishers available in the market from this date were required to be polished stainless steel and painted red. Due to this change being relatively recent, extinguishers still use both Pre-1997 and Post 1997 colour schemes.
There is no universally acceptable type of fire extinguisher for all classes of fire. During selection of the most suitable variant of fire extinguisher, or combination of relevant fire extinguishers, each option must be carefully considered.
Water fire extinguishers (W)
A water-based extinguisher is also known as a stored pressure air-water fire extinguisher. This is because it’s a fire extinguisher that is stored under pressure (normally by air) and filled with water. These extinguishers are most applicable for Class A fires.
A water extinguisher cools the fire, interrupting the exothermic reaction. When the valve operated by a hand-held trigger is depressed, a water extinguisher starts operating. The water, contained and stored under pressure within the container is subsequently expelled.
Dry chemical powder (DCP)
The 2 main-types of dry chemical powder fire extinguisher are;
- BE Type – Effective on Class B, E & F fires.
- ABE Type – Effective on Class, A, B, C & E fires.
Dry chemical powder interrupts the oxidation process, making them very effective in controlling fires. The dry chemical powder, stored under pressure in the cylinder gets expelled when the hand-held trigger is depressed.
Note: There are special powders available for extinguishing fires where Class D combustible metals are involved.
Air-foam fire extinguishers are either utilised against a class A or B fires, either as an aspirated (expanded & mixed with air via a branch pipe) or in a non-aspirated form. It subsequently creates a blanket of foam above the fuel, preventing the oxygen supply.
Wet chemical (WC)
Wet chemical fire extinguishers are mainly installed in commercial kitchens for dealing with Class F fires (where the fuel is fats or cooking oils).
A wet chemical extinguisher smothers the burning oil by forming a blanket of soapy foam over it. This subsequently cools down the oil below its ignition point.
The chemical is expelled in the form of a fine mist that does not splash the grease onto other surfaces. Also, a Wet Chemical extinguisher can be safely used against “A” class fires.
Carbon dioxide (CO2)
Carbon dioxide fire extinguishers are mostly useful against fire involving electrically energised equipment. Specifically where this electrically non conductive, inert gas, is most suited due to the minimal amount of clean up available from the agent. Areas that have expensive electrical equipment are a good example.
Carbon dioxide extinguishers are equipped with liquid CO2, that is subsequently expelled as a gas. Due to its heaviness when compared to air, carbon dioxide blankets a fire. It prevents oxygen from reaching the fire, depriving the burning fuel of oxygen. Carbon dioxide extinguishers are also effective against fires of Class “B” and “C”.
Unlike other chemicals used in fire extinguishers, CO2 doesn’t adversely affect the environment by leaving a harmful residue. It also poses very little threat to electronic equipment employed in computer rooms, laboratories, and other sensitive areas with electrical equipment.
Fire extinguisher operation
Fire extinguishers expel an extinguishing agent when extinguishing a fire. The extinguishing agent is stored under pressure within a metal cylinder. When the hand-held trigger is depressed, the relevant valve opens releasing the agent.
Some fire extinguishers are equipped with a pressure gauge that offers a visual indication of its pressurised state. These gauges are colour coded, where green indicates whether the extinguisher is pressurised and ready for usage. It may also illustrate a numerical value indicating the same situation stated above.
The Australian Standard AS 1850 states that fire extinguishers must be marked with a rating and classification to comply with Australian Standards. The ratings of the extinguishers are calculated on the basis of their suitability and performance against a specific class of fire. A typical dry chemical extinguisher is marked 2A:40B: E, whereas a water extinguisher is marked 2A.
The number portrayed before the letter offers a measure of the relative performance within the relevant class as shown below:
• For Class A – Between 0 and 10
• For Class B – Between 2 and 80
• For Class F – Between 1 and 4
A higher number indicates that the extinguisher is more effective for that relevant class of fire. A fire extinguisher rated for several classes of fires are expressed in alphabetical order, i.e. 2A:40B: E.
There is a common misconception prevalent that 2 different fire extinguishers equipped with equal volume (Litres) or mass (Kg) must have the same rating. Every fire extinguisher is subjected to an array of standardised tests that ultimately determines their rating and suitability. These tests are conducted under the jurisdiction of the relevant local authority and in accordance with the building Code of Australia. It is mandatory to prominently display the final ratings on the sides of the relevant extinguisher.
Location and distribution
The Building Code of Australia, in correspondence with various State and Territory legislation establishes the distribution, location and selection of fire extinguishers to be utilised.
Generally, the Australian Standard AS 2444 is used as a reference in whole or in part while creating these documents. AS 2444 is the subordinate to these legislations, and proper care should be taken before providing further advice on the requirements of the fire extinguishers solely based on a single legislature.
- Fire extinguishers must be installed in a position where it is clearly visible and also readily accessible.
- It must be supported by a bracket or hook that is mounted not above hip height, that is, not more than 1.2 metres.
- Portable fire extinguishers must not be positioned anywhere it is not readily accessible or might be a potential hazard for the user.
- They should be positioned near exits and normal travel paths.
The Australian Standard AS2444 and the Building Code of Australia are the primary statures that must be adhered to for location and selection of portable fire extinguishers.
Portable fire extinguishers have two basic types of signs associated with them. The first is a circular identification disc and the second is a red coloured rectangular “location sign” with a white picture of fire extinguisher implemented within.
These signs specify the type of fire it is to be the fire extinguisher is to be used against and its contents.
The location sign
The location sign should be directly positioned above the fire extinguisher, and its bottom edge should not be less than 2 metres above the floor (AS 2444:2001 clause 3.3.4).
The identification sign
The identification sign should be positioned below the location sign and immediately above the fire extinguisher.
Using a fire extinguisher
The person looking to use a fire extinguisher should select the correct size and type of fire extinguisher most suitable for the relevant class of fire before undertaking the following:
- Ensure that the area is accessible and safe; the fire must not be too hot or too large, and that there are no other immediate hazards to safety.
- Contact the fire brigade.
- Select the correct fire extinguisher relevant for the class of fire.
- For using the fire extinguisher, the following acronym PASS – Pull, Aim, Squeeze, Sweep.
- Pull the pin of the fire extinguisher;
- Aim the extinguisher towards the base of the fire;
- Squeeze the handle;
- Sweep the extinguisher back and forth.
The fire may reignite even after it has been extinguished. Until the fire brigade arrives, secure another fire extinguisher if it’s safe enough and observe the scene of the fire.
According to the Australian Standard AS1851, every portable fire extinguisher is subjected to preventative maintenance activities, tests and periodic inspection.
This Australian Standard describes the specific events, criteria or intervals when an extinguisher must be maintained.
The maintenance record documents the frequency of these inspections (a yellow tag fixed securely against the fire extinguisher) by marking and stamping a number representing the maintenance activity that was performed. It is done in the following interval.
1 – 6-Monthly
2 – Yearly
4 – 5-Yearly
5 – After Usage
Most fire extinguishers must be tested, inspected and discharged by a licensed facility, as they are pressure vessels. The approval is doled out for any condition that may render the vessel unsafe and dangerous.
For most common classes of fire, portable fire extinguishers are utilized as the first item of response. They are located throughout a commercial building for equipping the occupants with the means of responding to a fire still in its early stages. In domestic circumstances, households must have both fire blankets and a Dry Chemical Powder [Class AB(E)] fire extinguisher. According to the Australian Standard AS1851, fire extinguishers must be maintained periodically.
TYPES OF FIRE EXTINGUISHERS WE SUPPLY & INSTALL
If the right fire equipment is close at hand a fire can usually be controlled before it takes hold. Aegis Safe offer a wide range of portable fire extinguishers to suit all types and classes of fires.
In Australia, fire extinguishers are required in all buildings other than houses. Fire extinguishers are required to be serviced and inspected by a Fire Protection Service company at 6 monthly intervals. Some jurisdictions require more frequent service for fire extinguishers. The technician places a tag on the extinguisher to indicate the type of service performed (annual inspection, 6 monthly inspection, recharge, new fire extinguisher) and the time that it took place.
We supply the following types of fire extinguishers at the lowest price:
Dry Chemical Fire Extinguisher ABE (Dry powder fire extinguisher)
The Dry Chemical fire extinguisher ABE is distinguished by a white coloured band around the top of the cylinder. They are the most widely used type and are suited for fires in industrial, commercial and domestic situations including buildings, offices, shops, factories, restaurants as well as your house, boat, garage, car or caravan.
Wet Chemical Fire Extinguisher
The Wet chemical fire extinguisher is red with an oatmeal coloured band. This fire extinguisher uses an aqueous solution that is discharged in a fine spray to the surface of Class F fires such as fats and oils.
Water Fire Extinguisher
The Water fire extinguisher is completely red with no coloured band. They are effective against Class A fires that involve materials like paper, wood, plastics, rubber or textiles.
Foam Fire Extinguisher
The Foam fire extinguishers is red with a blue band. They are effective against fires of Class A and Class B which involve paper, wood, plastics, rubber, petrol, oil, textiles and paints.
Carbon Dioxide CO2 Fire Extinguisher
The CO2 fire extinguisher is red with a black coloured band. They are recommended for use in Class E fires that involve energised electronic equipment.
THE TYPES OF FIRES – FIRE CLASSES
There are many different types of fire extinguishers. They come in different shapes and sizes and use different substances to put out different types of fires. The different agents used in fire extinguishers exist to combat the different types of fires that commonly occur. There are 6 main types or classes of fires and each has a specific type of fire extinguisher that should be used to extinguish it.
Class A Fires: Ordinary Combustibles e.g. wood or paper
Class B Fires: Flammable and combustible liquids e.g. grease or gasoline
Class C Fires: Flammable gases
Class D Fires: Combustible metals
Class E Fires: Electrically energised equipment
Class F Fires: Cooking oils and fats
There are a number of types of portable fire extinguishers available in Australia. Each type of extinguisher may be rated for one or more classes of fire. It is very important to know what types of fire extinguishers can be used in which situations. Using the wrong fire extinguisher can be completely ineffective against certain classes of fire and can even be very dangerous if used against the wrong fire class.
As mentioned earlier, portable fire extinguishers come in a range of different sizes and ratings. The higher the rating the larger the fire it can be used on. The fire extinguishers that have the higher ratings are usually larger and heavier themselves and can be more difficult to handle and require the user to have more strength.
It is always recommended that the fire extinguisher you buy is approved to the relevant Australian Standards.
The impact that fire can have on people and property can be greatly reduced by having the appropriate Fire Protection Systems, Fire Protection Equipment and a safe initial response to any fire situations. Fire extinguisher should only be used within the capability of the fire extinguisher. They must be the correct type of fire extinguisher for the particular type of fire and they must be used correctly.
THE PORTABLE FIRE EXTINGUISHER
A portable fire extinguisher is an active fire protection device that is used to extinguish or control small fires. They are most often required and used in emergency situations. Fire extinguishers are not intended to be used large fires or fires that are out-of-control. They are to be used to prevent fires and to control fires as they are just starting or small. A fire extinguisher should not be used if the user will be endangered in any way. If the fire cannot be controlled by the fire extinguisher the fire brigade should be called as soon as possible.
A portable fire extinguisher generally consists of a hand-held cylindrical pressure vessel that contains an agent which can be discharged to control or extinguish a fire.
The main type of fire extinguisher is the stored pressure fire extinguisher. In this fire extinguisher the expellant is stored in the same chamber as the firefighting agent itself. With dry chemical extinguishers, nitrogen is typically used; water and foam extinguishers typically use air. While there are other types of fire extinguisher the stored pressure fire extinguisher is the most common type.
Fire extinguishers are further divided into handheld and cart-mounted, also called wheeled extinguishers. Handheld extinguishers weigh from 0.5 to 14 kilograms, and are easily portable by hand. Cart-mounted units typically weigh over 23 kilograms. These wheeled models are most commonly found at construction sites, large factories, workshops, refineries, airports as well as docks and marinas.
DRY CHEMICAL FIRE EXTINGUISHER ABE – DRY POWDER FIRE EXTINGUISHER ABE
The dry chemical fire extinguisher works by discharging a fine powder that absorbs fuel molecules that deprive the fire of a fuel source.
Dry Chemical Fire Extinguishers ABE are available in a range of sizes for commercial, industrial and domestic environments including:
1kg dry chemical fire extinguisher
1.5kg dry chemical fire extinguisher
2kg dry chemical fire extinguisher
2.5kg dry chemical fire extinguisher
4.5kg dry chemical fire extinguisher
9kg dry chemical fire extinguisher
The dry chemical fire extinguisher ABE range also offers:
4.5 kg dry chemical fire extinguisher High Performance
9kg dry chemical fire extinguisher High Performance
The Dry Chemical Fire Extinguisher ABE is suitable for the following types of fire:
Class A – Paper, textiles, wood, most plastics & rubber
Class B – Flammable liquids
Class C – Combustible gases
Class E – Electrically energised equipment
CO2 FIRE EXTINGUISHER
The CO2 Fire Extinguisher is distinguished by a black coloured band around the top of the cylinder. CO2 is a non-conductive and non-corrosive gas that works by reducing the amount of oxygen available to the fire. CO2 is extracted from the atmosphere and stored at high pressure in the liquid state within a fire extinguisher.
CO2 is ideal for fires involving electrical equipment and will also extinguish class B liquid fires, but does not keep the fire cool so the fire could re-ignite.
We offer a range of CO2 fire extinguishers:
2kg CO2 fire extingiusher
3.5kg CO2 fire extinguisher
5kg CO2 fire extingiusher
45kg CO2 fire extinguisher
The CO2 Fire Extinguisher is suitable for the following types of fires:
Class B – Flammable liquids
Class E – Electrically energised equipment
WET CHEMICAL FIRE EXTINGUISHER
Wet Chemical Fire Extinguishers, marked by an oatmeal coloured band, are effective against fires involving cooking oils and fats.
They employ an agent that reacts with burning cooking oil or fat to form a suds-like blanket across the fuel surface, cutting off the fire’s air supply and preventing the release of flammable vapours.
Specialist extinguisher for class F fires.
Aegis Safe can offer you our Wet Chemical Fire Extinguishers in two sizes. The 7 litre is ideal for large cooking and food processing applications, and the 3.5 litre is ideal for restaurant kitchens.
Wet Chemical Fire Extinguishers are suitable for the following types of fires:
Class A – Paper, textiles, wood, most plastics and rubber
Class F – Cooking oils or fats
WATER FIRE EXTINGUISHERS
Water Fire Extinguishers are completely red with no coloured band
Water Fire Extinguishers discharge a stream of water onto the fire, lowering the temperature of the burning material to below ignition point. The cheapest and most widely used fire extinguishers. Used for Class A fires. Not suitable for Class B (Liquid) fires, or where electricity is involved.
Water options are available in a 9.1 litre size.
Water Fire Extinguishers are suitable for the following types of fires:
Class A – Paper, textiles, wood, most plastics & rubber
FOAM FIRE EXTINGUISHERS
Foam fire extinguishers are marked with a blue band.
Foam fire extinguishers work by covering a burning flammable liquid with a blanket of foam, cutting off the fire’s air supply and preventing the release of flammable vapours.
More expensive than water, but more versatile. Used for Classes A & B fires. Foam spray extinguishers are not recommended for fires involving electricity, but are safer than water if inadvertently sprayed onto live electrical apparatus.
Foam options are available in a 9.1 litre size.
Foam Fire Extinguishers are suitable for the following types of fires:
Class A – Paper, textiles, wood, most plastics & rubber
Class B – Flammable liquids
FIRE EXTINGUISHER QUALITY
Quells range of quality fire extinguishers are lightweight, easy to use and are certified to Australian Standard AS 1841 and feature:
• Steel handle and trigger
• Durable polyester powder coated finish
• Steel safety pin with nylon lock to prevent accidental discharge
• Forged brass head
• Shock absorbing base
TYPES OF FIRES
Fires are classified as type “A” or “B” or “E” fires in our environment. Class A fires are burning solids like wood, paper etc. Class B fires are burning liquids like Petrol and Class E fires are Electrical fires. There are other fire types (“C” – Gas fires, “D” – metal fires, “F” – cooking fats). Extinguishers are marked with the classes of fire they can be used on. They also give an indication of how big a fire they can deal with, eg: 4A(E) says the extinguisher can deal with a small class “A” fire and is also suitable for electrical fires. The bigger the number the bigger the fire. You should know the ratings of all your extinguishers – in particular, you should know which ones have the “E” rating, since this is the most likely kind of fire in our building! For (hopefully) obvious reasons, water based extinguishers can not be used on electrical fires, or near powered equipment. Be sensible and cautious – even if you believe the burning computer is now unplugged – treat it as live.
SOLIDS such as paper, wood, plastic etc
FLAMMABLE LIQUIDS such as paraffin, petrol, oil etc
FLAMMABLE GASES such as propane, butane, methane etc
METALS such as aluminium, magnesium, titanium etc
Fires involving ELECTRICAL APPARATUS
Cooking OIL & FAT etc
Fire safety is all about vigilance and preparation so our company provides different fire extinguisher s to put out all 6 different classes of fires as outlined by the FPAA. Here is a list of some of our offerings the fires they put our most effectively.
Air-Water Fire Extinguishers – puts out most class A fires by discharging to water to dampen the burning fuel
CO2 extinguisher puts out class B fires by displacing oxygen in the air preventing a fire from burning. This type is especially good for electronic fires
Foam extinguishers are effective on different classes of fire due to the versatile properties of foams. It can dampen the fuel source or smother making it a must around kitchens and other areas dealing with flammable liquids
Dry powder extinguishers are even more versatile due to the unique powder agent this type can take care of most Class A-F fires.
Effective types of Fire Extinguishers for Electrical Fires
Electrical fires have the added hazard of the potential for electrocution while extinguishing it. For this reason our company offers a line of extinguisher models made specifically to fight electrical fires. Here are two of our main models
Air Water Fire Extinguishers: This type uses de-ionized water which reduces risk of electrocution
Foam Fire Extinguishers: Foam extinguishers are multipurpose and due to its insulating properties are perfect for dealing with an electrical fire.
Some fires are so dangerous and volatile they need special extinguishers to put them out. This is especially true of fires started by combusting chemicals that may be toxic in nature or will only become more volatile if more common purpose extinguishers are used.
Extinguishers need to be pressure tested every six years. This can be done by a registered fire extinguisher service organisation.
If an extinguisher is discharged, even partially, it needs to be refilled by a registered fire extinguisher service organisation. Protect your business or property today with our fire extinguisher service Sydney.
HOW TO USE A FIRE EXTINGUISHER
In general, extinguishers are simple to use. You’ll have to remove a locking mechanism of some kind (usually a pin) , aim at the base of the fire, and activate (usually by squeezing s lever/handle). When you are finished with the extinguisher, do not place it back in it’s holder – lie it down – this is recognized as a sign the extinguisher is “dead”. The Chief Warden must be notified of any use of an extinguisher (so it can get refilled). Even if you use one and the gauge still shows “green”, the extinguisher is dead, is to be laid down and needs re-charging.
Note that one extinguisher does not put out much fire. If the fire is large, you will place yourself in great danger in attempting to deal with it – extinguishers are suitable for small fires only. It is probably a good plan to carry two extinguishers to the fire – one as a backup. Even better is to have a “buddy” with an extinguisher behind you. Extinguishers sometimes don’t work!
Note that extinguishers operate only at short distances. This means you need to get close to the fire. This should ring warning bells! If you are going to try to deal with a fire personally, make sure someone else has gone to raise the alarm – you may need rescuing in the very near future. When in doubt GET OUT (but close the door when leaving, to help contain the fire). You can also purchase fire doors and fire hydrants at an optimal price.
To actually use an extinguisher – remember “PASS”:
P – Pull the pin (and give it a “squirt” to make sure it’s going to actually work)
A – Aim the extinguisher at the base of the fire
S – Squeeze the handle
S – Sweep back and forth, extinguishing as you go
Safe Operating of Fire Extinguishers
Poor maintenance and incorrect usage of fire extinguishers in the home are two key reasons small house fires can spread endangering lives and causing considerable damage to property. House fires can be brought under control within the first few minutes of ignition if attended to correctly with an extinguisher that is well maintained, which can buy valuable time before the Fire Brigade arrives.
Portable fire extinguishers
There are a number of different types of portable fire extinguishers, each can be identified by the colour coding and labelling.
How to operate a fire extinguisher
There are four (4) basic steps for using modern portable fire extinguishers.
The acronym PASS is used to describe these four basic steps.
Pull pin at the top of the extinguisher, breaking the seal. When in place, the pin keeps the handle from being pressed and accidentally operating the extinguisher. Immediately test the extinguisher. (Aiming away from the operator) This is to ensure the extinguisher works and also shows the operator how far the stream travels
Approach the fire standing at a safe distance. Aim the nozzle or outlet towards the base of the fire.
Squeeze the handles together to discharge the extinguishing agent inside. To stop discharge, release the handles.
Sweep the nozzle from side to side as you approach the fire, directing the extinguishing agent at the base of the flames. After an A Class fire is extinguished, probe for smouldering hot spots that could reignite the fuel.
Always test the extinguisher before proceeding to the fire.
Remember that you only have seconds to extinguish the fire, not minutes, but only do so if it is safe and you are trained to.
The rule of thumb is if you can not put a fire out with one extinguisher then the fire is too big to fight
The Australian Standard 2444 (AS 2444) Portable Fire Extinguishers and Fire Blankets selection and location will provide comprehensive information.
Ensure everyone in the home/office knows the location of all extinguishers and how to use them.
Fire Extinguisher Tips
Ensure everyone in the home/office knows the location of all extinguishers and how to use them.
Extinguishers need to be pressure tested every six years by a registered fire extinguisher service organisation.
Check that there are no blockages to the nozzle or outlet.
If you have a Dry Chemical Powder fire extinguisher (red with a white band or label). Turn the extinguisher upside down for 10 minutes every six months to ensure that the powder is free flowing.
Replace the extinguisher in case of rust.
If an extinguisher is discharged, even partially, it needs to be refilled by a registered fire extinguisher service organisation.
Operational safe working practices (If safe to do so)
Remove the safety pin by pulling it sharply (this also breaks the plastic seal). Test to ensure that the extinguisher is operable immediately after removing from mounting bracket.
Always try to work in pairs for safety.
Carry or drag extinguisher to the scene of the fire.
Hold the hose near the nozzle or hold any moulded handles.
Squeeze the handles together to completely discharge the contents onto the seat of the fire.
Operate extinguishers at their maximum effective distance.
Never stand in an open doorway when attempting to extinguish a fire. This is usually the ventilation point for smoke, heat and steam, and could cause injury to the operator.
Always back away from a fire
Always lay the extinguisher down on its side when empty.
Do not touch the metal components of the Carbon Dioxide extinguisher, due to the build up of “dry ice” as frostbite may occur.
Avoid pointing Carbon Dioxide extinguisher applicators at people. If the extinguisher is accidentally operated, frostbite to the face and eyes may occur.
After Carbon Dioxide extinguishers have been operated into a confined space, the level of oxygen will be reduced and suffocation may occur if the operator remains or the area is entered prematurely.
AFFF (Foam) extinguishers must not be used on deep seated cooking oil/fat fires, due to the water’s conversion to steam, with a possible violent ejection of burning fuel from the container.
Do not discharge water onto suspect electrical type fires. Water is an excellent conductor of electricity and you may be electrocuted.
Do not discharge water onto flammable liquid fires, as flammable liquid floats on water and this may cause the fire to spread.
When a wet chemical extinguisher has been discharged in a kitchen, all people should leave the area due to the wet chemical vapours causing Broncho Constriction”.
N.B. Ensure that an authorised fire servicing company provides ongoing inspections and maintenance on all fire fighting equipment.
After use requirements
Lay the extinguisher down out of the way after use.
Do not place empty extinguisher/s back on the hook.
Replace with the same type of extinguisher (should a spare be available).
Arrange empty extinguisher/s to be serviced / refilled as soon as possible.
Report the use of the fire extinguisher to the Fire safety Officer or Supervisor.
Our range of fire protection equipment is of the highest quality.
Make sure your fire systems are safe and compliant today!
Our fire services are designed to protect you and save you time, money and effort.
Contact us today for a free quote.
About Aegis Safe
Your safety and peace of mind is our objective. Aegis Safe has been helping our clients protect their staff and property with our full range of comprehensive fire protection solutions since 2009. We specialise in installing, inspecting, testing, diagnosing and repairing fire protection systems.