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Different Types of Fire Extinguishers

Posted on: January 4, 2021
Fire extinguisher in parking garage.

It’s vital to have the right fire extinguisher, whether you are protecting your home or your business. When it comes to fire extinguishers, no two systems are created equal. If you choose the wrong system, you just might find that your extinguisher won’t put out the flames, and your hard work and memories will burn up in the blaze. At United Fire Protection, it’s our mission to help you choose the most appropriate fire extinguisher for your needs and the potential fire hazards you may face.

Types of Fire Extinguishers 

ABC fire extinguishers are general-purpose devices. They are capable of putting out wood, cloth, paper, and non-metallic trash fires. They can extinguish petroleum fires, solvent fires, and alcohol fires. They can also stop an electrical fire in its tracks.

Class K fire extinguishers are well suited for putting out cooking oil fires. Their wet chemical composition makes them highly effective at smothering vegetable oil, olive oil, canola oil, etc. If you operate a restaurant or love to cook at home, it’s imperative to have a Class K fire extinguisher in the kitchen.

CO2 fire extinguishers use carbon dioxide to deprive a growing fire of the oxygen it needs to spread. As the CO2 disperses, it also cools the fire, which further helps slow combustion. Because CO2 extinguishers don’t use wet chemicals, they are ideal for electrical fires or fuel fires. These are perfect for any location, and you will find them positioned in schools, hospitals, retail shops, office buildings, gas stations, and more.

Halotron fire extinguishers are ideal for aviation, educational facilities, warehouses, and more. Halotron systems are known as “clean agent” systems. This means they won’t leave a residue behind when discharged. The agent does not conduct heat or electricity, so there is no risk of thermal or electric shock. This makes them ideal for smothering electrical fires.

Halon fire extinguishers are rare, but you can still purchase these systems. They are suitable for Class B and Class C fires. Many halon systems utilize Halon 1301, Halon 1211, or Halon 1211/1301 blends. These are ideal for use against flammable liquids or electrical fires. 

When it comes to fire extinguishers, one size does not fit all risks. In fact, it’s advisable to have multiple types of fire extinguishers installed throughout your home or business to ensure that you have proper protection. At home, installing an ABC device beside the fireplace, a CO2 extinguisher in the garage, and a Class K extinguisher in the kitchen can give you superior protection. 

The same is true at your place of business. Placing an ABC fire extinguisher in the office, a CO2 system beside fuel supplies and a halon system beside chemical storage cabinets can protect you against the ever-present threat of fire.     

Naturally, many homeowners and businesses consider these factors when determining which fire extinguishers to purchase and where to place them. However, many also mistakenly believe that an untouched fire extinguisher will remain at the ready for forever. That’s not true. Pressurized CO2, wet chemical, and pressurized water systems must be inspected for damage and proper pressurization monthly and tested at five years. Dry chemical extinguishers should be hydrostatically tested every 12 years.

Contact United Fire Protection at (407) 218-8348 for more information about the fire extinguishers we offer and recommend to our clients. It is our pleasure to help you identify the best systems for your home, business, boat, or airplane. 

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