37 Fire Extinguisher Facts Only Fire Fighters Know

Oluniyi Akande
Oct 12, 2023 By Oluniyi Akande
Originally Published on Feb 09, 2022
Fire extinguishers facts can significantly reduce the effects fire can have, but only when they are properly maintained and used accordingly.
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Age: 3-18
Read time: 5.4 Min

Having a fire extinguisher ready in your home is an essential part of your daily routine.

Homeowners, landlords, store owners, and car owners usually keep fire extinguishers in their kitchens, as well as in their trunks. Let's look at a few good-to-know facts about fire extinguishers.

Because fire prevention is a must, fire extinguisher facts are supremely useful for the general public. This article aims to present some interesting facts about the various types of extinguishers.

Many people assume that 'a fire is a fire' when discussing fire safety. But, as it turns out, there are five different types of fires, according to the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety.

The reason for this is not all class K extinguishers can extinguish all types of fires. As a result, different kinds of electrical fire systems are available for such situations, also known as fire control systems.

Class A: Burning flammable solids like paper and wood.

Class B: Flammable liquids like petrol and paint.

Class C: Flammable gases such as propane and butane.

Class D: Flammable metals like lithium and magnesium.

Class E: Electrical equipment fire.

Class F: Fires caused by cooking oil or fat.

Fire Extinguisher Discovery

In the early 200s BC, Ctesibius of Alexandria invented a hand pump capable of delivering water to a fire. The Romans used bucket chains to pass buckets from one person to the next. As a result, squirt guns to spray water on fires began in the Middle Ages.

  • Pyrene created the carbon tetrachloride evaporator in 1912, which dispenses the liquid directly onto small fires using a hand pump.
  • The soda-acid extinguisher, containing 1-2 gal (4.5-9 l) of water with sodium bicarbonate mixed in, was invented in the late nineteenth century. An enlarger cylinder was filled with highly concentrated sulphuric acid.
  • Currently, AFO Fireball fire extinguishers are available on the market. However, if you're looking for something that doesn't use a canister to hold the agent under pressure and release it when pressed by a lever and pointed at the fire, this isn't what you're looking for.

Different Types Of Fire Extinguishers

Although eight different types of fire extinguishers are available, some are less known than others due to their highly specialized uses.

  • It is indicated by an A, B, C, D, or K mark on the extinguisher that it is intended to put out a specific type of fire. If you don't use a suitable fire extinguisher for the fire, you risk making it worse.
  • Fires such as paper, wood, straw, coal, rubber, solid plastics, and other soft furnishings, can be extinguished with water-fire extinguishers.
  • Using water, these extinguishers put out the flames by soaking the flammable materials in them.
  • Using them extinguishes flames and absorbs heat from burning objects.
  • They can be used both commercially and in commercial kitchens at home.
  • Despite their small size, the water mist extinguishers are extremely powerful, even while extinguishing flammable liquid fires.
  • These can be used on any Class A, B, C, and F fires without causing any harm.
  • Electrical fires caused by electrical equipment up to 1,000 volts can also be put out with this type of fire extinguisher.
  • There are water spray fire extinguishers available in tanks of 0.79-1.5 gal (3-6 l).
  • These extinguishers are useful against fires involving organic solids like wood or cloth.
  • In solids and liquids, foam extinguishers smooth out the fire, but they are unsuitable for burning cooking oils or fats.
  • Foam extinguishers can be used to extinguish electrical fires.
  • Solid, liquid, and gasoline fires can all be put out with dry chemical extinguishers.
  • Dry chemical extinguishers can also tackle metallic fires.
  • It is best to use wet chemical extinguishers on fires caused by cooking oil and fats, as they release water mists. In both personal and professional kitchens, these are most commonly used.
  • Burning liquids and electrical fires can benefit from carbon dioxide extinguishers, which contain only pressurized carbon dioxide gas.
  • Short circuits or damage to electrical items are not a problem with them.
The right portable fire extinguisher can put out hundreds of fires per day. Knowing how to use it and when to use it can save a building or even a life.

How To Use A Fire Extinguisher

Release the locking mechanism of the fire extinguisher while holding the extinguisher with the nozzle pointing away from you. Aim low, while pointing the hose or nozzle at the fire's base.

  • Don't touch the horn portion of a CO2 extinguisher; it becomes extremely cold and can cause skin damage.
  • Instead, squeeze the handle to release the extinguishing agent.
  • Then, sweep the nozzle from side to side at the fire's base as well as the fuel source, until the fire is extinguished.
  • Before going near a fire, always check your fire extinguisher to ensure it's working properly.
  • Fire extinguishers should be checked and tagged with the inspection date every year by a competent contractor.

Fun Facts About Fire Extinguishers

As with other monitoring and alarm systems, extinguishers must be examined periodically to ensure their proper operation. In addition, unused fire extinguishers can deteriorate over time. If you try to use a depleted extinguisher in a time of crisis, it won't do what it's supposed to.

  • Using an extinguisher without proper training can result in more harm than good.
  • To be effective, extinguisher training must cover all aspects of extinguisher use, including making sure you are is strong enough to pick up, hold, and use the extinguisher.
  • To put out a large or spreading fire, fire extinguishers aren't meant to be used because of aesthetics, safety concerns, or a lack of storage space.
  • A fire extinguisher has to be large enough to put out the blaze.
  • It must be readily available, fully functional, and charged. Fire extinguishers aren't the only tools you should have on hand when fighting a blaze.
  • Sprinkler systems in the ceiling, smoke detectors, fire monitoring, and other aids can all help ensure that any fire emergency receives rapid and skilled care in the field of fire protection.
  • Ideally, fire extinguishers should be placed in easily accessible areas that are both highly visible and properly marked so that people of all heights may easily reach them.
  • In addition, extinguisher signs should be accompanied by printed instructions in large print.

Did You Know...

In 1723, a German chemist named Ambrose Godfrey created the world's first patentable fire extinguisher in London. After that, the liquid was ejected using gunpowder and fuses.

  • As a fashion statement, fire extinguishers are a big hit. As a result, furniture made out of extinguishers is common. Examples include lamps and tables, as well as grills.
  • Potassium carbonate and compressed air were used to extinguish the first portable fire extinguisher in 1818.

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Written by Oluniyi Akande

Doctorate specializing in Veterinary Medicine

Oluniyi Akande picture

Oluniyi AkandeDoctorate specializing in Veterinary Medicine

With an accomplished background as a Veterinarian, SEO content writer, and public speaker, Oluniyi brings a wealth of skills and experience to his work. Holding a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from the University of Ibadan, he provides exceptional consulting services to pet owners, animal farms, and agricultural establishments. Oluniyi's impressive writing career spans over five years, during which he has produced over 5000 high-quality short- and long-form pieces of content. His versatility shines through as he tackles a diverse array of topics, including pets, real estate, sports, games, technology, landscaping, healthcare, cosmetics, personal loans, debt management, construction, and agriculture.

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