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Am I Prepared For Using A Fire Extinguisher?

By Darren Drogan on April 10, 2012

There could be a number of devices that could potentially save your property and the lives contained therein. Things such as smoke detectors, carbon monoxide alarms and even emergency sprinklers can all signify and sometimes eliminate hazards when they're just beginning. It's that red, shiny metallic cylinder with a hose attached to it that can really do some good. The problem that most people face is that they don't know whether they are prepared to actually use fire extinguishers.

Knowing how to use an extinguisher is almost as vital as having this device on property. Even more important is to know how to be prepared when the time does come to use a fire extinguisher. If used properly, this safety device can quickly postpone, smother and starve a fire before it has the chance to consume more burnable fuel and spread. Being able to promptly put out a fire also means that it will be that much easier to save yourself, loved ones, co-workers or anyone else in the vicinity.

The first thing that needs to be known for fire extinguisher preparation is, 'Do I have a working fire extinguisher?' Generally, extinguishers are meant to simply 'nip the bud' of a starting fire. It is not meant to fight a fully-fledged six alarm fire. The materials contained in the cylinder are generally of just enough quantity to snuff out the beginning of a blaze. Make sure that it is filled. Also make sure that the pressure gauge reads that the extinguisher is full. Over time, extinguishers lose this pressure and without it cannot fire the material that is needed to blanket and thus smother the fire.

The second thing that needs to be known is what type of extinguisher that you have. The major types are water, foam, dry powder, M28/L2, CO2 gas and wet chemical. Each type of extinguisher is manufactured to put out a select variety of fires. For example, a water extinguisher is meant simply to put out fires started by materials containing carbon, such as paper, wood and textiles. It is not rated to put out, for example, a fire started by oils. It can also spread the fuel to allow the fire to spread more rapidly and thus accelerate faster. Foam, dry powder and CO2 extinguishers are all purposed to put out these types of fires because they can coat and smother the fuel for the fire. Thus, knowing which type of extinguisher you own is just as important as knowing what is actually causing the fire. This becomes even more important if the fire is fuelled by a combination of things, such as wood and spilled oil.

The third big thing to know about fire extinguishers is the actual operating procedure. You must be aware of when to pull the safety pin, how to do it and be trained to put out the fire at the source. If you can't manage these things or you can't do them in a relatively timely manner, the fire could spread and end up costing you money and heartache.

Darren has worked in the field of health and safety for many years. During this time, he has built up his knowledge and can not stress the importance of preventative measures.For more information on fire safety including fire extinguishers and fire alarm systems, please visit Discount Fire Supplies who supply a range of fire safety equipment including fire blankets.

Original article published on SooperArticles.com

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