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To ensure safety in businesses, educational institutions, and residential settings, fire extinguisher training is essential. Using a fire extinguisher correctly can help stop little fires from growing into major catastrophes. 

Types of Fires

Selecting the appropriate fire suppression techniques and efficiently preventing fires require an understanding of the many types of fires. Several classifications are used to categorize fires according to the fuel under fire. The following are common fire classes, which are typically denoted by letters:

  1. Class A Fires: Common combustibles like wood, paper, fabric, rubber, and many polymers are the source of these kinds of flames. These materials produce ash as they burn.
  1. Class B Fires: Paints, oil, grease, petrol and other flammable substances are the sources of these kinds of fires. This also includes flammable gasses like propane and butane. These materials do not produce ash as they burn.
  1. Class C Fires: Transformers, motors, computers, and other electrical appliances are examples of the kind of appliances that can catch fire. The possibility of electrical shock makes these flames potentially dangerous.
  1. Class D Fires: These can be found in flammable metals including potassium, magnesium, titanium, and aluminum. These metals have the potential to react explosively with water and other substances, and they can burn at very high temperatures.
  1. Class K Fires: These are found in cooking fats and oils, as those used in kitchens and deep fryers. 

Types of Fires Extinguisher

A vital tool for stopping the spread of small flames is a fire extinguisher. But not every fire is the same, and different kinds of extinguishers are made to put out particular kinds of fires. Here is a thorough rundown of the several kinds of fire extinguishers that are commonly encountered and their applications:

  1.  Water Fire Extinguisher: It is not recommended to use these kinds of fire extinguishers on Class B or C fires; they are exclusively for Class A fires. Appropriate for flames involving solid organic items like paper, fabric, wood, and some types of plastic.
  1. Carbon Dioxide(CO2) Fire Extinguisher: With an extremely cold discharge, carbon dioxide fire extinguishers remove both the heat and the oxygen component of the fire triangle, putting out the fire. It is not recommended to use these kinds of fire extinguishers on Class A fires; they are exclusively for Class B and C fires.
  1. Dry Chemical Fire Extinguisher: These types of extinguishers are the most popular kind, known as ABC extinguishers and are seen in residences and other types of buildings. It affects the chemical reaction of the fire and works well on electrical equipment, flammable liquids, and ordinary combustibles.
  1. Wet Chemical Fire Extinguisher: These types of extinguishers use a combination of chemical reaction, barrier formation, and cooling to put out a fire. Although it is primarily intended to put out high-temperature cooking medium flames, it can also be used to fight Class A fires.
  1. Clean Agent Fire Extinguishers: Halon extinguishers or Clean Agent Extinguishers are still utilized in some specialized applications, however they have been mostly phased out due to environmental concerns. They interrupt the chemical reaction of the fire. These extinguishers primarily work on class B and C, sometimes they also work on class A fires. 
  1. Metal/Sand Fire Extinguishers: These types of extinguishers use a special extinguishing solution designed for the type of metal involved to smother and cool the fire. These extinguishers primarily work on class D and fires involving metals that catch fire, such as sodium, magnesium, titanium, and aluminum.
  1. Water Mist Fire Extinguishers: Water Mist Extinguishers help in cooling & oxygen Displacement. They can be used on class A and C fires to lessen the amount of oxygen surrounding the fire and to cool it down.

How to use a Fire Extinguisher

In a fire emergency, knowing how to use a fire extinguisher properly can be very important. A small fire can be contained or put out with the right technique before it grows out of control and causes more damage. The PASS method, which stands for Pull, Aim, Squeeze, and Sweep, is the standard technique taught for operating the majority of fire extinguisher types. Using a fire extinguisher is explained in detail below:

  1. Pull the Pin: A pin at the top of the extinguisher keeps the handle from being inadvertently squeezed. To release the seal and make the extinguisher ready for use, pull out the pin.
  1. Aim the Nozzle: Instead of aiming at the flames, aim the hose or nozzle at the fire’s base. Targeting the fire’s fuel rather than the flames themselves is the goal of effective firefighting.
  1. Squeeze the Handle: To release the extinguishing agent, squeeze the handle or trigger. By using the hose or nozzle, this will release the extinguishing agent from the extinguisher.
  1. Sweep from Side to Side: Sweep the nozzle side to side to apply the extinguishing agent to the fire’s region while keeping your aim at its base. Once the fire has been totally put out, keep releasing the agent. Watch the fire area closely, and be prepared to put out further fire if it decides to start again.

The Rules of Fighting Fires

For safe and efficient firefighting, it is essential to have a thorough awareness of the fundamental guidelines and safety procedures. Regardless matter whether they are battling a fire at home or at work, everyone should be aware of these basic guidelines:

  1. Assess the Situation: Determine if the fire is contained and small enough for you to try putting it out on your own. It is preferable to flee and call professional firemen if the fire has grown quickly or has moved beyond the original area. Make sure there is an unobstructed, safe, and obvious escape path. Never let the fire get in the way of your escape.
  1. Alert & Alarm: Sound the alarm right away or warn other occupants of the building. As soon as a fire is discovered, someone needs to contact the fire service. While the emergency services are on their way, larger structures should adhere to the prearranged evacuation procedures.
  1. Choose the Right Fire Extinguisher: Use the proper kind of fire extinguisher for the substance that is catching fire. Using the incorrect kind could worsen the fire or possibly endanger the person using it. Make sure the extinguisher is in good operating order right away.
  1. Safety First: Evacuate right away if the fire does not start to go out right away or if it rekindles. Fires have the tendency to rekindle even after they appear to be out. As you leave, keep a watch on the area. Recognise the risks associated with smoke and harmful vapors. If you must move through smoke, stay low to the ground where the air is cleaner and colder.
  1. Post Fire Protocol: Ventilate the space to remove any smoke and gasses created during the combustion process after the fire has been put out. Once the flames are extinguished, don’t assume everything is secure. Hot places can flare up again. Even after a little fire, have the fire department investigate the area. Notify building management or the appropriate authorities about the occurrence. Examine what transpired and what safety and response measures might be strengthened going forward.
  1. Training & Drills: To guarantee that everyone is aware of what to do in the event of a fire, regular fire safety training and fire drills are held. Frequent training sessions can greatly increase self-assurance and safety, lowering anxiety and injuries in the event of a real fire.

In a fire emergency, following these guidelines can significantly improve your safety and efficacy. When in doubt, always put life safety before property protection and get expert assistance.