Fire Extinguisher

A fire extinguisher is a handheld active fire protection device usually filled with a dry or wet chemical used to extinguish or control small fires, often in emergencies. While the development of fire extinguishers was originally rudimentary, and their designs were influenced by the limited understanding of fire physics at the time, modern-day versions can be found that are considerably more effective.

The use of a fire extinguisher is intended for use on a fire which has not yet reached the ceiling. The extinguisher should be aimed at the base of the flames, or as close to them as possible.

A fire extinguisher is an active fire protection device used to extinguish or contain small fires, often in emergency situations. They are designed primarily to deal with fires involving combustible material, such as wood, paper, textiles and most kinds of plastic.

There are two main types of fire extinguishers. Stored-pressure units, where the propellant is stored in the same chamber as the firefighting agent itself and cartridge-operated units, where the expellant is stored in a separate chamber from the extinguishing agent.

Fire extinguishers have been around since the 1800s, but they haven’t really changed that much. Chemical extinguishers were first invented in 1874, and they use a chemical agent which creates a fine mist of droplets that can be sprayed on “live” or flaming fires.

Types of extinguishing agents

Dry chemical :

This is a powder-based agent that extinguishes fires by separating the three parts of the fire triangle – it prevents chemical reactions between heat and fuel, whilst keeping oxygen levels low.

When fuels are burned during combustion, they break down into highly reactive molecules called free radicals. These then react with oxygen.The substances in dry chemical extinguishers can stop this process.


Foams :

Used to put out fires, either purposefully or accidentally. Foam is more versatile than powder because it can be used in small amounts for aspirated fire suppressions or large quantities for non-aspirated ones. Unlike some other chemicals, foam does not have a noxious smell and is not toxic to humans.


Water types :

The water in fire extinguishers is very effective at fighting furniture fires and other similar kinds. Water-based extinguishers cannot be used safely on electrical fires or any type of flammable liquid.

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