A fire extinguisher is a portable, cylinder containing a fire suppression material or chemical.
Most are handheld and range from 2.5 to 20 pounds of capacity. Although some are skid or wheel mounted and can weigh as much as 350lbs. They work by introducing an inhibiting material to the fire that breaks the chemical chain reaction of combustion, thereby extinguishing the fire.
At Patriot Fire Protection, we carry a large assortment of Fire Extinguishers and can help you choose the best extinguisher for your specific hazard. Whether it’s for industrial, commercial, general business and/or marine use, we have the name brands you know and trust. Whatever your specific needs may be from portable hand-held units to large wheeled units we’ve got you covered. We also have all the parts for proper maintenance and servicing of extinguishers: gauges, valve stems, o-rings, handles, levers, tamper seals, pull pins and the list goes on. We have wall and vehicle brackets that allow you to securely mount extinguishers in the appropriate place and on even on heavy equipment or in harsh environments.
There are many different types of fire extinguishers for many different types of fires. It is extremely important to choose the correct type and size of extinguisher based on the hazard. The proper use of fire extinguishers also crucial and fire safety training cannot be emphasized enough. In order to use the device effectively your personnel will need to know what the different types of fires and extinguishers are, as not all fire extinguishers are the same. Patriot Fire Protection can help in that area too with our OSHA qualified fire training classes specifically tailored for your industry and type of business. Ask one of our knowledgeable representatives for more information to determine exactly what you need.
Types of Extinguishers
Water Fire Extinguishers
Water fire extinguishers are designed for class “A” fires only. They are filled with ordinary water and can be used against flames on wood, cloth, paper and other ordinary building materials, but should never be used to put out electric fires, flammable gas fires, burning liquids or chemicals. Water is discharged in a pressurized stream and can be used at a distance of 20 or more feet but if used improperly on the wrong type of fire can make matters worse by spreading the flames. Patriot Fire Protection’s trained experts can help you make the right choice for your situation.
Carbon Dioxide Extinguishers
Carbon dioxide fire extinguishers are rated for class B and C fires only. CO2 is a pressurized, non-flammable gas that works by cooling the surface of flammable liquids and temporarily displacing oxygen, thereby breaking the chain reaction and starving the fire.
Carbon dioxide is discharged as a white cloud of “snow” or smoke and is effective on flammable liquid fires and electrical fires. Carbon Dioxide is clean, non-contaminating, odorless and, safe for use on clothing, equipment, or valuable documents. Along with the hand-held sizes that discharge at a distance of several feet, Carbon Dioxide extinguishers are also available in larger wheeled configurations. Please call or inquire by email for information on ordering a wheeled unit.
Dry Chemical Fire Extinguishers
Dry chemical fire extinguishers are a mix of pressurized nitrogen and usually a type of powder composite. These are generally the most economical fire extinguishers and can be used to put out the most classes of fire compared to other agents.
1. Multipurpose Dry Chemical
Effective on Class A, B, and C Fires, Multipurpose dry chemical or ABC fire extinguishers contain a specially fluidized and siliconized mono ammonium phosphate chemical. It insulates Class A fires by melting at approximately 350°F, coating the surface and seeping into the porous cavities of Class A material to which it is applied, starving the fire of oxygen and preventing re-flash. It coats the surface of burning liquids, smothering & breaking the chain reaction of Class B fires and it will not conduct electricity so can be used effectively on Class C fires as well.
2. Regular Dry Chemical
Regular dry chemical fire extinguishers contain a siliconized sodium bicarbonate based dry chemical with free flowing and non-caking additives. This chemical smothers fires in Class B flammable liquids, is non reactive and is electrically nonconductive for Class C fires.
3. Purple K Dry Chemical
Purple K Dry Chemical Fire Extinguishers are the preferred firefighting choice of the oil, gas, chemical, and utilities industries. These extinguishers contain specially fluidized and siliconized potassium bicarbonate dry chemical which is designed for and is particularly effective on “Class B flammable liquids” and “pressurized gases”. It is also electrically non-conductive for Class C fires and is UL Listed and U.S. Coast Guard approved for marine applications.
4. Class D Dry Chemical
Yes, metal can burn! Certain metals fall into the category of Class D fires. You might be surprised to know that many types of metal shavings, flakes or dust can burn quite readily when exposed to flame. (Iron, Aluminum and Steel are among the most common) Class D dry powder extinguishers are suitable for use on these and other burning metal fires and work by smothering the fire so as to break the chemical chain reaction by depriving the fire of oxygen.
Class D fires can burn white hot, are extremely difficult to extinguish and can even be dangerous if personnel attempt extinguishment without a Class D extinguisher. Consult one of our knowledgeable professionals on the best type of chemical for your Class D hazard.
5. Foam Extinguishers
Foam extinguishers are rated for Classes ‘A’ & ‘B’ fires, having the ability to contain and put out fires from combustible building materials and flammable liquids. When sprayed on a flame covered material the foam spreads and covers the material, forming a film that coats and neutralizes the fire on both liquid and solid materials.
6. Clean Gas Extinguishers
Clean Gas Agents such as Halon, FM200, FE 36 and Halatron are typically used in applications where not just fire can cause damage but also residue from the extinguishing agent. They are odorless, colorless and leave no chemical residue behind after extinguishing the fire. Clean Agent Extinguishers are used when eliminating the possibility of damaging computer servers, electronic data and other critical or sensitive components is paramount. Clean gas agents are also used for the protection of aircraft, valuable artwork, historic documents and even police evidence rooms. They are normally in liquid form when stored under pressure in a fire extinguisher but quickly transition to gas when discharged, combining with available oxygen in the air, converting it into another form of gas and suffocating the fire. Prolonged exposure should be avoided when clean agent extinguishers are used due to depleted oxygen levels near the fire.
7. Wheeled Extinguishers
Wheeled Fire Extinguishers are designed to protect high fire-risk areas where the potential for large and rapidly expanding fires exist. These heavy-duty units have greater extinguishing agent capacities than handheld extinguishers, yet are highly mobile and can be fully operated by just one person. Typical applications of wheeled fire extinguishers include: airports, bulk material handling, steel mills, Liquid Natural Gas facilities, bulk petroleum product storage, oil refineries, oil recycling and heavy manufacturing areas. Wheeled fire extinguishers have long hand hoses for getting large amounts of chemical into remote or hard to reach areas, often with limited personnel on site. They can be ordered in a variety of different agent types including dry chemical, foam and even clean agent categories. Patriot Fire Protection’s expert personnel can help you decide which is the best suited for your particular hazard.