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What is inside a fire extinguisher & which one should you hang on your wall.

Posted on: August 11, 2017

How to chose a fire extinguisher based on what is inside it.

What is inside a fire extinguisher?  It is water?  Snow?  Some kind of white gas that magically makes fires go out?

Well sort of. Fire extinguishers come in lots of different types because there are lots of different types of fires.  For example: have you ever heard someone tell you not to put water on a grease-fire?  Have you ever thought about what water might do to an electrical fire in a room full of expensive computers.  Well the answer to those questions have an effect on the kind of fire extinguisher you might find on the walls of their respective rooms.  Fire extinguishers have their own nomenclature. The most common kind of household fire extinguisher is an ABC tank.  A= Common flammable stuff like plastics, paper, cardboard.  B= flammable liquids like gas, kerosene, and motor oil.  C= electronics.  In general, an ABC fire extinguisher will work on the fires you might see in your house (except for grease-fires).  The agent inside the extinguishers is called monoammonium phosphate and it’s like baking soda so it smothers out the fire with its density.  So what about grease fires?  Use a “K” type fire extinguisher for those.  The class K extinguishers are instantly recognizable from their silver tanks.  Type ABC, and type K will comprise 90% of the fire extinguishers that the casual public would notice.

Other kinds of fire extinguishers that use tanks and some kind of chemical inside that are a lot more sophisticated.  For example, ANSUL units are built in to kitchen-stove hoods at restaurants and they automatically activate in the event of a fire.  AMSUL units combine the fire protection features of a fire sprinkler system with fire extinguisher tanks.  Other kind of systems include pre-action systems in computer server rooms and data centers.  All of these systems have simple components, but you must hire a professional who can combine the fire protection equipment to the alarm and the controls so that when the worst happens- your equipment responds and performs.  That’s where we come in.

Here at Fire Protection Team of New Hampshire, we want to help you stay safe and one way to do that is to get your fire extinguisher ready.

We will help you get new fire extinguishers, service your existing tanks, or perform maintenance and inspection at your site.  Call now for a free consultation and ask about our new-client gift.

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