There are dozens of different types of fire safety products, and each of these have a very different purpose.
Fire safety equipment can come in multiple different kinds, classifications, styles and colours. Having so many different options means you’ll be very likely to find the perfect match for your needs, but it also makes it harder to make an initial choice. Doing your research and considering all your requirements and risks is crucial to purchasing fire safety equipment. Failure to choose wisely may not only stop you from being able to put out a fire, it could cause a chemical reaction and make the fire much worse. Here is some of the most common fire safety equipment, and some important considerations about each:
Fire blankets are a very popular kind of fire safety equipment across Australia. Typically made from a large piece of fabric woven from fire-resistant fibres, a fire blanket will smother the flames if placed on top of a fire. It can also be wrapped around a person if they have caught alight. Fire blankets are among the best equipment for a kitchen fire, as water is not effective at putting out fires caused by oils and fats – so if you have a kitchen on your premises, these may well be essential.
Fire hose reels are highly effective when used on fires involving paper, wood, textiles, rubber, or other solid materials, however should never be used on fires caused by electricity, petrol, oil or cooking fats – so keep them well away from your kitchen.
Extinguishers are the most common kind of fire equipment, and for a good reason. They’re highly effective, and can be highly customisable to the needs of your organisation. They’re certainly not a one size fits all item, however. Those metal canisters may look the same, but what’s inside them differs greatly from extinguisher to extinguisher. Fire extinguisher band colours can have a big impact on how you put out fires. Here’s the lowdown the most common types of fire extinguishers in Australia:
Water fire extinguishers should only be used on Class A fires, which are caused by ordinary combustibles like rubber, wood, paper and textiles. Water can be dangerous if used to put out Class E electrical fires, or Class F fires caused by cooking oils and fats.
Foam extinguishers are suitable for Class A fires caused by combustible materials, as well as Class B fires, which are caused by flammable and/or combustible liquids. However, they can be dangerous if used on Class E electrical fires.
Carbon dioxide extinguishers remove the heat and oxygen from the blaze. They’re mostly used for Class E electrical fires, which involve electrical equipment like heaters, kitchen appliances and computers. However, these extinguishers have only limited effectiveness on Class A, B, and C fires caused by flammable gases.
Dry chemical ABE fire extinguishers discharge a powder that absorbs the fuel from the fire source. They’re suitable for a range of fires, including Class A, Class B, Class C and Class E.
Wet chemical extinguishers stop the fire from breathing. They’re most suitable for extinguishing Class F fires, kitchen fires caused by fats or oils. However, they can also be used for Class A, combustible material fires.
Fire extinguishers aren’t only customisable based on the class of fire. There are a number of other important differences from fire extinguisher to extinguisher. These include:
Size of extinguisher:
Generally, the larger the extinguisher is, the more efficient and powerful it will be. Extinguishers between 1 KG and 3.5 KG require the least training to use, and are suitable for most locations where small fires are likely. Larger extinguishers, between 25.0 KG and 45.0KG are much more expensive and require more training to use. They’re only necessary where there’s a risk of large and dangerous fires. Plus, larger extinguishers can often be super-heavy, and more pricey, so it’s important to choose the right size for your needs.
Disposable vs rechargeable:
Disposable extinguishers have a plastic valve, which renders them useless after a single use. On the other hand, rechargeable extinguishers have a metal valve so they can be refilled by a professional fire maintenance expert and used again and again.
Want to learn more about what fire safety equipment is right for you? Fire Equipment Online is here to help. Our highly-qualified experts will help find the most affordable and most well-suited fire extinguisher solution for you, no matter how unique your requirements may be. Contact us today for more information.