With hundreds of different fire safety products on the market, finding the right fit can be a challenge.
Fire safety equipment comes in different styles, colours, classifications and sizes. Having such a variety of options at your disposal is a good thing because it means there’s likely to be a product that perfectly matches your needs. However, all this variety can be confusing, leading to a daunting decision: what’s right for me? To answer this question, its crucial to do your research and ensure you find the perfect fit. After all, having the right fire safety equipment for your needs can make or break the safety of your premises and even save lives. Here are just some of the most important considerations to help you find the right fire safety products:
Due to their high effectiveness as fire safety equipment, extinguishers are by far the most common first-attack firefighting equipment on the market. However, these are certainly not a one-size-fits-all item. What’s inside the metal canister differs from extinguisher to extinguisher, and can make a massive impact on how you put out the flames. Here is a breakdown of the types of fire extinguishers you can buy in Australia:
Emitting either a mist or a spray, water fire extinguishers should primarily only be used on Class A fires, which are caused by ordinary combustibles like rubber, wood, paper and textiles. Remember, water can be dangerous if used to put out Class E electrical fires, or Class F fires caused by cooking oils and fats, which is why it’s important consider all dangers present.
By emitting a heavier solution comprised of aqueous film foaming foam (AFFF), foam extinguishers are more advanced and effective than water fire extinguishers. They 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 CO2 extinguishers work by starving the fire of oxygen, and removing the heat 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, Class B, and Class C fires ignited by flammable gases, so be sure to consider all possible threats.
Dry chemical ABE fire extinguishers work by discharging 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, making them effective in many different situations.
Wet chemical extinguishers work by cutting off the fire’s air supply and stopping the release of flammable vapours. 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.
Another important consideration for deciding on which fire extinguisher is right for you is size. Generally, the larger the extinguisher is, the more powerful, but also heavier, it will be. Generally, 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.
Fire blankets are another widely used peice of fire safety equipment across Australia and offer great protection against a blaze during a fire emergency. A fire blanket is typically a large piece of fabric made up of fire-resistant fibres, typically woven glass. It works by being placed on top of a fire to smother the flames or wrapped around a person whose clothing has caught alight. As water is not effective at putting out fires caused by oils and fats, fire blankets are among the best equipment for a kitchen fire.
A good solution for putting out class A fires involving paper, wood, textiles, rubber, or other solid materials, a fire hose reel is acts as a solid first-attack piece of equipment. They’re often attributed with preventing fires from reaching a point beyond control. However, in order for them to be effective, it is essential that staff are trained in how to use them. Fire hose reels should not be used on fires caused by electricity, petrol, oil or cooking fats, making them dangerous in a number of usage applications, especially in kitchens.
- Our guide to choosing the best extinguisher for your needs
- Read more about the different types of fire extinguishers
- Learn more about the 6 fire classes in Australia
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.