The Fiery Truth: Facts About Extinguishers

Kids like looking after the environment once they can relate to the issues. Learn how to help your children understand energy efficiency.

The Fiery Truth: Facts About Extinguishers

The Fiery Truth: Facts About Extinguishers

6 September 2016
Environmental, Blog

Ordinarily, fire extinguishers wouldn't feature in your weekly shopping list. You can be excused for not knowing so much about this safety device, but the decision to invest in one is wise.

A lot can be said about fire extinguishers and this article may not be enough to exhaust the topic in its entirety. That said, here are three things you should know before you pay for your purchase.

Water-Based Extinguishers

True to their name, these extinguishers use water as the extinguishing agent. You'll probably notice that water-based extinguishers are comparatively cheaper when placed against other types of extinguishers. They're also advantageous because water is a readily available extinguishing agent as compared to the alternatives (e.g. carbon dioxide gas).

Before you settle for one these extinguishers, remember that it won't be of help in the face of an electric fire. The water-based extinguisher might not be such a good investment considering that a large number of residential fires result from electric faults.

Similarly, the said extinguisher won't be of help in the event of cooking-oil related fire. The oil will simply float on the water and the fire will continue to rage.

Carbon Dioxide-Based Extinguishers

A large portion of the extinguishers you'll encounter use carbon dioxide gas as the extinguishing agent. When carbon dioxide is sprayed over a flame, it displaces oxygen around the fire. This deprives the flame of the much-needed oxygen supply and the fire ends up extinguished.

Carbon does not conduct electricity and this makes carbon dioxide extinguishers suitable for putting out fires that result from electric faults.

On the down side, you might find it difficult to breathe whenever you use such an extinguisher in a confined space because of low oxygen levels. This is despite the fact that carbon dioxide is not toxic.

Carbon dioxide extinguishers are also known to inflict cold burns if they're mishandled. This often happens when the skin is continuously exposed to the gas jet emanating from the extinguisher's horn.

If you choose to invest in a CO2 extinguisher, warn your family members against holding the extinguisher by the horn, should they ever have to use it.

Extinguisher Inspection

Once you've bought an extinguisher (regardless of the type), remember that extinguishers need to be inspected regularly to ascertain that they remain safe to use. Get a fire extinguisher inspection guide from your local fire department on your way back home. Only then will you be in a position to inspect the extinguisher on your own.

About Me
Encouraging children to save energy

Kids like the idea of looking after the environment as soon as they can relate to the issues. I have been working on ways to make sure that my kids understand that the ways that they can help the environment, and how important small changes can be to save energy and the environment. They are some of the biggest cheerleaders of energy efficiency once they have understood how important it is. This blog has tips on how to teach children about saving energy as well as some resources to help provide positive reinforcement when they do save energy at home.