Dry chemical extinguishers are useful for several types of fires. These differ from extinguishers that have liquid in them in that dry chemicals are powders used to smother a fire. There are a few types of dry chemicals that are used. When you select an extinguisher for your home or building, it's important to know exactly what it can be used on and what it can't. This knowledge is important for your safety and for extinguishing a fire as fast as possible. Here are the types of dry chemical extinguishers and how to use them.
Class ABC Extinguishers Are Common For Home Use
A class ABC extinguisher is a good type to have in your home since it can put out a number of fires such as paper, cloth, plastic, electrical fires, and flammable liquids. This covers nearly any type of fire that would be in a residential setting. These usually have mono ammonium phosphate as the dry chemical. When the extinguisher is used, the powder coats the fire and cuts off the oxygen supply. When the fire is starved of oxygen, it goes out since oxygen is fuel for a fire.
Class BC Extinguishers Are Used In Industrial Settings
Class BC fire extinguishers are found in commercial and industrial settings. These work more effectively on electrical and flammable liquid fires, but they don't work as well on paper and fabric fires. If you have class BC extinguishers in your building, you'll also need to add ABC extinguishers to fight paper fires. For example, you may want a BC dry chemical extinguisher in your restaurant kitchen to put out a grease fire and put an ABC extinguisher in your store room or office area to fight paper and upholstery fires.
These can contain different types of dry chemicals. Sodium bicarbonate, potassium bicarbonate, and potassium bicarbonate with urea complex are used for different types of fires. Sodium bicarbonate is a common option. It releases carbon dioxide that helps smother a fire fast. However, it doesn't reduce heat, so a paper fire can reignite. That's why it's not rated for class-A fires.
Potassium bicarbonate puts out a fire much quicker than sodium bicarbonate, so it's used when gas and oil fires could break out. When urea complex is added to potassium bicarbonate, the chemicals break up into smaller particles so powder forms a larger surface area for smothering a fire.
The class BC dry chemical extinguisher you choose for your building will depend on the type of materials you work with or keep in your building. Fire codes also determine the type of extinguishers you need, the number you need, and where the extinguishers should be placed.
For more info about dry chemical extinguishers, contact a local company.