We’re going to take a look at some of the widely-unknown facts about fire extinguishing that could save your life.
A lot of people have a very basic understanding of fire extinguishers and while they might seem simple at first, they’re not the easiest things in the world to use. Not only do you have to remove the safety pin and break the seal, but you have to make sure that the pressure is at an appropriate level and that you’re using the right extinguisher for the right type of fire.
Fire Extinguisher Accessibility
This can’t be emphasized enough. There’s no way to predict when a fire is going to break out and should you be unfortunate enough to encounter one, you need to be able to deal with it as quickly as possible. First, your fire extinguisher (or extinguishers) should be very easy to access and you should know where they are at all times.
Furthermore, you should have a “fire safety log” which keeps track of all of the fire safety equipment in the building. Lastly, there should be clear signage indicating where the nearest fire extinguishers are, so if someone who is unfamiliar with the building is in the vicinity, they can jump into action at a moment’s notice.
The Different Types of Fire Extinguisher
Not all fire extinguishers can be used for all types of fire. There are fire extinguishers which are designed for specific types of fire such as chemical fires, metal fires, electrical fires, and grease fires. It’s incredibly important that you identify which fire extinguisher should be used for the fire and if you don’t have an appropriate extinguisher, evacuate the building.
Under no circumstances should you attempt to extinguish the fire using an extinguisher which hasn’t been designed for the intended purpose. For example, if you were to use a water-based fire extinguisher on an electrical fire, you risk electrocuting yourself.
Never Use Water on Electrical Fires or Grease Fires
Around the holidays, specifically, around Thanksgiving and Christmas, there are a lot of grease fires as a result of people deep-frying their turkeys. One of the reasons this happens is because there is too much grease and oil is being used.
Prevent a fire by measuring out the right amount of grease beforehand – you should also have a Class F fire extinguisher or failing that, a box of bicarbonate soda (both of these are perfect for putting out a grease fire).
Now, you may feel tempted to throw a bucket of water over a fire if it breaks out and while it’s natural instinct for most people, you need to fight this urge. When water comes in contact with grease flames, the grease will explode, and the flames will expand incredibly fast. As you might have guessed, this is incredibly dangerous for a few different reasons:
– When fire explodes, scolding hot grease will get on anyone who is nearby and can cause very bad burns on their skin.
– When the flames expand, they will hit those around the flames in the face resulting in face burns.
– Explosions can cause damage to your property as well as difficult-to-remove grease stains.
All in all, never use water to put out an electrical or grease fire. If you don’t have access to a Class F fire extinguisher (which is designed for grease fires), then sprinkling large quantities of bicarbonate soda will effectively do so.
It really is worth taking the time to learn about fire extinguishers and how you can safely deal with fires so that they don’t quickly spread or cause injuries to those around it. By simply understanding the fact that grease fires shouldn’t have water added to them, you can save yourself from grease burns if you are ever in a situation to put out a grease fire.