A dry chemical fire extinguisher is the ideal choice for small fire protection in homes, small businesses and a variety of office spaces. These extinguishers are also known as ABE, BE or DCP fire extinguishers and are Australia’s most common type. The letter names designate which types of fires these extinguishers are most effective at putting out.

Which Types of Fires Are Dry Chemical Extinguishers Effective for?

The dry chemical fire extinguisher is the best type to have on hand to safely extinguish a variety of fires efficiently. When one attempts to extinguish a fire, it is absolutely crucial that the correct type of extinguisher be used for the job. Dry chemical fire extinguishers typically have a white band running around a red tank. The user may also check the unit’s description sign. Dry chemical extinguishers are able to put out fires caused by paper, textiles, liquid, oils and electrical issues.

There are two main classifications of Dry Chemical Fire Extinguisher models:

Type ABE: takes care of class A, B, and E fires. These classifications take care of fires that are Class A in origin (paper, cardboard, and wood; cloth, rubber, plastics and coal; grass and other items with carbon as their basic fuel). They also extinguish fires in Class B (combustible and flammable liquids such as diesel, petrol, kerosene, tar, wax and paint) and Class E electrical fires with the complication of the potential for severe electric shock. This is the most suitable model for most household fires because of its effectiveness against most types of these fires.

Type BE: takes care of Class B and E fires as well as Class F fires originating from cooking oils, lard and fat. It is vital that one carefully approach a flammable gas fire, as explosions can occur. Only use a dry chemical extinguisher to put out such a fire if you are confident of your ability to properly use it.

How Does It Work and What Are the Benefits of a Dry Chemical Fire Extinguisher?

A fire extinguisher in general suppresses fire by attempting to remove one of the elements — heat, oxygen, and fuel — it needs to flourish. ABE extinguishers are typically filled with mono-ammonium phosphate. This chemical flows easily and can melt so that it continues to cover up flames as it moves over the fire, cutting off oxygen. (In contrast, BE powder doesn’t melt so it is not effective in suppressing Class A fires.)

There are several outstanding benefits to having a dry chemical fire extinguisher on hand in your home or place of business. They are powerful enough to allow you to quickly work to extinguish a small fire before it grows. They are versatile and can extinguish a variety of fire types, including electrical ones. Compact, they don’t require much space. They are also easily affordable.

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Know your fire extinguishers! There are many different types

How to Use a Dry Chemical Fire Extinguisher Effectively

To assure you are using a fire extinguisher correctly just remember to PASS: pull, aim, squeeze and sweep. First, pull the pin from the top of the fire extinguisher. (Hold the unit by the bottom to allow for easy pin removal.) Aim the nozzle towards the fire’s base. Then squeeze the extinguisher’s handle to discharge the chemical spray. Sweep the nozzle from side to side while you continue aiming at the base of the fire. Continue until fire is out or extinguisher is spent.

Be sure everyone in your home or building knows where the fire extinguisher(s) is located and how to use it. Only with a full understanding of how they work will you be successfully in protecting your property properly with one. Only use a fire extinguisher if you are certain it is suitable to use on the flammable materials involved in the fire you are dealing with. Only use it if the fire is small enough you can extinguish it quickly and you are not risking your own safety by staying near it. Evacuate everyone else first.

Positioning of the extinguisher is also important. A fire extinguisher at home should be mounted or stored where it is easy to get to but away from areas likely to be on fire. Locate the fire extinguisher at the entrance to the kitchen or just outside it, for example, instead of inside the kitchen.

Maintaining Your Dry Chemical Fire Extinguisher

Manufacturers and /or suppliers recommend that extinguishers be inspected and maintained on a regular basis to keep them in top working condition. Australian standards require that dry chemical fire extinguishers are regularly serviced and maintained. FCF Fire and Electrical ACT are able to assist you today. Contact us for further information.