Fire Extinguishers

Fire Extinguisher Guide: How They Work

fire extinguisher usage chart

Fire extinguishers provide the first line of defense in the event of a blaze incident involving commercial and residential buildings. However, investing in extinguishers won’t serve a purpose without learning how the fire protection equipment works. To help you understand these essential safety tools, Northland Fire shares some useful information about operating fire extinguishers.

A Guide to Fire Extinguishers

How They Work

A fire cannot sustain itself without three essential elements: a heat source, oxygen, and fuel. Eliminating one of these factors diminishes the flame. Fire extinguishers employ this principle by getting rid of at least one of the elements keeping the blaze alight.

Their three main types target different sources of the fire to ensure protection for a building’s residents. Among these, water extinguishers are the most popular type and work by gradually eliminating heat from the fire.

Carbon dioxide-based fire protection equipment relies on the gaseous and liquefied form of this nonflammable material and helps manage a flame in two ways. It first absorbs all the oxygen from the blaze; then its cold temperature eliminates the heat.

A dry chemical extinguisher, the third and most practical type of fire extinguishing device, utilizes nitrogen gas in a compressed form. When put into action, the fire extinguisher sets off a jet of foam or dry, powdered nitrogen to react with oxygen and suppress the flame.

How to Operate

Operating fire extinguishers depends on how they channel the applied pressure and use it to set off a stream of fire-repellent substances. Water-based extinguishers possess an internal pressure mechanism that simply requires a tug at the safety ring before pulling the trigger.

The other two types need a cartridge to force the fire-suppressant materials onto the flame, which is typically a more complicated process. You can learn about safely operating and handling extinguisher devices by signing up for the detailed training sessions offered by Northland Fire & Safety.

When you need cutting-edge fire extinguishers for residential and commercial buildings, Northland Fire is up for the task. Learn more about their impressive fire sprinklers and other safety devices by visiting our website.