Showing posts with label fire extinguishers. Show all posts
Showing posts with label fire extinguishers. Show all posts

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Choosing the Right Fire Extinguisher for a Vehicular Fire

On the 16th of this month I told you about the heroic action by two of ESC’s finest technicians, Scott Camps and Wayne Clay (ESC Commends Workmen for Roadside Heroics).

Today I’d like to expand on their story just a bit in order to assist you in better understanding what type of fire extinguisher they used, how they used it, and why they chose it instead of several other types.

When Scott and Wayne arrived on the scene of a burning car at the corner of 3rd and Mound St in Columbus, Ohio, the first thing both techs did without a single word was to grab ABC-type extinguishers.

Scott says, “Essentially ABC fires extinguisher cover 3 different classes of fire those are your most common fires, such as plastics, electrical, paper and wood. ABC fire extinguisher is a universal extinguisher you can use it on multiple fires.”
There essentially are four types of fire extinguishers to choose from:
  • Class A: Fires that involve wood, cloth, rubber, paper, and some types of plastics.
  • Class B: Fires that involve gasoline, oil, paint, natural and propane gases, and flammable liquids, gases, and greases.
  • Class C: Fires that involve all the materials found in Class A and B fires, but with the introduction of an electrical appliances, wiring, or other electrically energized objects in the vicinity of the fire.
  • Class D: Fires that involve combustible metals, such as sodium, magnesium, and potassium.
Here’s why Scott and Wayne chose an ABC fire extinguisher instead of simply throwing water on it.
“You can’t use water on a vehicle fire because you can’t use water to put out a gas- or oil-based fire. To do so would more than likely spread the fire with the other fluids that a car has,” says Scott.
He also says that because he use to be a fire fighter, he knew to approach the burning vehicle at a 45-degree angle from the front. He began spraying the vehicle at the tires to keep them from exploding. Then he sprayed under the hood.
“A burning vehicle is difficult to put the fire out because it could explode. You have the gas tank and the tires to consider,” says Wayne. “This could cause severe injuries to those nearby.”
I invite you to read on and learn more about the various fire extinguishers you have in your vehicles and your facilities (Use The Right Portable Fire Extinguisher). In addition, please use our fire extinguisher code and service page to learn even more (Fire Extinguishers).

If you need assistance, please think of ESC and be sure to give us a call. I or one of my skilled, knowledgeable staff will be happy to assist you! Call us at 614-754-1393 or send us a comment or question using our quick response forms on the right or below.

Thank you, and have a safe and prosperous day!

John Larkins
ESC Senior Partner


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Monday, December 1, 2014

Use The Right Portable Fire Extinguisher

Ansul Sentry fire extinguishers If a fire broke out in your home or place of business today, would you automatically know which fire extinguisher to use? What would happen if you used a Class A fire extinguisher on a fire in the electrical service panel in your basement? Answer: you'd possibly be electrocuted if the extinguishing agent is a liquid!

A long time ago, the fire protection industry recognized the need to classify extinguishers according to the many kinds of burning materials encountered in a fire. For example, Class A, water-type fire extinguishers cannot be used on the electrical fires because the extinguisher operator could be seriously injured by the conduction of electricity by the stream of water from their extinguisher. Instead, a Class C fire extinguisher will work best. Another example, a raging fire in a manufacturing plant with flammable metals, such as magnesium, should be fought with a Class D fire extinguisher (see chart below).

Fire Classifications

  • Class A: Fires that involve wood, cloth, rubber, paper, and some types of plastics.
  • Class B: Fires that involve gasoline, oil, paint, natural and propane gases, and flammable liquids, gases, and greases.
  • Class C: Fires that involve all the materials found in Class A and B fires, but with the introduction of an electrical appliances, wiring, or other electrically energized objects in the vicinity of the fire.
  • Class D: Fires that involve combustible metals, such as sodium, magnesium, and potassium.

The following video tutorial by OSHA, added to this article on 6/24/15, offers helpful information on how to use a fire extinguisher. Especially important is the portion of this video that deals with when to use and not to use certain types of fire extinguishers.

Besides knowing what type of fire you're likely to encounter, it's also important to know what kind of extinguishing agent your fire extinguisher should have in it. This is because certain extinguishments will work only on certain kinds of fires. Others can actually aggravate the situation, causing an even more critical situation. (read more).

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