However, it is still imperative to ensure that there are other mechanisms in place such as smoke detectors, where applicable, and an effective and well-proven fire evacuation plan.
During fire extinguishing, it is crucial to ensure that everyone in the building has exited and that the fire department has been contacted. Once this has been done, the fire extinguishers can be used to address the fire.
There are several steps involved in effective fire safety and fire management, make sure that you are familiar with these and with the safe operation of a fire extinguisher before you attempt to use one.
- Make sure that your back is towards a safe exit.
- Make sure that the fire is contained to one area, if it spreads to other areas, retreat from the room to avoid the fire surrounding you.
- Beware of smoke, if the room becomes too smoky to the point where you cannot see or breathe, retreat through the exit.
While fire extinguishers can be useful to smother small fires before they start, they can be dangerous in inexperienced hands. Make sure that the right fire extinguisher is used for the application at hand.
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Classes of Fire and Fire Extinguishers
There are six different classes of fires:
- Class A - which is ordinary solid combustible materials such as paper, cloth, some plastics, wood, and others.
- Class B - which is flammable liquids such as alcohol, oil, petrol, grease, and others.
- Class C - which includes flammable gases such as methane and others.
- Class D - includes certain flammable metallic substances including sodium and potassium.
- Class E - fires that are caused by Electrical Equipment, which is indicated by an electrical spark symbol and not the letter E. However, reference is often made to it as Class E.
- Class F - fats and cooking oils.
The types of fire extinguishers are as follow:
- Type A - which is pressurized water that can only be used on Class A fires.
- Type ABC - which is a dry chemical powder that can be used on all fire classes.
- Type BC - which involved carbon dioxide which is specifically used on chemical and/or electrical fires.
- Type K - which is used in kitchens where there are grease fires.
All you need to know about DCP Fire Extinguishers
Dry Chemical Powder Fire Extinguishers, more commonly known just as DCP Fire Extinguishers, are one of the most common types of fire fighting equipment on the market. Because of the high demand and their versatility, they are affordable and can be used for a wide range of fire classes.
How do dry chemical powder fire extinguishers work?
The only way to effectively stop a fire is by removing one or more of the elements thereof, heat, fuel, and/or oxygen. DCP fire extinguishers use a chemical powder called monoammonium phosphate.
This powder can melt and flow once it is heated, allowing it to coat the fuel and subsequently extinguish the fire, especially where Class A and electrical fires are concerned.
Where Class B fires are concerned, the powder smothers the surface which will stop the fire by preventing the vapour, or fuel, from escaping. Flammable liquid fires do not store much heat and for this purpose, DCP fire extinguishers are not always effective as the powder cannot melt.
Pros and Cons
Versatile as it can be used on different types of fires
The clean-up process can be labour-intensive because of the powder
Powerful and can extinguish fires quickly
The dust from the powder can affect sensitive equipment
They are portable and can be moved around with ease
Visibility can be reduced because of the powder
Cost-effective and widely available
Needs routine maintenance and inspection
Wide variety of sizes and ratings
May cause respiratory issues
Safe and easy to use
Fire Equipment must be serviced annualy with monthly inspections
Follow this link to download your free Fire Equipment Checklist
My Safety Shop is the one-stop-shop for all your DCP Fire Extinguishers
The My Safety Shop features the following DCP Fire Extinguishers for sale:
- 5Kg DCP - STP
- 5Kg DCP - STP
- 9Kg DCP - STP
- Gauge for a 9Kg DCP fire extinguisher
- Steel fire extinguisher cabinets - 4.5kg and 9kg
- Fire extinguisher covers PVC UV - 4.5kg
On which fires can dry chemical powder fire extinguishers be used?
DCP fire extinguishers can be used on A, B, and Electrical type fires.
What should you know when you use a portable fire extinguisher?
You must be sure that you are trained, know what type of material is burning and know which type of fire extinguisher to use.
When should I remove a fire extinguisher from service?
When the cylinder or shell threads show damage, when the canister is corroded, or when the extinguisher has been exposed to extreme heat or burned in a fire.
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