Fire extinguishers are an essential tool to have in any workplace, ensuring the safety of your employees and the protection of your assets. But did you know that fire extinguishers come in different colours, each indicating the type of fire they are best suited to tackle? Let’s explore the significance of fire extinguisher colours and their corresponding types.
Red Extinguishers: One of the most recognisable fire extinguisher colours, red indicates water extinguishers. These are used for Class A fires that involve ordinary combustibles like wood, paper, textiles, and plastics. These extinguishers are labelled with both the “water” symbol and Class A to ensure their proper identification. However, it’s important to note that water extinguishers should never be used on flammable liquids or electrical fires, as they can exacerbate the situation.
Cream Extinguishers: Foam extinguishers are represented by a cream-coloured body. These versatile extinguishers are suitable for both Class A and Class B fires. Class B fires involve flammable liquids such as petrol, oil, and paints. Foam extinguishers work by blanketing the fire and preventing oxygen from reaching it. Just like water extinguishers, foam extinguishers should not be used on electrical fires, as they can create a conductive environment.
Blue Extinguishers: Powder extinguishers sport a blue finish and are effective for Class A, Class B, and Class C fires. Class C fires involve flammable gases like propane, butane, and methane, in addition to flammable liquids. The chemical powder inside powder extinguishers interrupts the combustion process, making them a versatile choice. While they can handle various fire types, using them in confined spaces should be done with care due to the potential for respiratory issues from the powder.
Black Extinguishers: Carbon Dioxide (CO2) extinguishers are recognisable by their black body. They are designed specifically for electrical fires and fires involving flammable liquids. The CO2 gas displaces oxygen, suffocating the fire. These extinguishers are safe to use on electrical equipment as they don’t leave residue behind, making them a preferred choice for such scenarios.
Yellow Extinguishers: Wet Chemical extinguishers have a red body with a bright yellow label. They are specifically engineered for Class F fires, which involve cooking oils and fats in commercial kitchens. Wet Chemical extinguishers work by smothering the fire and cooling it down. They’re designed with a fine nozzle that creates a mist spray. It’s important to avoid using wet chemical extinguishers on electrical fires.
Understanding fire extinguisher colours and their corresponding types is crucial for using the right extinguisher in the event of a fire. Proper training and awareness can make a significant difference in effectively managing and minimising the damage caused by fires. Make sure your workplace is equipped with the appropriate fire extinguishers and that your employees are educated on their usage to ensure everyone’s safety.
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