A fire extinguisher is a vital piece of safety equipment that should really be found in every home, kitchen, office, vehicle, garage, boat, cottage, office, work station, cubicle, classroom, factory and public place, etc. In fact there should be one or more fire extinguishers available in any area where people are present, including transportation, government, restaurants, and educational facilities etc.
The operation of a fire extinguisher is simple however it must be properly handled in times of emergency. Everybody should be taught how to properly handle a fire extinguisher or it will be a wasted safety supply. Fires are problems that are usually caused by one of three main elements - oxygen, extreme heat or some kind of a fuel. The main task of fire extinguishers is to nullify the effect of at least one of these components.
Fire extinguishers are hard and sometimes heavy robust cylinders that contain materials such as water, chemicals or other types of smothering substances that suffocate the responsible component of a fire. The cylinder features a lever, which when pressed expels highly pressurized materials that put out the fire. The extinguisher must be directed at the source of the fire instead of at the surrounding flames. It is advised that you aim the chemicals that come out of the extinguisher at the base of the flames and sweep it from side to side.
There are various types of fire extinguishers and they come in different sizes. Some types of extinguishers include water extinguishers, carbon dioxide extinguishers and dry chemical or foam extinguishers. Each type of extinguisher is made for a specific type of fire. For instance, water extinguishers can be used only on fire that is fueled by wood or paper; it cannot be used in an electrical or chemical fire. It is important that you know which extinguishers are to be used in a specific type of fire and there will be a label on the extinguisher letting you know what it is made for.
The fire suppressant material lasts for only a few seconds, hence one must be used carefully and only in cases of small fires. Because of this it is important that there are enough fire extinguishers available. You should always make sure that your fire extinguishers are inspected and reloaded ready for use. If you use a fire extinguisher make sure that it is refilled immediately and make sure that it is replaced with a working one. Don’t take the fire extinguisher to be refilled without replacing it and make sure that you also have smoke detectors installed in as many areas as possible.