A COMPREHENSIVE GUIDE TO DRY POWDER FIRE EXTINGUISHERS
A dry powder fire extinguisher is a specific type of fire extinguisher that uses a dry chemical agent to put out fires. There are different types of powder fire extinguishers, each with its own unique use.
Please note, powder extinguishers are mostly for external use as they can cause respiratory and visual problems if used indoors.
In this comprehensive guide, we will discuss everything you need to know about dry powder fire extinguishers. We will cover the different types of powder fire extinguishers, how to use them, and what size is best for your needs.
Types Of Dry Powder Extinguisher
There are three main types of powder fire extinguishers:
- ABC Powder
- BC Powder
- Class D Powder
ABC Dry Powder Fire Extinguisher
The ABC dry powder fire extinguisher is often referred to as multi-purpose. In short, we call it multi-purpose due to its ability to tackle Class A, B and C fires.
ABC powder contains a dry chemical mix of mono-ammonium phosphate and ammonium sulphate. Once discharged, the extinguisher produces an airborne powder. Afterwards this will settle and smother the flame. Now that layer of power can act as a barrier between the fuel and oxygen.
BC Dry Powder Fire Extinguisher
Firstly a BC dry powder extinguisher is designed for Class B, C and electrical fires.
Secondly BC dry powder is sodium bicarbonate based. With this in mind, a powder extinguisher is effective at fighting liquid and gas fires.
We will often see BC dry powder fire extinguishers on petrol forecourts and external areas, along with larger factory areas.
Class D Powder Fire Extinguisher
Class D powder fire extinguishers are used for fires that involve combustible metals. For example magnesium, titanium, or potassium. Additionally the powder is a mixed chemical composition, dependent on the risk it is targeting.
The class D powder extinguisher has a different application to the normal powders advised earlier. Once metal is burning it can create its own oxygen. We therefore must “dump” the entire load of powder in one application. Finally smothering the fire and any particles around it.
What Colour is a Dry Powder Fire Extinguisher?
Dry powder fire extinguishers are red in line with the EN3 manufacturing protocol with 5% being coloured in blue.
WHAT SIZE POWDER FIRE EXTINGUISHER DO I NEED?
The size of the powder fire extinguisher you need will depend on the type of fire you are trying to put out. Additionally ABC, BC and D class extinguishers come in sizes from 1 kg to 12kg. Generally the smaller are advised for vehicles and the larger for the petrol forecourt scenario. Lastly if you need assistance in choosing the correct type and size, request a call from one of our teams.
How to use a Dry Powder Fire Extinguisher
To use a fire extinguisher, follow the steps found here.
- Pull the safety pin.
- Aim the nozzle at the base of the fire.
- Squeeze the handles at the top of the extinguisher.
- This should result in the extinguisher agent being expelled.
- Move the nozzle in a sweeping motion from side to side until the fire is extinguished.
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