What is a Fire Extinguisher? The History
We often see Google searches for what is a fire extinguisher? We are here to answer your question.
Fire extinguishers were first patented over 300 years ago in England. In 1723, Ambrose Godfrey invented a revolutionary device. A chemical capable of extinguishing a fire could be dispersed and scattered through the use of gunpowder.
Then in 1816, Captain George William Manby demonstrated a 3 gallon, portable, pressurised fire extinguisher. This was a device similar to the extinguishers we use today. It contained an agent that can be discharged to extinguish or control small fires. However, unlike modern extinguishers, this device expelled highly toxic vapour that was not suitable for small spaces as it could result in death.
Modern day fire extinguishers are usually handheld and portable, although some larger models may be mounted on wheels or to ceilings.
Fire extinguishers are not designed to tackle flames capable of endangering the user. In fact, if the flame is out of control and has reached the ceiling then utilise the expertise of the fire brigade and escape to safety.
Fire Extinguisher Classifications
We have answered the basics of the question, what is a fire extinguisher? Now, let’s move into the classifications. Extinguishers are usually classified by the type of fire they are designed to extinguish.
- Class A extinguishers are for ordinary combustibles such as wood, paper and cloth. As a result, the best type of extinguisher for these fires is water or foam.
- Class B extinguishers are for flammable liquids such as gasoline and oil. As a result, the best type of extinguisher for these fires is dry powder or foam.
- Class C extinguishers are for flammable gases. As a result, the best type of extinguisher for these fires is dry powder.
- Class D extinguishers are for metal fires. As a result, the best type of extinguisher for these fires is dry powder.
- Class E extinguishers are for electrical fires. As a result, the best type of extinguisher for these fires is CO2 or dry powder. Fire extinguishers for electrical fires
- Class F extinguishers are for fat, oil and kitchen fires. As a result, the best type of extinguisher for these fires is wet chemical.