How do fire extinguishers work? We’ll talk you through the specifics in our latest article. 

At Jim’s Fire Safety, we are fire safety experts. Check your fire extinguisher service tags to see when you were last serviced and get in touch if your next test is due. 

The maintenance of your protective equipment cannot be delayed. 

How do fire extinguishers work? 

To understand why certain extinguishing agents are able to put a fire out, you have to know a little bit more about the contents of your device. 

There are three components a fire needs to sustain its energy: 

  • heat 
  • fuel 
  • oxygen

Extinguishers work by removing one or more of these components to stop the flame. Different types of fire extinguisher work in different ways. 

Water and Foam 

Water and foam extinguishers work by taking the heat away from a fire. Foaming agents can also stop the oxygen flow to the flame. 

By spraying carbon dioxide on a fire, you will displace the oxygen around it and create an oxygen free environment to stop the flame. Just like us, a fire can’t survive on CO2 – it is the opposite of what it needs to continue. 
Wet Chemical 

Wet chemical extinguishers stop the fire by taking away the heat component. It prevents re-ignition by providing a chemical barrier that stops the oxygen from reaching the fuel. 

Dry Powder 

Dry powder extinguishers separate the fuel from the oxygen whilst removing heat. They are similar to wet chemical extinguishers but are designed to deal with different classes of fire. 

Fire Extinguisher Safety 

How do fire extinguishers work safely? To ensure you properly extinguish a flame, you need to consider the following points: 

  • knowing how to operate a fire extinguisher 
  • knowing which fire extinguisher to use on which flame 
  • checking that the fire has been properly put out 
  • cleaning up fire extinguisher residue 

Fire extinguishers work best when they are used correctly. To do this, use the PASS system. 

Pull the pin, aim the nozzle at the base of the fire, squeeze the nozzle, and sweep the contents over the fire. 

When you squeeze the nozzle of your extinguisher, it releases pressurised contents through the hose. This pressure will give your extinguisher enough launching power to reach a flame from a safe distance. It is important that you make sure your fire extinguishers have had regular pressure tests to make sure they have enough power. 

Check out the rest of our fire extinguisher blog posts to find out how to dispose of fire extinguisher residue, how to use a fire extinguisher safely, and for more information about the different types of fire extinguishers. 

Contact Jim’s Fire Safety Today

How do fire extinguishers work? Well, they only work properly with regular maintenance. 

At Jim’s Fire Safety we are experts in safety inspection. 

We provide fire safety services to businesses all around New Zealand. 

If you own or operate a business, you are obligated to provide functional fire protection equipment for all of your employees. 

Contact us now to book an inspection or find out more about our services. Your safety can’t wait. 

Call now or fill in the online form for a free quote.