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LEARN FIRE BASICS

 

Q: Why do I need a Fire Extinguisher?

A: Save Precious Time. (And your home and family!)

When it comes to extinguishing a fire, time is indeed greater than gold. Fire doubles in size in minutes, so it is important to react quickly and suppress a fire at its early stage. Having a portable fire extinguisher ready to fight off a small fire helps precious time and makes the difference between a small fire and a destruction.

Note: The Great Escape

If the fire has gotten too large… Get out!! When fires have gotten too big, only firefighters can put out the fire. It is important to evacuate the building immediately, and a fire extinguisher is a great tool to help you to clear a path to make your escape. 

 

Fire Triangle/Tetrahedron

Oxygen, heat and fuel are frequently referred to as the “fire triangle”. The three elements and their common sources are: 

Oxygen:  

  • To sustain combustion

Fuel or combustible material

  • Solid, e.g. Wood, Paper, Cloth, Coal

  • Liquid: Gasoline, Kerosene, Alcohol, Paint, Cooking Oil

  • Gas: Propane, Natural gas, Butane

  • The type and quantity of fuel will determine which method to extinguish the fire

Heat

  • To raise the material to ignition temperature.

  • Sources of heat: Oven, Stove Top, Matches, Lighter Sparks etc.

 

If the right amounts of the three elements are present, a chemical reaction may occur, starting a fire. Together, these four elements make the fire “tetrahedron”.

Fire extinguishers work by removing one or more elements of the fire triangle/ tetrahedron. 

 
 

Fire Classes and Extinguishers

Many people do not know that different fires require different extinguishers. Fire classes:

Fire Class A: Combustible Materials Fire Class B: Flammable liquids Fire Class C: Flammable Gases Fire Class D: Flammable Metals Fire Class F: Cooking Oils and Fat
A – Combustible Materials, such as wood, paper, rubber or cloth B – Flammable liquids such as petrol, diesel or oil C – Gases, usually from gas stoves D – Flammable Metals F – Cooking oil and fats such as vegetable or animal oils and cooking equipment

Check out the table below if you would like to find out more about other extinguishers and the type of fires they are compatible against.