Choosing the Best Fire Extinguisher for Your Building

 In Fire Extinguishers, Fire Safety

With so many different options for a fire extinguisher, how do you decide which is the best fire extinguisher for your building?  Some are designed to put out fires caused by everyday combustible materials like wood, paper and plastic; others for flammable liquids like gasoline or petroleum; still others for electrical fires – the list goes on!

Best fire extinguisher for office buildings – most fires in office buildings are usually caused by ordinary flammable materials such as trash, paper, wood, cloth, etc.  The best fire extinguisher for an office building is a dry chemical ABC fire extinguisher. You should clean up any residue immediately after the fire is completely out because the dry chemical extinguishing agent is mildly corrosive.

Best fire extinguisher for hospitals – hospitals should not use a dry chemical fire extinguisher because of the amount of sensitive life-saving electronic equipment present in every part of a hospital.  The corrosive extinguishing agent found in dry chemical fire extinguishers may actually end up doing as much damage as the fire itself! For this reason, the best fire extinguisher for hospitals is a water mist fire extinguisher – this will put out the most common types of fires while causing no damage to your electronic equipment.

Best fire extinguisher for commercial kitchens – Class K fire extinguishers are the best fire extinguishers for commercial kitchens because they are designed to handle the intense heat of cooking oils and grease and other flammable items commonly found there.

Best fire extinguisher for laboratories – choosing the best fire extinguisher for a laboratory can be tricky. The type of hazard for the laboratory helps to determine the best fire extinguisher to use:

  • Carbon dioxide (CO2) fire extinguishers –CO2 fire extinguishers are designed to put out fires caused by electricity or flammable liquids. They are the best fire extinguishers for many laboratories because they leave behind no damaging residue that could harm electronic equipment. Note: DO NOT use CO2 fire extinguishers for fires caused by flammable metals such as Grignard reagents, alkyllithiums and sodium metal. The CO2 will react with these materials, potentially causing the fire to spread rather than stop!
  • Metal / sand extinguishers– these are the best fire extinguishers for flammable metals and work by simply smothering the fire until it dies. The most common type of metal fire extinguisher is sodium chloride, which cakes up when it heats up and dissipates the heat from the fire. Another popular variety is powdered copper metal. The extinguishing agent in this type of fire extinguisher clings to vertical surfaces, making it the best fire extinguisher for fighting rapidly spreading fires.

Choosing the best fire extinguisher for your building is extremely important if you want to afford yourself the maximum protection. For more information or for fire extinguisher installation or service, call Fire Control Systems today!

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