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What Kind of Extinguisher Does My Office Need?

Fire safety is a crucial aspect of just about any environment – professional and otherwise. It’s not as simple as it may sound, and there are quite intricate systems and regulations involved. But you don’t need to be an expert – let’s leave it to professionals. We can easily get away with focusing on a bare minimum. And what would that be? The most important thing is to be able to deal with any fire quickly and effectively – especially in the early stages. When we look at it like that, all we need to do is understand the different types of extinguishers and their intended uses and applications. This simple guide can come in handy, so without further ado, let’s dive in!


Water-Based Extinguishers (Class A): 

These extinguishers use water as their main extinguishing agent and are suitable for fires involving ordinary combustibles like wood, paper, and cloth. It’s actually pretty simple – they work by cooling the fire and reducing its heat.


Foam Extinguishers (Class A and B): 

Foam extinguishers are very effective against fires involving flammable liquids, such as gasoline, oil, and various solvents. The foam forms a barrier on the liquid’s surface, smothering the flames and preventing re-ignition.


Carbon Dioxide (CO2) Extinguishers (Class B and C): 

CO2 extinguishers are designed for fires involving flammable liquids and electrical equipment. The way it works is the CO2 gas displaces oxygen, which, in turn, effectively deals with the fire without leaving residue. One thing to bear in mind – these extinguishers are not suitable for Class A fires.


Dry Powder Extinguishers (Class A, B, and C): 

dry powder fire extinguisher is a popular and versatile option suitable for use in various settings. They can be very effective against fires involving ordinary combustibles, flammable liquids, and electrical equipment. There are some minor differences between specific models available on the market. For instance, some are based on mono ammonium phosphate (MAP), while others – on sodium bicarbonate.


Wet Chemical Extinguishers (Class K): 

Wet chemical extinguishers are specifically designed for kitchen fires involving cooking oils and fats. The chemical agent reacts with the hot oil, creating a soapy layer that suppresses the fire and prevents re-ignition.


Fire safety can appear intimidating at first. And yes – it’s quite a complex matter with many different regulations involved. There’s also a question of proper maintenance and fire extinguisher servicing. That’s why for the most part it’s best to rely on professionals – they can assess your needs more accurately and choose a custom-made solution. Nevertheless, it’s always useful to have at least some knowledge of the subject and a basic understanding of the available options. In the end, it’s about your safety.