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Fire Extinguishers Popular Terms Defined
Fire extinguishers are essential in any home or business as a safety precaution in order to prevent uncontrolled outbreaks of fire for protection. Fire extinguishers are red-colored cylinders with a nozzle at the top that you can deploy to spray a foam over a small grease or other type of fire. Perhaps you have one hanging on your wall at your office, or maybe hiding within your closet at home. You never think you’ll have to use this equipment but it just may save your life one day. Be prepared and test it every so often for ultimate protection and safety. Learn the proper terms associated with fire extinguishers before going out and buying one for your residential or commercial needs.
Marine fire extinguisher – Hand-held devices used on boats, usually smaller and more compact than standard home or business models.
Carbon dioxide fire extinguisher – A type of chemical fire extinguisher that expels liquid carbon dioxide, which you store at normal room temp, under about 900 pounds per square inch of pressure.
Heavy duty bracket – A metal reinforcement that holds the device to a wall for easy storage until testing is needed or an emergency.
Fire triangle – A triangle graphic commonly used to represent the four elements needed to extinguish a fire: a chemical reaction needs to take place between heat, fuel, and oxygen.
Antique fire extinguishers – These early devices from the 1800s resembled grenades filled with chemicals that one could throw at a developing fire. In the 1900s, the devices started to resemble what we know today, mass-produced pump-type extinguishers made of copper or brass. Antique dealers may specialize in this and other firefighting equipment.
Fire extinguishers are an essential part of any safety plan. The use of fire extinguishers dates back to the early 1700s. Ironically, the first extinguishers actually released their contents by means of a small gunpowder charge. Early fire extinguishers used water as the fire retardant liquid. However, the first dry extinguishers, used carbon dioxide gas.
Modern fire extinguishers are used often in homes, businesses, offices and in large factories. Large buildings often have sprinkler systems, which are built into the property to produce water when a fire occurs. Many portable fire extinguishers, however, use carbon dioxide or foam cartridges. Dry chemicals, pressurized with nitrogen, are also used, but they can damage computers and other office equipment. Water is not recommended for use on electrical fires. Marine fire extinguishers are specific and have to meet certain approved requirements and criteria. However, all work similarly to diffuse fires. The fire triangle states that a fire requires fuel, oxygen and heat to burn, and extinguishers generally work by removing one element of that triangle, commonly oxygen. It is necessary to test and inspect them regularly. As the contents are under considerable pressure, they can be a hazard if pierced or damaged.
Companies that sell extinguishers commonly also sell protective equipment and hoses. Most fire extinguishers are handheld devices, but built in control systems are common in larger buildings. Fire safety projects may also involve restricting certain activities, testing extinguishers and ensuring access to them is maintained. Protective equipment also includes devices that protect from smoke and other hazards related to fire.