Types of Fire Suppression Systems In Fire Protection

There are numerous types of fire suppression systems that serve different needs depending on a given building’s particular assets and occupants it needs to protect in the event of a fire. We’ll cover the basic benefits and unique uses of each type of fire suppression.

For more questions on the right fire protection system for your needs, get in touch with the certified pros at Majestic Fire. With over 20 years of experience proudly serving communities in Los Angeles and the greater Southern California area, Majestic Fire offers comprehensive fire protection service for most residential and commercial settings.
Chemical Clean Agent Suppression System
This type of fire suppression system is most commonly used in settings with sensitive equipment or machinery where water suppression is not viable. The sensitive assets (e.g. non-fungible documents, hospital equipment, computer servers, etc.) cannot run the risk of being compromised in the event of a fire.

Clean agents such as Novec 1230 Fire Protection Fluid offer the advantage of quicker fire extinguishment than water suppression that leaves no residue, with the highest safety rating for human occupants among clean agent alternatives.

Co2 Suppression System:

This fire suppression system uses pressurized carbon dioxide to extinguish and effectively asphyxiate a fire by reducing oxygen levels in the space. However, It is only recommended for isolated settings inaccessible to people due to the potential harm it may cause.

Inert Gas Suppression System:

This fire suppression system operates similarly to a Co2 suppression system where a combination of inert gases (i.e., nitrogen, argon, helium, etc.) are used to asphyxiate a fire by depriving it of oxygen. This is a safer alternative to carbon monoxide that is safe for spaces to use with machinery, equipment, and people. It’s also one of the greener alternatives to fire suppression compared to chemical clean agents.

Water Mist Suppression System:

This is fire suppression system is the most commonly used system for many residential and commercial settings due to its cost-effective and environmentally-friendly qualities. An advancement on the traditional fire sprinkler, a water mist system uses significantly less water, reducing the risk of residual or collateral damage.

However, this alternative isn’t ideal for all settings, particularly ones with sensitive equipment, machinery, or other assets that may be ruined by exposure to water. A water mist suppression system is typically connected to the building’s water supply or in certain remote settings hooked up to a dedicated tank or water reservoir.

Key Takeaways:

There are many factors to consider when choosing the right fire suppression for your case. Different types of fire suppression systems are recommended depending on the particular setting and emergency scenarios.

Consult the Fire Protection Experts

Trust the experienced pros at Majestic Fire to help you figure out the right fire suppression system suited to your case. Our certified technicians are equipped to handle residential and commercial spaces of all sizes. Fire suppression along with fire pump inspections, testing, and maintenance is all within our wheelhouse as the premier fire protection experts in Los Angeles and the greater Southern California Area.

What you Need to Know About Fire Pump Inspection, Testing, & Maintenance

An optimally running fire pump is essential for fire safety in a large commercial or residential space. The role of a properly functioning water pump in a fire emergency is to keep water sufficiently pressurized in the system to aid in fire extinguishment. Without enough water pressure, the fire sprinklers and standpipe system will be much less effective in containing and extinguishing a fire hazard. 

To ensure public safety, routine fire pump inspection, testing, and maintenance should be conducted regularly.  

Fire Pump Inspection & Testing

Proper fire pump inspection and testing must be carried out by a qualified individual with ample knowledge and experience of the National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA 25) latest codes and regulations. This could be an outside contractor or in-house personnel for the weekly or monthly test. However, some states may require the annual test to be carried out by a certified professional. 

Fire Pump Maintenance

Fire pumps should undergo regularly scheduled maintenance at certain intervals. Here is a checklist for each corresponding period.  

Weekly 

  • Inspection of the pump house/room – A visual inspection of coupling guards, excessive water pooling on the ground, and a room temperature reading of no less than 40° F (4° C). 
  • Inspection of the pump system conditions – A visual inspection of the piping for any leaks, wet pit suction screens affixed in place and free of obstructions, a suction pressure gauge reading within normal limits, and the suction reservoir with an appropriate water level. 

A physical inspection of the water flow test and hose connection valves in the closed position with the pump suction, discharge, and bypass valves completely open. 

  • Inspection of the Electrical system conditions – A visual inspection of the controller pilot light, transfer switch normal pilot light, and normal phase rotation pilot light is on and operational. A physical inspection of the oil level in the vertical motor sight glass within normal range and power to pressure maintenance pump is operational. 
  • A no-flow “churn” start for pump operation (Diesel only) – Start the pump up for 10 minutes while keeping your eye on the suction and pressure reading gauges. Inspect the pump packing glands for any leaks and make any necessary adjustments to gland nuts. Investigate for any strange noises, noticeable vibrations, or overheating. Lastly, record the pump starting pressure and compare your results. 

Monthly 

  • Inspection of the pump operation (electric only) – A no-flow “churn” test should be conducted similarly to the diesel pump operation. 

Annual

It is recommended that the annual fire pump flow test be conducted by a certified professional. 

  • Inspection of the pump operation – The fire pump test as outlined by NFPA 25 begins by connecting hoses to the discharge test header with the hoses leading to a safe location where the large flow of water won’t cause any damage. A close eye should be kept on the pressure reading gauges throughout the test. 

The test results are then compared to recommended factory specifications If the pump’s performance isn’t optimal, further assessment is needed to further diagnose and make repairs. 

Consult the Fire Protection Experts 

Trust the experienced pros at Majestic Fire to carry out proper fire pump inspection, testing, and maintenance to keep your fire protection system running optimally. 

What are the Main Components of Fire Protection Systems?

Fire Sprinkler service

A fire protection system is far more sophisticated than simple fire alarms and sprinklers. In fact, it is a complex, interconnected system that aims to mitigate the health and property damage risks of not just fire, but also the dangers that smoke inhalation and asphyxiation present. 

Many components are put in place to aid firefighters to get to the blaze in a timely manner in order to minimize safety risks on their behalf and excessive property damage as well. This guide is purely informative in nature. Please refer to the appropriate local authority for more fire safety guidelines and up-to-date building codes. 

Fire Sprinklers 

There is a common misconception that fire sprinklers only belong in commercial spaces such as hospitals, hotels, etc. However, fire sprinklers can be installed in any space, particularly a home residence where the risks of fire damage are the greatest. A fire sprinkler is a ceiling-mounted nozzle that is connected to a network of pressured water piping installed in the ceiling that automatically activates in the event of a detected fire. 

In order to guarantee the effectiveness of a fire sprinkler system, a smoke sensitivity test must be conducted on an annual basis for most facilities. 

What is a Standpipe? 

A Standpipe is an interconnected system of water piping, valves, and hose connections placed in strategic locations that allow fire safety personnel to connect a hose or nozzle in order to discharge streams of water and hopefully extinguish the dangerous source of the fire. 

A fire department connection is similar enough to a standpipe, however, with the main difference being that it must be located on the exterior wall with unobstructed access at all times in the event of an emergency. The installation of a standpipe system must be done by licensed professionals and in accordance with the latest building codes.

Fire Alarm Systems 

A fire alarm system is the brains of the operation closely monitoring for the presence of fire or smoke and in turn, triggers an audible or visual signal to notify the public. A fire alarm system can work on both automatic sensors and manual input. Certain models are even linked and will directly notify the nearest fire department in the case of a detected outbreak of fire.

Fire alarm installation should be handled by certified professionals with bonafide experience in handling the safety of the public. 

Fire Pump 

One of the main methods of extinguishment in an outbreak of fire relies on a heavily pressurized stream of water. The integrity of a fire protection system relies on the fire pump’s ability to administer a constant supply of water and keep the system sufficiently pressurized at all times for the automatic sprinkler system. 

There are many different models of fire pumps that require regularly scheduled maintenance in order to perform optimally in a high-stress situation. An improperly functioning fire pump could spell catastrophic consequences. A fire protection expert can inspect and repair a deficient fire pump. 

Fire Protection Key Takeaways 

A full-fledged fire protection system relies on many different components that work together in order to ensure the safety of the public and the protection of property. Each individual component must be properly inspected and maintained for this ‘teamwork’ to result in the saving of lives and property.

How Are Fire Extinguishers Serviced Yearly Up To 12 Years

making sure fire extinguisher tag is correct

Physical Inspection To Hydrostatic & Refilling The Fire Extinguishers

If you’ve been worried about fire in your home or residence, you likely have already purchased a fire extinguisher. However, buying the fire extinguisher isn’t enough – you have to make sure it’s in proper working order, and it’s best to do so very frequently.

One of the best ways to protect you and your family from a fire is to make sure that your fire extinguishers are in good working order. To do this, you should reach out to a trained professional for some fire extinguisher testing.

Fire Extinguisher Testing

Another great way to protect yourself from fire is to annually get your fire extinguishers tested. Annual fire extinguisher tests should be held by a certified and licensed technician, as they are the ones who are knowledgeable about what to look for. When it comes to your family’s safety, thinking that you have the skills and know-how to test your fire extinguisher can lead to large problems if you’re overestimating your abilities!

Monthly and Annual Checks

monthly and annual fire extinguisher testing

Keep in mind that while the fire extinguisher need only be tested by a technician annually, you should reach out to team managers or other team members monthly so that they can visually inspect the fire extinguisher to make sure that the gauge shows that it’s in good standing (in the green) and that the cylinder is in good shape. If there is a problem with either of these, you’ll need to get a new fire extinguisher.

The annual fire extinguisher test will be performed similarly to the monthly check. The licensed professional will visually check the cylinder, check that the cylinder is full/in good standing, and that the status gauge is working correctly.

Six-Year Checks

On top of the monthly and annual tests, it’s highly recommended that you have a more in-depth inspection every six years. This inspection should also be performed by a licensed technician. During this inspection, the technician will check the manufacturing date of the fire extinguisher. If the manufacturing date is over six years, the technician will inform you that that content in the fire extinguisher will need to be emptied. (It’s best to let the professionals handle the disposal since it requires specific handling and disposal techniques.)

Once the contents have been properly disposed of, the technician will then check that the cylinder is still working properly/doesn’t have any obvious or worrisome cracks by wiping it down with soapy water (to see if the water disappears anywhere inside). Once they’ve determined that the cylinder is still safe to use, they will refill it with whatever component is required to be in the fire extinguisher.

(Keep in mind that different fire extinguishers have different contents in them depending on what they’re meant to combat. Some might have foam, some might have powder, and others still might have a more liquid compound. It’s always good to double-check with the technician that they’re replacing the fire extinguisher contents with the right components!)

Once this whole process has been completed, you can feel confident about fighting any potential fires that occur in your home or place of work.

12-Year Checks

fire extinguisher 12 year hydrostatic testing

If you happen to have a fire extinguisher that has not been tested, the same process applies. You will reach out to a trained technician for their services, and they will perform a check on your 12-year-old fire extinguisher. During this testing, the fire extinguisher will go through a similar process as if it were a 6-year-old fire extinguisher. However, there is one main difference – the older fire extinguisher will be going for hydrostatic testing, as well.

Hydrostatic testing is where the fire extinguisher will be emptied of its contents, and then the cylinder will be tested between 500-600 psi to ensure that it doesn’t crumple/break/collapse/crack/otherwise become damaged. 500-600 psi is about 2.5 times the usual amount of pressure that a fire extinguisher will go through when it’s in use, so this hydrostatic test is to make sure that the cylinder can be refilled with the proper contents. If the cylinder fails the hydrostatic test, the cylinder will have to be properly recycled, and you’ll need to buy a new fire extinguisher.

Other Checks

However, when it comes to fire extinguishers, other components go into the fire extinguisher to make sure it can work properly. As such, the other components must be checked as well. These are checks that the technician will also do during each fire extinguisher examination.

The purpose of these checks is to guarantee that all the individual mechanisms, hoses, and other components all function properly. At that point, once everything has been checked, the fire extinguisher technician will reassemble the fire extinguisher, check it for leaks (with the soapy water technique mentioned above), and then set it to completely dry before it is re-installed for later use.

Links

https://www.nfpa.org/Public-Education/Staying-safe/Safety-equipment/Fire-extinguishers

Changing Fire Sprinkler Position For Better Coverage

sprinkler head reposition

Relocating sprinkler heads installed in ceiling panels is the kind of task best left to seasoned hands. When building access time is at play or you just want to update the fire suppression system as quickly and efficiently as possible, Majestic Fire Protection’s methodical workflow makes an important task a straightforward process. 

Recently, Majestic Fire Protection installation expert Alberto walked us through the process of installing sprinkler heads in tile panels.

Identify the new Sprinkler Head Location

Majestic Fire Protection’s seasoned installation experts have years of experience maintaining fire sprinkler systems and replacing fire sprinkler heads. So much so, that our first observation of any room is to look toward where the fire sprinkler heads need to be located. 

Once we’ve taken measurements to make sure we’re on track, we mark and set a hole for the new sprinkler head. 

With the new location set, we then set out to find the sprinkler head that needs to be replaced. Once we’ve located the old sprinkler, we can determine how long of a pipe we need to extend the water line to a location that meets code. 

Set the Path

From there we look toward the new location to find out what obstacles need to be cleared. We clear any material like insulation out of the way and then measure the length of pipe we need to in order to extend the waterline. With the extended line’s measurements, we and set off to cut and ready a new pipe. 

Remove the Old Sprinkler Head

With the new pipe on its way, we are ready to remove and cap off the old sprinkler head. First, we first turn off the water at the intake connection. Then we use a plastic bag to contain the catch water. At every stage, we double-check that the water is controlled as much as possible. 

Extend the Water Line

The newly cut pipe is then installed. With the waterline now extended to right above the new sprinkler head hole. We’re now set to drop down the new fire sprinkler head. We take a measurement from the new waterline extension pipe down to the hole in the ceiling tile. A new pipe is then cut at our mobile machine shop. We then thread, tape, and attach the newly cut pipe to the new sprinkler head. 

Cut & Thread Sprinkler Head To the Pipe

Our mobile tool and machine shop lets us measure and cut, rethread and tape the existing pipe to fit the demands of the site. Once it’s cut, threaded and prepped, the pipe is ready for immediate installation. Precise and fast, Majestic Fire Protection installation experts are in constant movement to update your fire sprinkler system with as little interruption to the normal flow of the building as possible. 

Connect New Sprinkler Head To The Extenetd Waterline

The new sprinkler head and pipe are then connected to the extended water line. Once we hang the new head in the ceiling tile, we tighten the connections. After we replace each fire sprinkler head in the designated area, we then prepare to turn on the water and check for leaks. 

The Process of Checking our Work

When all of the sprinkler heads have been replaced, we check our new fire sprinkler head installations to make sure that there are no water leaks in the plumbing. We take it slow and test the waterlines in a manner that makes us able to shut the water off immediately. 

First, we make sure the lines are clear and set the intake pressure on the interior valve to 90 PSI. 

Then our team technician goes to monitor the exterior PIV Valve – where we turn the water supply to the sprinkler system back on. Once the water is turned on, the fire alarm will activate and continue to ring until the system reaches 90 PSI. 

The team leader then checks in with the installation crew who is spread throughout the site inspecting each new sprinkler head in their quadrant. 

Each installation team member checks in with the team leader who is ready to shut off the PIV Valve at any moment. With each new sprinkler head installed and double inspected, the ceiling tile is then replaced. 

For Code Considerations Made Easy

Drop us a note or get in touch to schedule a site visit. From yearly maintenance to occasional updates, Majestic Fire Protection is here for you. 

NFPA 2001 Standard on Clean Agent Fire Extinguishing Systems

NFPA Standard Clean Agent Fire Extinguishing

Clean Agent Fire Suppression

You’ve likely been inside a building with some type of fire safety system installed. These systems have multiple components, including fire alarms, fire extinguishers, and sprinkler systems to minimize damage and save lives. Most large commercial and residential properties have some form of fire protection system installed, as these are the most commonly used in today’s construction. However, certain locations require special fire protection equipment to protect specific items and structures.

How Do These Systems Work? 

For example, if a room houses large amounts of electronics, the typical fire protection system may prevent fire damage. However, all of the electronics would still be ruined by water. Buildings with large data servers, museums, storage vaults, gas stations, grills, and fryers require specialized systems to contain fires without damaging items or complicating the situation. 

Clean agent fire suppression systems are a safe and efficient alternative that provides a way to protect valuables and extinguish fires caused by certain elements. These systems use gases that are safe for humans at lower levels of exposure to extinguish fires. Clean agent systems are specifically made for populated areas that hold delicate items. Additionally, these systems automatically detect fires and begin extinguishing them automatically. 

The NFPA 2001 defines clean agents as electrically non-conductive, volatile, or gaseous fire extinguishing agents that leave no traces of residue when they evaporate. These systems extinguish fires in their initial stages to prevent extensive damage.

Types of Clean Agent Fire Suppression Systems

All clean agents exist either as gas or liquid. When the system activates, it releases these agents as gas to extinguish a fire. Upon initiation, the clean agent removes one of three elements needed to maintain a fire – heat, oxygen, or the fuel source. 

The Novec 1230 and FM-200 are the most cost-effective than other gas-based systems because fewer agents are required to extinguish a fire. This means that smaller storage cylinders are required to house the agents. When comparing the two, the Novec 1230 is only slightly more expensive. 

Of the three types of clean agents, inert gas is the most friendly to the environment. There is zero Ozone Depletion Potential (ODP) and zero GWP. Novec 1230 is more environmentally friendly because it has a lower GWP of 1, although both of these systems are rated with a zero ODP. 

Advantages of Clean Agent Fire Suppression Systems

Clean agent systems offer quick-acting remedies when a fire breaks out. These systems initialize and reach appropriate concentration levels in under ten seconds. Additionally, they are designed to actually extinguish fires, while sprinkler systems focus solely on fire containment. 

There’s minimal cleanup and hardly any residue after the dispersal of a clean agent fire suppression system. These systems provide chemical and gaseous fire suppression solutions that won’t damage delicate objects because of the chemical makeup of the extinguishing agents

Clean agents are safe for people, as well. The U.S. EPA approves the materials these systems use for use in occupied spaces. Different options are available to meet specific needs. For example, green systems are ideal for building owners who want to meet eco-friendly standards or take friendlier measures for the environment. 

What Buildings Should Install Clean Agent Fire Suppression Systems? 

These are the best examples of buildings that use clean agent fire suppression systems: 

  • Areas with flammable liquid storage
  • Spaces that house important infrastructure
  • Museums
  • Data centers
  • Labs 
  • Medical facilities
  • Libraries
  • Call centers

Can you spot what all of these buildings have in common? They all have valuable and delicate items housed within their confines. Your building doesn’t have to have valuables to use a clean agent fire suppression system. You can use these systems to protect buildings from fire no matter what they have stored. 

Inspections and Maintenance

Clean agent fire suppression systems must undergo regular inspections and maintenance. This is a critical part of ensuring these systems will, in fact, keep the building safe. The following list outlines the inspection process.

  1. Check all initiating components to verify time delays for system deployment
  2. Ensure releasing devices all activate properly
  3. Verify abort device and manual release function properly
  4. Check the weights and pressures of agent containers
  5. Verify the position of discharge components, pipe fittings, and nozzles
  6. Perform enclosure integrity test
  7. Check all batteries and signals
  8. Verify all as-built drawings and flow calculations

The building owner must promote someone as the formal inspector. If the inspector isn’t present during relevant or emergency situations, the building owner must assume this role. 

A clean agent fire suppression system is only beneficial if it’s working properly. Ensuring that these systems stay well-maintained and inspected is critical for functionality. 

Every Six Months

According to the NFPA 2001, the maintenance schedule for these systems should take place as follows: 

Very clean agent cylinder weight

Every Year

Test all clean agent system control panel equipment. This includes initiating devices and equipment. Room integrity testing should be performed as well. 

Every Five Years

Inspect containers, reducing the need to perform a hydrostatic test

Maintenance for a CO2 system should be: 

Every Six Months

Verify the CO2 cylinder weight and pressure

Every Year

Test all components of the CO2 control panel, including initiating devices and equipment as required by the NFPA Chapter 12 standard on CO2 Fire Suppression Systems. 

Every Five Years

Conduct a hydrostatic test if cylinders holding the agent have been emptied.

Every 12 Years

Conduct a 12-year hydrostatic test if cylinders have never been emptied, or the system has never discharged. 

Get Protected, Stay Protected

Do you own a residential or commercial building with a significant amount of valuable or delicate items? Does a clean agent fire suppression system sound like something that could benefit you based on the items you have housed in your building? 

You should seriously consider installing a clean agent fire suppression system if you answer yes. Typical water systems may be efficient at containing fires, they’re not that great at minimizing property damage. When you have valuable items at stake that you’re highly invested in, there’s only one solution for fire suppression. 

Source:

https://www.nfpa.org/codes-and-standards/all-codes-and-standards/list-of-codes-and-standards/detail?code=2001

How Many Types Of Fire Extinguishers Are There and What Purpose Are They Made For?

How Many Types Of Fire Extinguishers Are Out There
How Many Types Of Fire Extinguishers Are Out There

Fire safety is no joke and having a solid idea of different fire extinguisher types can be the difference between life and death.

Even if you think you might never need to know this life-changing information, you never know what might happen.

Read on to learn about the different fire extinguisher types, how to use fire extinguishers, and how to dispose of fire extinguishers when they’re empty.

Fire Extinguishers And How They Work

Just to make sure we’re all on the same page, a fire extinguisher is a portable, medium-sized device – typically painted red – that is used to put out fires if they start. There are several fire extinguisher types, and different fire extinguishers work better for specific types of fires.

Just as you shouldn’t put water on a grease fire, making sure to treat specific types of fires with their associated fire extinguisher will help you handle emergencies with little to no panic or injuries.

A fire happens when three elements are combined in a specific way:

  • A type of fuel (this can be a liquid, combustible solid, or gas)
  • Oxygen (this will react with the fuel)
  • Heat (this has to be enough to take an item past its burning temperature, which will cause it to ignite if the other two elements are also there)

Since these three elements cause fires, it stands to reason that – to stop a fire – you just have to remove one (or more) of these elements. In most cases, it’s easiest to remove the fuel or the heat, although that can be harder with forest fires and the like. 

All fire extinguisher types work in similar ways – their goal is to remove these three elements from each other. For example, a carbon-dioxide fire extinguisher removes oxygen from the fire and replaces it with carbon dioxide instead (which won’t keep the fire going).

Luckily, even with multiple fire extinguisher types, if you need to know how to dispose of a fire extinguisher after it’s empty, it’s pretty simple.

How To Use Fire Extinguishers

When it comes to fire extinguisher types, you don’t have to worry too hard about how to use fire extinguishers. They all use the same method, so if you’re having to fight a fire, just remember . . . P.A.S.S!

P.A.S.S. is an easy way to help you remember how to use fire extinguishers. It stands for:

  • P = Pull the pin (which will break the seal meant to prevent tampering. If your fire extinguisher is “new” but the tamper seal is broken, get a new fire extinguisher!)
  • A = Aim the fire extinguisher nozzle or hose at the base of the fire. Aim as low as possible. (Also, try not to touch the plastic parts of the fire extinguisher. It can get very cold.)
  • S = Squeeze the handle. This will force whatever chemical or agent is in the fire extinguisher to be discharged. Make sure you’re aiming at the fire!
  • S = Sweep from side to side. You’re going to want to use a side-to-side motion when aiming at the base of the fire.

Repeat steps 2-4 until the fire is out. Then wait to see if it re-ignites. If it doesn’t re-ignite, you’re safe. If it re-ignites, repeat steps 2-4.

Fire Extinguisher Types

When it comes to fire extinguisher types, there are only a few main ones.

Water Fire Extinguisher

These fire extinguishers have a red “water” label on the canister which is most of the time also colored in red to be visible. The air-pressurized water fire extinguisher uses a mix of tap water that has been pressurized (to give it force), meaning that it’s a giant, heavy squirt gun or super soaker.

How It Works

Water extinguisher types, this particular fire extinguisher tries to remove the “heat” from the three elements. It uses water to try and cool down whatever fire is occurring. 

Do Not Use With

  • Flammable liquid fires
  • Electrical fires
  • Oil Based Fires

Because this is just water, make sure to take care when firing it near – not at! – any electrical equipment. Even during a fire, water and electricity don’t mix!

Dry Powder Fire Extinguishers

If you’ve ever seen a fire extinguisher, it was likely a dry chemical fire extinguisher. When it comes to fire extinguisher types, this is the most common. You may have heard them called “dry chemical” or “dry powder,” but they are basically interchangeable.

These fire extinguisher types often contain baking soda, which is why it comes out as a white powder when you distribute it.

Dry chemical fire extinguishers are used to combat the types of fires that might commonly occur in the home: wood, paper, gasoline, grease, or electrical fires. These are some of the easiest elements to ignite, so it’s great that when it comes to fire extinguisher types, this one extinguisher can combat all these types of fires. 

How It Works

Rather than specifically trying to make a gas (like oxygen) inert so that it can’t interact with the fuel and the heat, dry chemical fire extinguishers try to coat the fuel with a solid that won’t react with the other elements.

The inert solid of choice might be similar to dirt or sand (both of which are great for putting out these types of fires). The solid is typically made up of baking soda – or another element very similar to it – which then coats the fuel and smothers the fire. 

Do Not Use With

  • Cooking fires
  • Fires that occur in enclosed spaces
  • Fires that start around electrical equipment that exceed a voltage of 1000 volts.

Foam Fire Extinguishers

When it comes to fire extinguisher types, another common one you’ve likely encountered is the foam fire extinguisher. If, for whatever reason, you’re around a fire but you don’t have access to a wet chemical fire extinguisher or a dry chemical fire extinguisher, you can seek out a foam fire extinguisher.

When it comes to fire extinguisher types, this one gets its name from the foam that it discharges when you use it. Foam fire extinguishers have a lot of overlap with the dry chemical and wet chemical fire extinguishers.

They are good for Class A and Class B fires, which is wood, paper, and textile fires, and flammable liquids (all things that are likely to catch fire in a home – rather than an industrial building or laboratory).

How It Works

When it comes to foam fire extinguishers, these fire extinguisher types use a product composed of a foam concentrate. When this foam concentrate is sprayed at a fire, it creates a thin film between the fuel and the oxygen.

This film prevents the fuel and oxygen from mixing, which will suppress the chemical reaction that keeps a fire going. In most cases, the foam is made up of a mixture of water and solvents that creates a cooling effect on the water (making it harder to keep the fire going/reigniting).

Do Not Use With

  • As with many of the other fire extinguisher types on this list, this one should not be used with live electrical equipment.

Carbon Dioxide Fire Extinguishers

Some guides that focus on fire extinguisher types will mention something called a “clean agent” fire extinguisher. Consider the “clean agent fire extinguisher” as an umbrella term, under which carbon dioxide fire extinguishers exist.

When a fire extinguisher is referred to as a “clean agent,” it just means that, after discharging the extinguisher, there isn’t any residue leftover that needs to be cleaned up!

In movies, when fire extinguishers are discharged, everything is covered in a white powder that looks nearly impossible to clean up . . . and certain fire extinguishers are accurately depicted by this!

However, it’s not the case for all fire extinguishers, and carbon dioxide fire extinguishers do not require much cleanup afterward.

How It Works

This is one of the more interesting extinguishers on the list, as only a few fire extinguisher types targets multiple elements on the fire chart. Primarily, a carbon dioxide fire extinguisher goes after the “oxygen” element.

(This is the type of fire extinguisher that was mentioned earlier.) A CO2 fire extinguisher works by removing the oxygen from a fire and replacing it with carbon dioxide. In this particular case, carbon dioxide is inert, meaning it won’t react with the fuel or the heat.

Speaking of the heat, the CO2 remains at a very low temperature when inside the fire extinguisher, meaning that when it’s discharged, it also works to cool/remove the heating element from the three-element-fire-starting situation.

Do Not Use With

  • Fires involving paper
  • Fires involving wood and fabric
  • Fires involving flammable gasses

You shouldn’t use a CO2 extinguisher with these things because they tend to re-ignite due to the extreme amount of oxygen they produce. This means that the CO2 can’t replace the oxygen fast enough to make a difference.

Wet Chemical Fire Extinguishers

When speaking of different fire extinguisher types, wet chemical fire extinguishers work best with fires that are caused by cooking mistakes or fires that involve a lot of fat and oils. The reason for this is that wet chemical fire extinguishers are less pressurized than other fire extinguisher types.

This means that, especially when dealing with oil and fats which are both slippery, there is not enough pressure from this fire extinguisher to launch the burning oil elsewhere and spread the fire.

How It Works

Similar to the CO2 fire extinguisher, this fire extinguisher also manages to target two of the elements on the fire chart. However, rather than switching oxygen to CO2, this fire extinguisher contains a solution of potassium mist. 

As the cold CO2 in the CO2 fire extinguisher cools the heat, the potassium mist in this fire extinguisher tries to lower the temperature to stop the fire from spreading. Then, the potassium that makes up the mist will react with the hot oil and create a soapy foam that separates the fuel from the heat and the oxygen. 

These fire extinguisher types are typically bright red with a yellow tag across the front that says, “Wet Chemical.”

Do Not Use With

  • Flammable liquids
  • Flammable gasses
  • Live electrical equipment

How To Dispose Of Your Used And Old Fire Extinguishers

So, you’ve used your fire extinguisher. Or maybe it’s very old and you need to get a new one.

Whatever the case, it’s always a good idea to know how to dispose of fire extinguishers no matter which fire extinguisher types we’re talking about.

The rules and regulations surrounding fire extinguisher disposal differ from state to state, but in most cases, you can either:

  • Call your local fire department and see if they have a system in place to drop off partial or empty extinguishers
  • Dispose of the extinguisher in a hazardous waste disposal facility – these places are equipped to take them, and the staff can answer any questions you have.

Luckily, knowing how to dispose of fire extinguishers is simple, so you don’t have to worry about messing it up.

Stay Knowledgeable, Stay Safe

So as long as you know the different fire extinguisher types and what they’re used for, you’ll be able to stay calm in an emergency and get it handled swiftly and easily.

Don’t sleep on this knowledge. Focus on your safety and learn about these fire extinguisher types!

Links

https://home.howstuffworks.com/home-improvement/household-safety/question346.htm

https://www.cvcc.edu/Services/SafetyBB/water.cfm

https://www.safefiredirect.co.uk/Page/34/wet-chemical-fire-extinguishers.aspx

https://blog.koorsen.com/top-4-things-to-know-about-water-mist-extinguishers

https://www.osha.gov/etools/evacuation-plans-procedures/emergency-standards/portable-extinguishers/use

Do You Know About Fire Safety Inspection?

Quality inspector working in a steel factory.

The fire department conducts fire safety inspections of a facility frequently to point out the risks and dangers associated with the fire. Then, the employers have to make the desired changes accordingly to the results. It all depends on the state or city laws or local jurisdiction relating to inspection of facilities, how these inspections are carried, and how long it takes to complete. You have to take these inspections seriously, as it could put someone's life at risk. It is advised to acquire some knowledge about the ordinances applicable to fire inspection and standards required by the state. Understanding the procedures and requirements for inspections helps employers comply with inspection codes and prevent the problems that they could have faced.

To maintain a good relationship with fire inspectors, you should be prepared for the inspection and comply with the inspection requirements. Surprise visits are frequent, and inspectors carry out surprise inspections just like the food-related establishments. These surprise visits lead to better preparation and keep employers up to date with the fire protection initiatives. Fire safety inspectors check the following things at the time of inspections:-

Woman repairing fire extinguisher at workshop

The inspector will examine the workplace's prevailing safety system, including the active safety systems vs. passive safety systems.
The active fire systems consist of:.

On the other hand, passive fire systems consist of that equipment that helps prevent fires and contain them while helping people in the safe exit. We can take exit signs and exit doors as an example.

The fire inspector has to identify the potential fire hazards within the facility, and he'll point out possibilities that could spark a fire.

The inspector will ensure the safe access of emergency responders in the building at the time of emergency.

Fire safety inspections are mandatory to provide a secure environment in the workplace. The annual fire inspection brings many positives, or when the same is done in compliance with local laws, it brings the following outcomes:-

Regular inspections make the workplace or building safe for employees.

  1. It ensures the safety of residents and visitors to the building.
  2. It helps in job security because most of the facilities end up in loss after fire accidents and unlikely to open in maximum cases.
  3. Appreciate the building's value and avoid maintenance costs that would have been needed to fix the building in case of fire hazard.
  4. Fewer fire accidents mean lower insurance costs, which would have been required to maintain the building and use of fire protection systems.

According to the fire department, fire hazards are reported every 24 seconds in the United States, which should not be the case. Although the death rate related to fires has reduced remarkably compared to decades ago, the numbers are still high.

Workplace safety is a debatable topic and requires detailed analysis to introduce new methods to prevent fire accidents at the workplace.

 

 

What Does IFC Stand For?

International Fire Code

 

IFC is the abbreviation of the International Fire Code. IFC has issued IFC codes in 2018, which serve as SOPs to practice the minimum level of safety guidelines for all the old and new facilities or buildings. These codes don't only provide guidelines but offer a complete set of procedures that should be followed to prevent the risks of fires to keep people safe. The IFC provides guidelines for designing a protection system. It is recommended to use all new or existing structures, upgrading the old protection systems, or establishing new procedures.

 

Where Does IFC apply?

Presently, IFC is being used worldwide; almost 90% of States in the United States have adopted the IFC code. The IFC codes are being used for designing structures of the building even in the states where IFC has not been officially adopted yet because these codes offer safety and maximum protection.

What Are the Advantages of Implementing IFC?

Regardless of any legal obligation, the IFC guidelines are religiously followed due to their numerous advantages. The guidelines can improve fire safety in most of the building structures and offer countless benefits. the following are the most useful guidelines of IFC:-

Flexibility

The IFC codes are not rigid and offer flexibility to the people to construct buildings and facilities. They are easy to comply with by developers and architects. It gives freedom to construction companies and property builders to design their buildings according to their desires.

National Standards

This means IFC guidelines are designed in consultation with all the stakeholders at a national level, and these guidelines have developed a consensus on using codes among different groups. Thus, making it possible to implement the standards across the country.

Logical Regulations for Hazardous Materials

The IFC regulations have been examined thoroughly, and they are found quite logical to be implemented at the facilities. These standards apply to the buildings or facilities that use hazardous materials to ensure their safety. Regulations are forward-thinking for more ways to protect the lives of people and keep the vicinity safe.

Detailed Guidelines

The IFC codes have been designed in detail; it suits all the situations used within the buildings like in refrigerator rooms, stores, boiler systems, places used for fire supplies, sprinkler systems, or any other place where there is a chance of fire hazard.

Which Fire Extinguisher Is Best For Electrical Fire?

Which Fire Extinguisher Is Best For Electrical Fire?

Fire extinguishers have many types to be used for various fires, and each one uses a different material against different types of fires. To deal with electrical fires, class C fire extinguishers are designed to extinguish different fire types. If the fire erupts out of electricity, termed as an energized electrical fire, class C fire extinguishers can extinguish such fires. First, to completely put out electrical fires, you need to cut down the source of electricity as it could add fuel to the fire. A constant source of electricity can ignite the fire and results in a major catastrophe if the electrical supply is not disconnected in the event of a fire. It can burn everything available in the facility and result in the blast in situations containing flammable gases or liquids.

multiple sources of power failures can happen in a facility that results in electrical fires, and the most common of these include:-

fires arising due to short circuits
faulty wiring
overloaded devices
wire damages
broken electrical outlets
poor installation of lights

Fire Extinguisher Classes Associating To Electrical Fires

Electrical fires can be blown out using extinguishers containing non-conductive materials rather than foam-based equipment because water-based extinguishers can cause a severe fire hazard due to their high conductivity. If anyone uses water or foam-based extinguishers to stop electrical fires, it will result in disaster and severe damage. It led to creating new types of fire equipment, i.e., class C fire equipment that is safe to use on electrical fires and made up of ingredients like potassium chloride, mono-ammonium phosphate useful potassium bicarbonate substance to stop the fire. Some class C-type fire extinguishers use carbon dioxide to control fires because CO2 can prevent fires due to its capability to keep the oxygen out of the fire and stop the heat as it gets cold when applied to the fire.

Since the c type fire extinguisher contains non-conductive materials, they are quite helpful in extinguishing fires that are blown due to electrical faults. However, it is recommended to have both types of fire extinguishers in hand to use at the time of emergency to put out different types of fires spread out of something. You should have class A or class C fire extinguishers to deal with the different types of fires. You need to know how and where to use the fire extinguishers.

It is recommended to keep a check on all the electrical works and carry regular inspections to ensure electric circuits are working correctly. You can take help from trained professionals who are specialized in the field. This is the only way you can prevent such catastrophic accidents at your workplace or building. Besides, you need to make sure your fire safety equipment is in working condition and ready to use when required. Gather all the information relating to the electrical work in the premises and do annual inspections on all IFC codes implemented in your building design.