How Do Fire Extinguishers Work?

A fire extinguisher is almost a necessity in places such as societies, hospitals, malls and auto rickshaws. As the word goes, fire extinguisher is used to extinguish fire. But do you know how this thing works? Let’s find it…

What are fire extinguishers?
A fire extinguisher is a device made to protect us from fire. They are made of metal and are filled with different materials like water, foam or powder. There are many types of fire extinguishers. The body and the basic model stay the same. What differs is the material filled in them.

It is very important to choose the right fire extinguisher to make sure that you fight the fire properly.

Class A types are made of water and are meant for ordinary materials like paper, cardboard, cloth and so on; The types of Class B are for flammable liquids like kerosene, petrol and so on; Class C fire extinguishers are meant for fire triggered due to electrical objects like wire, circuit and so on; Class D are meant for burning metals and are normally found in chemical laboratories.They are excellent when it comes to extinguishing fire caused by magnesium or sodium.

For home and general places like hospital fire extinguishers of Class A, B and C are generally used.

How do fire extinguishers work?
Fire extinguishers are filled with compressed gas. When you release the valve, the compressed gas is released at a high pressure and the gas extinguishes the fire. Usually sodium bicarbonate or baking soda or potassium bicarbonate pressurized with nitrogen is filled in the fire extinguisher. When you open the valve, the powder decomposes because of the compressed nitrogen and releases carbon dioxide that extinguishes the fire.

Carbon dioxide is a non-flammable gas and helps in putting out the fire easily. Carbon dioxide is heavier than oxygen and hence when you spray it on fire, it displaces the oxygen and the fire stops.

In case you come across any minor fire incident, make sure you put the fire extinguisher to use and contact the fire department in case it is a major one.