Dry Powder Fire Extinguishers: Two Answers For Common Questions

Posted on: 21 August 2014

When a fire starts, it is imperative to get it under control as quickly as possible. Unfortunately, there are many different types of fire extinguishers, and most are designed to work on particular types of fires. Luckily, dry powder fire extinguishers are extremely versatile because they do not rely on fluid to extinguish fires, but rather, they deprive the flame source of oxygen. However, there are a couple of important questions you may have about this type of fire extinguisher. 

What Types of Fire Can Dry Powder Extinguish?

A powder based fire extinguisher can put out fires that are fueled by combustible solids, fuels and even electrical fires. They are so versatile because the powder they emit is nonflammable, and it can smother a fire in an extremely short amount of time. This is in contrast to liquid based fire extinguishers which use the moisture to absorb the heat of the fire until it is below the combustion point. 

However, it should be noted that these fire extinguishers are not designed to put out every type of fire. For example, fires that result from molten metal can not be extinguished by powder based fire extinguishers because the temperature is hot enough to cause the powder to break down or even melt. 

Do They Require Special Maintenance?

Being fire ready involves more than just placing fire extinguishers around your home or business. You also have to work to ensure that these devices are well maintained. Luckily, dry powder extinguishers do not require any more maintenance than other types of fire extinguishers. 

Once a month, you should perform a thorough inspection of the extinguisher, regardless of its type. During this inspection, check the pressure gauge to ensure it is at optimal levels, look for signs of wear on the handle and corrosion on the exterior. Lastly, you will also need to remove any dust or other particulate matter that has accumulated around the handle or nozzle. If these materials are not removed, it may prevent the powder from exiting the extinguisher. 

Fire safety is no laughing matter, and if your business or home is caught ill prepared for these dangerous events, you could lose your entire building or even your life. While there are many different types of fires and extinguishers, a dry powder extinguisher is a versatile option for a wide range of common fires, and this may be the best option if you are not performing heavy industrial activities. For more information, visit with a professional like Action Fire Extinguishers Pty Ltd.

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