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Fire extinguishing refers to the extinguishing of a fire. The chemical powder extinguisher is nowadays used for pretty much any type of fire, however appropriate fire extinguishing assumes analysing the fire class first, and then selecting a (environmentally harmless) extinguishing agent. For powder extinguishers, this means using particulate matter (ie sand, soil, ...), and for foam extinguishers, this means using a ecological soap mixed with water. CO² and FM 200 extinguishers can be used as is (already ecological). Both however only work in confined spaces (indoors).
|Class A||Class B||Class C||Class D|
|Ordinary combustibles||Flammable liquids||Flammable gases||Combustible metals|
|wood, paper, textile, artificial materials||gasoline, diesel, petroleum, paint thinner||propane, butane||magnesium, natrium, potassium, aluminum, alloys|
Appropriate extinguishers depending on fire class
- Class A: use water, or water + foam
- Class B: use powder, or CO² or FM 200
- Class C: use powder, or CO² or FM 200
- Class D: use powder, or CO² or FM 200
Note: never use water with class B fires, the water can spread the combustible fuel making the fire larger. Foam with water can also not be used with B fires, for the same reason. CO² finally can be used indoors, but make sure not to use it when inside the room (can asphyxiate the user).
How the agents extinguish the fire
|Extinguishing agent||Cooling||Expelling of oxygen||Negative catalysis|
|water + foam||very good||very good||no|
|FM 200||no||no||yes (very good)|