There are many types of fire extinguishers on the market from which to choose. Knowing which one is best for your needs may be confusing if you don’t understand the proper application of these devices. If you use the wrong fire extinguisher for the wrong type of fire, the results can be disastrous. It is important that each home, office and other types of building be equipped with at least one CO2 fire extinguisher. Iowa residents will need this type of extinguisher to effectively battle electrical fires.
Carbon dioxide is the gas used in CO2 extinguishers. It is a non-corrosive and non-conductive gas that effectively suppresses the oxygen a fire needs to stay alive. The CO2 is kept within these extinguishers in a high-pressure liquid state. Since most buildings, including homes and commercial businesses contain electrical equipment of some sort, having a CO2 extinguisher on hand can be invaluable. These extinguishers are also effective at combatting flames produced by the ignition of flammable liquids.
There is a correct procedure for using a CO2 fire extinguisher to ensure best results. The first step is to pull out the safety pin. Secondly, aim the nozzle directly at the base of the fire – this is important! Then, gently squeeze the lever to release the CO2 gas. Spray the gas with a sweeping motion side to side to attack the flames effectively. If reigniting of the flames occurs, repeat the spraying motion as necessary.
Proper maintenance and care of your CO2 fire extinguisher is necessary to ensure it is not damaged or becomes ineffective. It is important to secure your extinguisher in a fire extinguisher cabinet to protect it from contact from the outside either accidentally or otherwise. Make sure the cabinet is easily accessible and visible to anyone who may need to access the fire extinguisher.
The device should be inspected on a required and routine basis – this may involve a once per year inspection at a servicing center or it may be done by an inspector who visits your location. If you notice any defect in the device or in its operation at any time, have it checked immediately.