Frequently Asked Questions

FAQs - Fire Extinguisher Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

Below is a collection of frequently asked questions about fire extinguishers and servicing.

My extinguisher pressure gauge is showing too high a pressure…Is this a problem?

If the needle is still within the green section of the gauge it is ok. If however it has crept in to the red then the extinguisher needs attention immediately.

My pull pin is bent…Do I have to replace the pin and how?

Yes the pin would need replacing as is could jam in an emergency. It can be replaced by breaking the tamper seal, removing the old pin, inserting a new pin and replacing the tamper seal. This should be
performed by a competent person.

Are CO2 fire extinguishers suitable for liquid fires outdoors?

CO2 works by starving a fire of oxygen so is less efficient when used outdoors due to it dispersing quickly.

Can I use CO2 fire extinguishers on computers?

Yes, CO2 is ideal for use on computers and other electrica/electronic items as it leaves no residue.

Is CO2 safe for use in computer rooms?

Yes, as long as the user doesn’t expose themselves to the CO2 for too long as it is an asphyxiant and could cause suffocation.

What are the best home extinguishers?

Foam extinguishers, if dielectrically tested, are ideal for the home. Covering Class A (solids such as wood, paper, etc.) and Class B (burning liquids and liquefiable solids) these extinguishers are also safe for use around live electricity (from a 3 Foot distance).

How high should I hang CO2 extinguishers?

The handle of any portable fire extinguisher with a gross mass of over 10 lbs. should be placed at a height of 3 feet from the floor if wall mounted.

How do I clean up after a foam extinguisher has been discharged?

  • Wear the protective equipment (Impermeable Gloves, goggles. The chemicals in foam fire extinguishers can be carcinogenic)
  • Soak up the foam or liquid from the wet chemical or water extinguisher with either paper towels or old towels that can be thrown away
  • Wash the area thoroughly with water and use paper towels or an old towel to soak up any excess
  • Place all towels into a plastic bag and seal before throwing it away into the usual waste bin

Can I use water or powder on grease fires?

Water cannot be used on grease fires but powder with its class A, B and C rating can be used to extinguish fat fires (class B).

Which extinguisher should I carry in my car?

It is still recommended that powder extinguishers are installed in vehicles as they give the greatest coverage and are unlikely to be used inside the vehicle.

What extinguisher should be supplied in a van?

It is still recommended that powder extinguishers are installed in vehicles as they give the greatest coverage and are unlikely to be used inside the vehicle.

Can I use powder fire extinguishers near animals?

Using a powder fire extinguisher near and animal, either indoors or outdoors, can cause respiratory problems for the animal so it is not recommended to do so.

My extinguisher is dented…what should I do?

It would be advisable to have the extinguisher examined by an engineer to determine whether the extinguisher is still safe to use or requires replacement.

I have lost my extinguisher certification tag…what shall I do?

It would be advisable to have the extinguisher examined by an engineer to ensure that the tag was simply broken accidentally as opposed to vandalism. An extinguisher that has been tampered with could
malfunction in an emergency and pose a risk to health.

My extinguisher handle is bent…do I need to replace the extinguisher?

It would be advisable to have the extinguisher examined by an engineer who can, if needed, replace the handle. A bent handle may not look too bad but could hamper the function of the extinguisher.

There is rust on my extinguisher…Does it need replacing?

It would be advisable to have the extinguisher examined by an engineer. Over the lifetime of an extinguisher there may appear small signs of corrosion which are in non-critical places on the handle etc. but an engineer should examine the extinguisher to determine whether or not the corrosion is acceptable or not.

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