The Fire Extinguishers Worst Nightmare

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(—March 6, 2013)  New York, NY—Major fires are a serious business.  For most that have never experienced a blazing inferno that roars and consumes everything in its wake, it is almost uncannily human in its thirst for devastation.  The irony is that in order to have a strong fire, it requires the same ingredients that human life needs to survive, air and materials that it must consume or burn. 


There are degrees of fires that can escalate to levels that a fire extinguisher cannot address, however a readily accessible fire extinguisher in the right place and the right time can stymie a fire before it gets to become uncontrollable.  Fire is essentially the oxidation of a material in the “exothermic” chemical process of combustion which then releases light, heat, and various reaction products.  There are other oxidation processes that occur also such as rusting and digestion, but are not included in this type. 


Fire extinguishers are also referred to as flame extinguishers or just plain extinguishers, are really small fire devices that can actively protect people and property from fires.  Any fires that approach the height of a ceiling would not find a fire extinguisher beneficial.  In the United States, buildings are required to have a “Fire Protection Service” company inspect all fire extinguishers annually. 


The two main types of fire extinguishers are: 1. Stored pressure and 2. Cartridge operated.   Cartridge operated extinguishers contain an expellant gas in a separate cartridge that is punctured prior to discharge.  Stored pressure extinguishers are most common.   With these, the expellant is stored in the same chamber as the firefighting agent itself.  With different extinguishers, different propellants are used.  For example, a dry chemical extinguisher, nitrogen is primarily used, whereas water and foam extinguishers use primarily air. 


For more in depth information regarding fire extinguishers, how they work and what materials are inside them, contact   Manhattan Fire & Safety   (888) 959-5198 x 101   located at 242 West 30th Street, 7th Floor     New York, NY 10001. 

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