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Fire Extinguisher Types and Usage

March 14, 2023

Fire Extinguishers in Australia

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Fire extinguishers are a vital part of protecting property and lives in Australia. In an emergency situation, fire extinguishers can provide invaluable assistance to help contain the damage from a blaze until it can be extinguished by professional firefighters.

One notable example of this is from 2005 when an elderly man in Sydney was able to stop a fire that had started in his kitchen after a splash of oil caught fire on the stovetop. He had a designated area where he kept his fire extinguisher and was able to stay composed, read the instructions put out the fire using the extinguisher.

Statistics from 2020 have also shown that Australian households that are equipped with at least one fire extinguisher are 12% less likely to suffer from extensive fire damage than those without them. This is especially true for households in rural and remote areas, where the fire services may take longer to arrive.

Extinguisher-at-Home

It is because of examples like these that it is so important to make sure that your home or workplace has the correct type of fire extinguisher installed and maintained according to Australian Standards AS 2444:2001 and AS 1851:2012. Having a fire extinguisher in place is a life saver.

Types of Fire Extinguishers:

There are a few different types of fire extinguishers available, and each type is designed to put out specific types of fires. The most common types of fire extinguishers are:

  1. Water Fire Extinguishers (Class A) These are suitable for fires involving solid materials such as wood, paper, and fabrics.
  2. Foam Fire Extinguishers (Class A and B) These are suitable for fires involving liquids such as petrol, oil, and paints.
  3. Carbon Dioxide (CO2) Fire Extinguishers (Class B and E) These are suitable for fires involving electrical equipment and flammable liquids.
  4. Powder Fire Extinguishers (Class A, B, C, D, and E) These are suitable for fires involving flammable solids, liquids, gases, and electrical equipment.
fire extinguisher types lined up

Household and Workplace Fire Extinguishers:

When it comes to picking the right fire extinguisher for your home or workplace, there are a few things you need to consider. Firstly, make sure that the type of extinguisher you buy is suited to the kind of fire risks present in your environment. Different types of fires require different kinds of extinguishing agents, so make sure you get the right type.

Also, check that the extinguisher meets Australian Standards before installation. This is important for both safety reasons and also to ensure that it is effective in case of an emergency. It’s also a good idea to have your fire extinguishers serviced regularly by professionals or replaced as necessary.

Installation and Maintenance:

Australian Standards require that fire extinguishers be installed in visible and easily accessible locations. The number of fire extinguishers needed in a building will depend on its size, layout, and the type of activities taking place in the building. Skills Force Australia can perform a site visit to determine the most appropriate locations for fire extinguishers, diagrams, and site plans. Please see the following link for more information: Fire Safety Inspections.

It is also essential to ensure that fire extinguishers are regularly maintained and serviced to ensure they are in good working condition. Australian Standards require that fire extinguishers are inspected and serviced at least once a year. This includes checking that they are charged correctly, have no damage or corrosion, and that the pressure gauges are functioning correctly.

Training:

It is essential that people in the workplace are trained on how to use fire extinguishers correctly. Australian Standards require that training is provided to employees at least once a year. The training should cover the types of fires that can occur in the workplace, the different types of fire extinguishers available, and how to use them correctly.

Skills Force Australia offers the CPPFES2005 Demonstrate first attack firefighting equipment course, a nationally accredited program that’s crucial for those seeking comprehensive knowledge on fire safety. This course equips you with the ability to identify various types of fires, choose the correct extinguishing agent, and understand how to test and use firefighting equipment effectively. It’s not just an investment in safety—it’s an investment in peace of mind. Knowing how to respond during a fire emergency at your home or workplace can make all the difference. So, arm yourself with the knowledge and practical skills offered in this course and ensure a safer environment for yourself and those around you. Remember, the knowledge you gain could one day save a life.

Summary:

Fire extinguishers are an essential safety device that can save lives and prevent property damage. In Australia, the use and installation of fire extinguishers are regulated by Australian Standards AS 2444:2001 and AS 1851:2012. It is important to ensure that fire extinguishers are installed in visible and easily accessible locations, are regularly maintained and serviced, and that people in the workplace are trained on how to use them correctly.

To ensure proper use, Skills Force Australia offers a nationally accredited course, CPPFES2005 Demonstrate first attack firefighting equipment. This program imparts knowledge on identifying types of fires and the appropriate extinguishing agents, as well as how to effectively test and use firefighting equipment. Following these guidelines and gaining practical skills through such courses not only reinforce safety but also contribute to peace of mind. In essence, fire extinguishers in Australia are more than mere safety tools; they are part of an integrated approach to fire safety management.

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