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Fire Extinguisher Series – Class B Extinguishers & How to Clean Up After Them

Published by 911 Restoration Truckee on March 9, 2022 in category: Uncategorized

How to clean up after class B extinguishers? Read on and find out!To control a fire outbreak quickly, you may need a fire extinguisher. There are several types to fight against different fires (linked to the burning of hydrocarbons, wood, metals, etc.). The types of fires are classified according to their source, and it is essential to use an extinguisher adapted to the source. Here we explain the types of class B fire extinguishers suitable for Class B fires.

Powder, foam, CO2 fire extinguisher, which one to use for a class B fire? How to clean up after class B extinguishers? Here are the answers!

Fire Extinguisher Series: Class B Fire Extinguishers

To control a fire outbreak quickly, you may need a fire extinguisher. There are several types to fight against different fires (linked to the burning of hydrocarbons, wood, metals, etc.). The types of fires are classified according to their source, and it is essential to use an extinguisher adapted to the source. Here we explain the types of class B fire extinguishers suitable for Class B fires.

Powder, foam, CO2 fire extinguisher, which one to use for a class B fire? How to clean up after class B extinguishers? Here are the answers!

Fire Extinguisher Series: Class B Fire Extinguishers

The choice of extinguisher is determined according to the following:

  • the type of potential fires to be covered
  • the nature of the premises
  • the activity practiced in the space to be protected
  • the regulations in force

The fires are classified according to the source of the conflagration and, therefore, the nature of the materials affected. A class B fire is the fire of flammable liquids, or liquefiable solids-we are talking about greasy fire. The fuel can be hydrocarbons (gasoline, fuel oil, oil, etc.), alcohol, solvents, acetone, paraffin, certain plastics (polyethylene, polystyrene), grease, tar, oils, paints, etc.

Class B fires can be extinguished by foam fire extinguishers, powder fire extinguishers (ABC powder fire extinguishers) and CO2 fire extinguishers.

Foam Fire Extinguishers

Foam fire extinguishers are used to put out class B and A fires but to a lesser extent. Their content is the same as that of water extinguishers + additives. The diffuser transforms the water into a heavy foam, isolating the fuel from the air and acting by cooling.

It is more effective than water on flammable liquid fires (class B) because it traps vapors and prevents re-ignition. Some foams should not be used to extinguish an electrical fire as they may be conductive.

The color code for these extinguishers is also blue (often visible at the handle).

Powder Fire Extinguishers

ABC powder fire extinguisher

The ABC extinguisher is the most versatile effective against A, B and C fires. It contains a chemical agent that smothers the flames by insulating the fuel.

The powder extinguisher can be used to put out an electrical fire, but it will seriously damage the installation, the powder being very corrosive. It is also irritating and should be used with caution indoors. It is preferable to use it in a ventilated environment.

The powder extinguisher is often identified on the label or the handle by yellow.

CO 2 Fire Extinguisher

The CO2 (or carbon dioxide) extinguisher is also called a dry ice extinguisher, often identified by the gray color on the handle, label, pin, etc. It is effective on class B fires and electrical fires. It is also the most appropriate for these types of fires because it leaves no residue and does not cause any damage to the equipment.

Therefore, this model is suitable for expensive appliances, computer rooms, electrical cabinets and telephone systems, and the kitchen. But the CO 2 extinguisher is just as effective on small liquid product fires (class B). It contains liquid CO 2, which turns into gas under pressure. The gas is cooled to -80 degrees Celsius. The gas emitted will drive out the oxygen around the flames, necessary to fuel the combustion and thus extinguish the fire by smothering.

However, please note that the CO2 extinguisher is not a “basic” extinguisher. Each room (except the server room) must also be equipped with a foam or powder extinguisher to fight any kind of fire.

The great advantages of a dry ice extinguisher are:

  • the rapid and effective extinguishing of energized devices
  • the total absence of collateral damage
  • and its frost resistance

But the CO 2 fire extinguisher also has some disadvantages. Its use can cause frostbite in the user, and the gas can be suffocating for humans and animals. The dry ice extinguisher is also heavier and more difficult to handle than other extinguishers. In addition, the product is more expensive and disperses quickly. Finally, using a CO 2 extinguisher increases the risk of reigniting the flames and, in freezing weather, the device can even cause an electrostatic shock.

How to Clean Up After Class B Extinguishers

The CO2 extinguisher does not leave any residue, unlike powder, and does not cause any damage like water. However, in the case of foam or powder fire extinguishers, a proper clean-up is required. Here’s what you should do to clean up after class B fire extinguishers:

Cleaning Up After a Powder Extinguisher

  • Put on a mask, goggles and gloves, as airborne powder particles can irritate the nose, throat, eyes and lungs.
  • Open a window or turn on a small, low fan to ventilate the area. Don’t overdo it; gusts of air will cause the powder to become airborne.
  • Sweep pile of powder with brush or broom, working slowly. Throw powder in a plastic garbage bag.
  • Vacuum up the rest of the powder with a vacuum cleaner. Follow up with a vacuum cleaner regularly, using a brush attachment. Do not use water at this point; it can turn the powder residue into a paste.
  • Clean up any remaining residue with a paper towel
  • Clean furniture and wash floors as you normally do.
  • Deodorize and ventilate

Cleaning Up after a Foam Extinguisher

  • Open a window or turn on a fan to improve ventilation in the area.
  • Pick up moss with paper towels or old rags that you can throw away.
  • Try to lift the foam from the surface as much as you can. Use an old spatula or spoon if it makes the job easier.
  • Clean up residue with damp paper towels or rags.

Once you successfully control the fire and clean up the residue, you must seek professional restoration services so that any undetected damage is not left untreated. Also, leaving the cleaning job in the hands of professionals gives you peace of mind.

If you’re a resident of Truckee or its surrounding area and looking for a fire damage restoration service near you, contact 911 Restoration of Truckee. Their certified and trained professionals are experts in removing soot, smoke, ash, and odors permanently from every corner. Call (530) 422-7061 or visit their website for more information!

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