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Dry Chemical Powder Fire Extinguishers: A Comprehensive Guide

Updated: Mar 30, 2023

It is important to be equipped with the right firefighting tools as fire outbreaks can happen at any location without warning. The dry chemical powder fire extinguisher is a widely used firefighting equipment. This article aims to provide you with comprehensive knowledge about dry chemical powder fire extinguishers, covering their characteristics, dimensions and usage scenarios.


What Are Dry Chemical Powder Fire Extinguishers?

Dry Chemical fire extinguishers extinguish the fire primarily by interrupting the chemical reaction of the fire triangle.

Today's most widely used type of fire extinguisher is the multipurpose dry chemical that is effective on Class A, B, and E fires. This agent also works by creating a barrier between the oxygen element and the fuel element on Class A fires.

Ordinary dry chemical is for Class B & E fires only. It is important to use the correct extinguisher for the type of fuel! Using the incorrect agent can allow the fire to re-ignite after apparently being extinguished successfully.


Sizes of Dry Chemical Powder Fire Extinguishers

Choose the appropriate size of dry powder fire extinguisher based on the area you want to protect and the types of fires you may face. A range of sizes are available, from 0.75kg to 9kg. For smaller spaces like vehicles, caravans, and small boats, the 0.75kg and 1kg extinguishers are a good fit. In industrial or commercial settings where larger fires may occur, opt for larger sizes like the 4.5kg or 9kg extinguishers.


Colours of Dry Chemical Powder Fire Extinguishers

The body of a fire extinguisher that contains dry chemical powder is red, with a white colour band encircling the top of its cylinder. This established colour code assists in recognizing the extinguisher type and the kind of fire it can handle. The white band signifies that the extinguisher holds dry chemical powder and is suitable for extinguishing Class A, B, and E fires.


Usage of Dry Chemical Powder Fire Extinguishers

Fire extinguishers containing dry chemical powder can be used to combat fires related to flammable liquids, electrical equipment, and combustible solids. However, it is not advisable to use them for cooking oil or fat fires because the powder may aggravate the situation. While using a dry powder extinguisher, one must target the bottom of the flame and swing it in a horizontal direction. The discharge must be continued until the fire is entirely put out. To avoid mishaps, it is crucial to adhere to the manufacturer's recommendations since various dry powder fire extinguishers may come with differing instructions.



Effectiveness of Dry Chemical Powder Fire Extinguishers

For extinguishing fires involving flammable liquids, electrical equipment, and combustible solids, dry chemical powder fire extinguishers are remarkably efficient. They stop the chemical reaction behind the fire's combustion. Nevertheless, they are not ideal for putting out fires caused by cooking oils or fats since the powder can promote the spread of the flames. Moreover, the dry powder can create a mess that is hard to clean up. Hence, one should factor in the potential consequences of using a dry powder extinguisher.

ABE Type :

Class A Fires - paper, cardboard, wood, fabrics, people etc.

Class B Fires - flammable liquid fires, petrol, diesel, oil etc

Class E Fires - electrical fires, computers, photocopiers, switchboards etc


Maintenance of Dry Chemical Powder Fire extinguishers

To ensure the effectiveness of dry chemical powder fire extinguishers, it is crucial to understand their maintenance requirements. These extinguishers are of high quality and performance, therefore, regular maintenance is necessary. Below are some tips on how to maintain dry chemical powder fire extinguishers:

Inspection: Regularly inspect the extinguisher to ensure that it is in good working condition. Check for any signs of damage, corrosion, or leakage. Also, make sure the pressure gauge is in the green zone, and if it isn't, have a professional service it promptly.

Recharging: After every use or when the pressure gauge shows a lower reading, recharge the dry chemical powder fire extinguisher. Contact a qualified professional to ensure that the correct amount of powder is filled, and the extinguisher is pressurized properly.

Testing: It is recommended that dry chemical powder fire extinguishers be tested annually or per the manufacturer's guidelines. A professional should carry out the test to ensure that the extinguisher is in good working order.

Placement: Proper placement of fire extinguishers is essential to ensure quick accessibility in the event of a fire. Place them in a visible and easily accessible location, without any obstructions.

Training: Adequate training on how to use a fire extinguisher is essential. Ensure that all employees are correctly and safely informed on how to use the fire extinguishers.

By following these maintenance tips, your dry chemical powder fire extinguishers will always be in good condition and ready for use in the case of a fire emergency


Dry Chemical Powder ABE Fire Extinguisher

Dry Chemical Powder Fire Extinguisher Sizes:

What is dry chemical powder fire extinguisher?

Where can you use dry chemical powder fire extinguisher?

What is dry chemical powder?


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