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Powder Fire Extinguishers

Powder fire extinguishers are the most versatile fire extinguishers of all. They are capable of extinguishing fire classes A, B ,C (Flammable solids, liquids and gasses) as well as fires in electrical equipment and are often referred to as multi-purpose or ABC powder fire extinguishers. Specialist powder extinguishers can also fight metal fires (class D) and may be required in workplaces where magnesium, aluminium and lithium are machined. Powder fire extinguishers have a blue text field to help recognition.

Portable powder extinguishers are available in 1kg, 2kg, 4kg, 6kg and 9kg sizes and larger wheeled units are also available. Smaller powder fire extinguishers are mostly used to protect small workshops, vehicles, caravans and the home, while larger units may be found in airports, flammable liquid storage facilities and on vehicles and fuel tankers, to cover ADR fire risks.

Powder extinguishers offer a fast flame knockdown and are highly efficient when used against 'running' fuel fires.

Limitations of a Powder Extinguiisher

Powder extinguishers work by chemically interfering with the combustion process. As they do not cool the flames - like a water or foam extinguisher would – there can be a risk of re-ignition, if there are embers left.

When discharged, the powder can spread over a large area leaving a residue on carpets and furnishings and potentially damaging computers, food equipment and machinery. There is also the risk of inhalation and of limiting visibility caused by the fine powder.

 

Reviewed: 01/02/2020 (doc:498 V1.0). Our articles are reviewed regularly. However, any changes made to standards or legislation following the review date will not have been considered. Please note that we provide abridged, easy-to-understand guidance. To make detailed decisions about your fire safety provisions, you might require further advice or need to consult the full standards and legislation.

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