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Essentials of Fire Fighting,


Essentials of Fire Fighting, 5th Edition Chapter 6 Portable Fire Extinguishers Firefighter I Chapter 6 Lesson Goal After completing this lesson, the student shall ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Essentials of Fire Fighting,

  • Essentials of Fire Fighting,
  • 5th Edition

Chapter 6 Portable Fire Extinguishers Firefight
er I
Chapter 6 Lesson Goal
  • After completing this lesson, the student shall
    be able to operate portable fire extinguishers
    effectively and safely following the policies and
    procedures set forth by the authority having

Specific Objectives
  • 1. Describe methods by which agents extinguish
  • 2. List mechanisms by which portable
    extinguishers expel their contents.
  • 3. Distinguish among classifications of fires
    and the most common agents used to extinguish

Specific Objectives
  • 4. Describe types of extinguishers and their
    common uses.
  • 5. Discuss extinguishers and agents for metal
  • 6. Explain the portable extinguisher rating

Specific Objectives
  • 7. Describe factors to consider in selecting the
    proper fire extinguisher.
  • 8. Describe items to check for immediately
    before using a portable fire extinguisher.
  • 9. Describe the PASS method of application.

Specific Objectives
  • 10. Summarize procedures that should be part of
    every fire extinguisher inspection.
  • 11. Discuss damaged portable fire extinguishers
    and obsolete portable fire extinguishers.

Specific Objectives
  • 12. Operate a stored pressure water
  • 13. Operate a dry chemical (ABC) extinguisher.
    (Skill Sheet 6-I-2)
  • 14. Operate a carbon dioxide (CO2) extinguisher.
    (Skill Sheet 6-I-3)

Fire Extinguishment Methods
  • Smothering
  • Cooling
  • Chain breaking
  • Saponification

Portable Extinguisher Expulsion Mechanisms
  • Manual pump
  • Stored pressure
  • Pressure cartridge

Fire Classifications
  • Class A fires Involve ordinary combustibles
  • Easily extinguished with water, water-based
    agents (foam), dry chemicals
  • Water most common agent used by fire service

Fire Classifications
  • Class B fires Involve flammable/combustible
    liquids, gases, greases
  • Special fire hazards should not be extinguished
    until fuel gas shut off
  • Special-hazard fires get larger as fuel volume
  • Extinguishing agents include carbon dioxide, dry
    chemical, Class B foam

Fire Classifications
  • Class C fires Involve Class A or B fires
    created by electrical energy
  • Do not use water, water-based agents until
    electrical energy eliminated
  • Recommended method is to turn off ordisconnect
    electrical power before using appropriate

Fire Classifications
  • Class D fires Involve combustible metals,
  • Can be identified by bright white emissions from
    combustion process
  • Class D, dry powder extinguishers work best

Fire Classifications
  • Class K fires Involve combustible cooking oils
  • Examples are vegetable fats that burn at
    extremely high temperatures
  • Most fuels found in commercial kitchens can also
    be found in private homes
  • Wet chemicals used in extinguishing systems

Pump-Type Water Extinguishers
  • Intended for use on small Class A fires only
  • All operate in similar manner
  • Equipped with single- or double-acting pump

Stored-Pressure Water Extinguishers
  • Air-pressurized water extinguishers or
    pressurized water extinguishers
  • Useful for all types of small Class A fires

Stored-Pressure Water Extinguishers
  • Often used for extinguishing hot spots
  • Operation
  • Water stored in tank w/air or nitrogen
  • Gauge shows pressurization
  • Pressure forces water up tube, out hose
  • Class A foam concentrate sometimes added

Water-Mist Stored-Pressure Extinguishers
  • Use deionized water as agent, nozzles produce
    fine spray instead of stream
  • Deionized water makes safe for use on energized
    electrical equipment
  • Fine spray enhances cooling/soaking
    characteristics, reduces scattering of burning

Wet Chemical Stored-Pressure Extinguishers
  • Specifically designed to control/extinguish Class
    K fires in deep fryers
  • Contain special potassium-based low-pH agent to
    cool/suppress fires in unsaturated cooking oils

Courtesy of Ansul Corp.
Aqueous Film Forming Foam (AFFF) Extinguishers
  • Suitable for Class A, Class B fires
  • Fires/vapors from small liquid fuel spills
  • Different from stored-pressure water
  • Tank contains specified amount of AFFF
    concentrate mixed with water
  • Air-aspirating nozzle aerates solution

Aqueous Film Forming Foam (AFFF) Extinguishers
  • Water/AFFF solution expelled by compressed air or
  • To prevent disturbance of foam blanket, do not
    apply directly onto fuel allow to rain onto
    surface/deflect off object

Aqueous Film Forming Foam (AFFF) Extinguishers
  • When AFFF/water mixed, finished foam floats on
    fuels lighter than water
  • Vapor seal created by film of water extinguishes
    flame, prevents reignition

Aqueous Film Forming Foam (AFFF) Extinguishers
  • Foam has good wetting, penetrating properties on
    Class A fuels ineffective on polar solvents
  • Not suitable for fires in Class C, D fuels
  • Most effective on static pools of flammable

Clean Agent Extinguishers
  • Designed as replacement for Halon 1211, use
    clean agents that discharge as rapidly
    evaporating liquids that leaves no residue
  • Cool/smother fires in Class A, B fuels
  • Nonconductive so can be used on Class C
  • Approved by U.S. EPA

Carbon Dioxide (CO2) Extinguishers
  • Found as both handheld/wheeled units
  • Most effective in Class B, C fires
  • Have limited reach gas can be dispersed by wind

Courtesy of Badger Fire Protection
Carbon Dioxide (CO2) Extinguishers
  • Carbon dioxide stored under its own pressure as
    liquefied gas ready for release at any time
  • Wheeled units similar to handheld except wheeled
    are considerably larger

Dry Chemical Extinguishers
  • For Class A-B-C fires and/or Class B-C fires dry
    powder used on Class D only
  • Commonly used today

Courtesy of Ansul Corp.
Dry Chemical Extinguishers
  • Two basic types
  • Regular BC-rated
  • Multipurpose and ABC-rated
  • Commonly used dry chemicals
  • Handheld units
  • Wheeled units

Controlling/Extinguishing Metal Fires
  • Special extinguishing agents, application
    techniques developed to control/extinguish metal
  • No single agent controls/extinguishes fires in
    all combustible metals

Controlling/Extinguishing Metal Fires
  • Some powdered agents applied with portable
    extinguishers, others with shovel or scoop
  • Appropriate application technique described in
    manufacturers technical sales literature

Controlling/Extinguishing Metal Fires
  • Portable extinguishers for Class D come in both
    handheld, wheeled units
  • Regardless of applicator, powder must be applied
    in sufficient depth to completely cover burning
    area to create smothering blanket

Controlling/Extinguishing Metal Fires
  • Operation
  • If small amount of burning metal on combustible
    surface, fire should be covered with powder
  • 1 to 2 inch (25 to 50 mm) layer spread nearby,
    burning metal shoveled onto layer
  • After extinguishment, material left undisturbed
    until cooled

Portable Extinguisher Rating System
  • Portable extinguishers classified according to
    types of fire they extinguish
  • Class A, B also rated according to performance
  • System based on tests by UL, ULC

  • Class A From 1-A through 40-A
  • Class B From 1-B through 640-B
  • Class C No tests
  • Class D Test fires vary
  • Class K Recognized by UL, ULC since 1996

Multiple Markings
  • Extinguishers for more than one class of fire
    identified by combinations of A, B, and/or C or
    symbols for each class
  • Most common are A-B-C, A-B, B-C
  • All must be labeled appropriately
  • Unlisted units should not be used
  • Ratings for each class are independent

Identification Two Ways
  • Geometric shapes of specific colors with class
    letter shown within shape
  • NFPA 10 recommended Uses pictographs to make
    selection easier shows types of fires on which
    extinguishers should not be used

Extinguisher Selection Factors
  • Classification of burning fuel
  • Rating of extinguisher
  • Hazards to be protected
  • Size/intensity of fire

Extinguisher Selection Factors
  • Atmospheric conditions
  • Availability of trained personnel
  • Ease of handling extinguisher
  • Life hazard/operational concerns

Extinguisher Selection Considerations
  • Select those that minimize risk to life/property
    and are effective in extinguishing the fire type
  • Dry chemical extinguishers should not be selected
    for use in areas where highly sensitive computer
    equipment is located

Extinguisher Check
  • Immediately before use
  • External condition
  • Hose/nozzle
  • Weight
  • Pressure gauge
  • After selecting size/type for situation, approach
    fire from windward side

Fire Extinguisher Operation
  • All modern extinguishers operate in similar
  • Pick up extinguisher by handles, carry to point
    of application

Fire Extinguisher Operation
  • Once in position, use PASS method
  • P Pull the pin
  • A Aim the nozzle
  • S Squeeze handles together
  • S Sweep nozzle back and forth

Fire Extinguisher Operation
  • Be sure agent reaches fire
  • Apply agent from point where stream reaches but
    does not disturb fuel
  • After fire knocked down, move closer to achieve
    final extinguishment

Fire Extinguisher Operation
  • If extinguishment not achieved after entire
    extinguisher discharged, withdraw/reassess
  • If fire is in solid fuel reduced to smoldering
    phase, may be overhauled using appropriate tool

Fire Extinguisher Operation
  • If fire in liquid fuel, it may be necessary to
    apply foam through hoseline or simultaneously
    attack with more than one extinguisher
  • If more than one extinguisher used
    simultaneously, work in unison and maintain
    constant awareness

Fire Extinguisher Inspections
  • NFPA 10 and most fire codes require portable
    extinguishers inspected at least once/year
  • Verify that extinguishers
  • Are in designated locations
  • Not tampered with or activated
  • No obvious damage/other condition

Fire Extinguisher Inspections
  • Servicing responsibility of property
    owner/building occupant
  • Firefighters should include inspections in
    building inspection program

Fire Extinguisher Inspections
  • Three factors determine value
  • Serviceability
  • Accessibility
  • Simplicity of operation
  • NFPA 10 describes procedures for hydrostatic
    testing of cylinders

Parts of Fire Extinguisher Inspections
  • Ensure extinguisher in proper location/accessible
  • Inspect discharge nozzle
  • Inspect extinguisher shell
  • Check for legible operating instructions on

Parts of Fire Extinguisher Inspections
  • Check locking pin, tamper seal
  • Determine whether full of agent, fully
  • Check for date of previous inspection
  • Examine condition of hose/fittings
  • If any items deficient, remove from service

Damaged Fire Extinguishers
  • Can fail at any time could result in serious
  • Leaking, corroded, otherwise damaged
    shells/cylinders should be discarded or returned
    to manufacturer for repair

Damaged Fire Extinguishers
  • Only slight damage/corrosion and uncertain
    whether safe Should be hydrostatically tested
  • If allowed by SOP, leaking hoses, gaskets,
    nozzles, and loose labels can be replaced by

Obsolete Portable Fire Extinguishers
  • In 1969
  • American manufacturers stopped making
    inverting-type extinguishers
  • Manufacturing of extinguishers made of copper or
    brass with cylinders soft soldered or riveted
    together discontinued

Obsolete Portable Fire Extinguishers
  • Extinguishers using carbon tetrachloride and
    chlorobromomethane prohibited in workplace
  • If obsolete extinguishers are discovered and
    occupant requests, firefighters should follow SOP
    to dispose of them

Halon Fire Extinguishers
  • Included in Montreal Protocol
  • U.S. stopped producing halogens at end of 1993
  • Units may still be in service

  • In many cases, fire extinguishers can control or
    extinguish small fires in less time than it takes
    to deploy a hoseline.

  • Even though portable fire extinguishers may be
    found in many of the homes, apartments, and
    businesses that must be entered to extinguish
    fire, firefighters should only rely on those
    carried on the fire apparatus.

  • To use fire extinguishers safely and effectively,
    firefighters must know capabilities and
    limitations of the extinguisher and their own
    capabilities and limitations as well as the
    proper techniques for their application.

Review Questions
  • 1. What are the five classes of fire and what do
    they involve?
  • 2. What fires are aqueous film forming foam
    (AFFF) extinguishers most effective on?
  • 3. How do carbon dioxide (CO2) portable
    extinguishers work?

Review Questions
  • 4. What are the three most common combinations
    for extinguishers with multiple markings?
  • 5. List three factors that affect the selection
    of the proper portable fire extinguisher.

Review Questions
  • 6. What should be checked immediately before
    using a portable extinguisher?
  • 7. What is the PASS method of application?
  • 8. What procedures should be part of every fire
    extinguisher inspection?
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