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Everything you always wanted to know about fire but afraid to ask

Frequently Asked Questions

  • I want to know what are various kinds of fire?

    Fire can be classified on the basis of source of fire, as follows :

    'A' Class - Wood, paper, cloth, plastic
    'B' Class - Oil, petrol, paints, varnish
    'C' Class - LPG, acetylene, industrial gases
    'D' Class - Reactive metals - sodium, potassium

  • I want to know how does one operate the Fire Extinguisher?

    Typically, a fire extinguisher is operated using the following three very simple and easy-to-operate steps:

    Removing the safety clip
    Pressing the plunger down or by squeezing the operating lever
    Aiming the jet at the fire

  • What precautions do I need to take while operating the Fire Extinguishers?

    It is very important to handle the fire extinguisher with adequate care. Apart from following the operating instructions carefully, one should also take care of the following: A particular type of fire extinguisher is meant only for a particular kind of fire. For instance, Water based extinguisher is suitable for fire due to wood/paper/cloth/plastic and it should not be used on live electrical equipment.

  • Maintenance of fire extinguishers

    Inspect fire extinguishers at least once a month. Fire extinguisher maintenance is important for everyone's safety.

    You must ensure that:

    The extinguisher is not blocked by equipment, coats or other objects that could interfere with access in an emergency.
    The pressure is at the recommended level. On extinguishers equipped with a gauge, the needle should be in the green zone - not too high and not too low.
    The nozzle or other parts are not hindered in any way.
    The pin and tamper seal (if it has one) are intact.
    There are no dents, leaks, rust, chemical deposits. Wipe off any corrosive chemicals, oil, gunk etc. that may have deposited on the extinguisher.
    Fire extinguishers should be pressure tested (a process called hydrostatic testing) after a number of years to ensure that the cylinder is safe to use. Consult your owner's manual, extinguisher label or the manufacturer to see when yours may need such testing.
    If the extinguisher is damaged or needs recharging, replace it immediately!

    IMPORTANT: Recharge all extinguishers immediately after use regardless of how much they were used.

  • Where to install a Fire Extinguisher

    Location, location, location! Having a fire extinguisher is one thing, having it handy in case of an emergency, is another.

    It is recommended to have at least one fire extinguisher on each floor of your Premises. Also, keep them in plain sight and no more than five feet above the floor. Do not put them in closets because that will cost you valuable time when you are reaching for it. And even though a fire extinguisher may not match your décor, do not put it behind curtains, drapes or racks.

    The most important places to have a fire extinguisher are in areas that are more susceptible to fire. The best locations to mount the fire extinguisher are by the door or in the passage so that it is visible & can be reached fast.

  • Basic fire fighting tips

    All fires can be very dangerous and life-threatening. Your safety should always be your primary concern when attempting to fight a fire.

    Before deciding to fight a fire, be certain that:
    The fire is small and not spreading. A fire can double in size within two or three minutes. You have the proper fire extinguisher for what is burning.
    The fire won't block your exit if you can't control it. A good way to ensure this is to keep the exit at your back.
    You know your fire extinguisher works. Inspect extinguishers once a month for dents, leaks or other signs of damage. Assure the pressure is at the recommended level. On extinguishers equipped with a gauge, the needle should be in the green zone - not too high and not too low.
    You know how to use your fire extinguisher. There's not enough time to read instructions when a fire occurs.

    How to Fight a Fire Safely:
    Always stand with an exit at your back.
    Stand several feet away from the fire, moving closer once the fire starts to diminish.
    Use a sweeping motion and aim at the base of the fire.
    If possible, use a "buddy system" to have someone back you up or call for help if something goes wrong.
    Be sure to watch the area for a while to ensure it doesn't re-ignite.

    Never Fight A Fire If:
    The fire is spreading rapidly.Only use a fire extinguisher when the fire is in its early stages. If the fire is already spreading quickly, evacuate and call the fire department.
    You don't know what is burning. Unless you know what is burning, you won't know what type of fire extinguisher that use. Even if you have an ABC extinguisher, there could be something that will explode or produce highly toxic smoke.
    You don't have the proper fire extinguisher. The wrong type of extinguisher can be dangerous or life-threatening.
    There is too much smoke or you are at risk of inhaling smoke. Seven out of ten fire-related deaths occur from breathing poisonous gases produced by the fire.

    Any sort of fire will produce some amount of carbon monoxide , the most deadly gas produced by a fire. Materials such as wool, silk, nylon and some plastics can produce other highly toxic gases such as carbon dioxide, hydrogen cyanide, or hydrogen chloride. Beware all of these can be fatal.

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