A Quick Guide To Dry Chemical Fire Extinguishers

Posted on: 20 October 2022


Fire mitigation is always a top priority for businesses and homeowners alike. In the event of a fire, dry chemical fire extinguishers are a vital piece of equipment to have on hand. But what exactly are dry chemical fire extinguishers? How do they work? And what are the tricks to using them?

Read on to discover everything you need to know about dry chemical fire extinguishers.

What Are Dry Chemical Extinguishers?

Dry chemical fire extinguishers are pressurized canisters filled with dry chemicals used to smother and extinguish fires.

The dry chemicals are usually a mix of ammonium phosphate and potassium bicarbonate, which work together to disrupt the chemical reaction of the fire while also cooling the area. These canisters may also contain carbon dioxide, which helps to displace oxygen and starve the fire of its fuel source.

Dry chemical extinguishers are most effective on Class A, B, and C fires, which are fires that involve common combustibles, flammable liquids, and electrical equipment, respectively.

How Do Dry Chemical Extinguishers Work?

Dry chemical fire extinguishers work by interrupting the chemical reaction of the fire. Fire needs oxygen to continue burning, so the dry chemicals work to smother the fire and remove oxygen from the equation. The dry chemicals also act as a heat shield, which further inhibits the fire from igniting or reigniting.

To use a dry chemical fire extinguisher, simply point the nozzle at the base of the fire and squeeze the handle. The chemicals inside the canister are released under pressure and directed at the base of the fire, creating a barrier between the oxygen and the fuel.

It's important to note that dry chemical fire extinguishers should only be used on small, contained fires. They are not effective on large, out-of-control fires. Additionally, the chemicals can be harmful if inhaled, so it's important to use caution when operating a dry chemical fire extinguisher.

Follow the manufacturer's instructions carefully and always evacuate the area if the fire is too large to extinguish with a dry chemical extinguisher.

How to Maintain Dry Chemical Fire Extinguishers

Dry chemical fire extinguishers require very little maintenance. You should, however, inspect them regularly to ensure that they are in good working order. Check the pressure gauge to make sure that the needle is in the green zone, indicating that the extinguisher is fully charged.

Inspect the hose and nozzle for any damage or blockages. And be sure to check the expiration date — dry chemical extinguishers typically have a lifespan, after which they must be replaced.

If you have any questions about dry chemical fire extinguishers or need help selecting the right one for your business or home, consult a local professional to learn more.