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Some Of The Key Points You Need To Know About Fire Extinguishers

Aug 17, 2007
There has been much controversy recently over the revelation that many home fire extinguishers actually contain the gas halon. This is, on the surface, alarming. But in fact, the amount of halon that is contained within fire extinguishers is not a risk to the health of humans in most cases. Those who are young or old, or people who have problems with their respiratory system, however, are advised to avoid the fumes from fire extinguishers if at all possible.

It is also important to know that as the temperature in an area rises, it becomes more dangerous. As the temperature of halon rises, it becomes more toxic. Therefore, do not remain in an area where a fire extinguisher has been used if at all possible. Halon has been shown to be corrosive to the ozone layer. Using it is not particularly healthy for the environment.

When you are looking at a fire extinguisher, most of the information you need will be printed on its label. All extinguishers are rated according to standards set by the industry. These standards will tell you what sort of fire the extinguisher is mean to put out, and, as such, should be consulted before using the extinguisher. Using the wrong type can actually exacerbate the intensity of a fire.

Most labels will warn you of the types of fires that can be worsened by the extinguisher. In addition to the type of fire that they are meant to combat, extinguishers are rated with the size of fire that they can handle. You should never use a fire extinguisher to put out a fire that is too large for it to handle. Ratings proceed in a linear fashion according to their type. A "1A" can put out a certain amount of regular fire, while a "2A" can put out twice as much of a regular fire. A "2B" will put out a certain amount of liquid fire, and a "C" will put out an electrical fire. C rated extinguishers are not given a numerical rating.

Also on the label will be illustrated and printed information about how to properly use an extinguisher. You would be well advised to get familiar with this information.

Most fire extinguishers that are sold today are single use extinguishers. These models tend to be filled with halon. Also, these models do not undergo the same rigorous tests that reusable extinguishers must undergo to be used. And even those that do not score very high. Almost none of the disposable are all purpose extinguishers.

Using the above information as a guide, you can purchase the type of extinguisher that you need for your own personal or business use. Make sure that you get one that will work to overcome the fires that could arise in your location. If not, there isn't much purpose of getting a fire extinguisher.
About the Author
Gregg Hall is an author living in Navarre Beach, Florida. Find more about this as well as a rechargeable fire extinguisher at http://www.rechargeablefireextinguishers.com
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