In 2021 alone, the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) reported 1844 cases of fire incidents that led to multiple injuries and fatalities. To reduce this number, you should be thinking about including heat detectors installation, a fire alarm panel, and a fire extinguisher within your home or office.
There are various fire extinguishers to choose from. However, you should keep in mind that the type of extinguisher does not determine what fire class it can eliminate.
Let’s take a look at the different types of extinguishers that are available in Singapore:
Dry Powder Fire Extinguisher
The most popular extinguisher on this list, the dry powder fire extinguisher can eliminate all common fire classes including electric fires. It eliminates fires by releasing a layer of dry powder onto the flames. As a result, oxygen access is prevented to reduce the spread of the flames and ultimately put out the fire.
However, one major drawback is that it can be very difficult to clean up. In a frantic state, you may spread the powder all over the affected area; which can be dangerous as the powder is highly corrosive and must be removed immediately.
Foam Fire Extinguisher
Similar to the dry powder fire extinguisher, the foam fire extinguisher engulfs fires to block access to oxygen. However, it is more effective with preventing flames from reigniting as it utilises a cool foam with a high water concentration. Additionally, foam-based extinguishers do not obstruct the user’s vision during fire fighting.
Wet Chemical Fire Extinguisher
Best used for kitchen fires, the wet chemical fire extinguisher releases a wet chemical agent that reacts with grease and fats to form a thick, soapy foam. The thin nozzle that is designed for wet chemical extinguishers is also somewhat different as it allows concentrated sprays to ensure success during fire fighting.
Carbon Dioxide Fire Extinguisher
Much like other extinguishers, the carbon dioxide fire extinguisher starves the fire of its oxygen intake to subside the flames. As a clean agent, it does not leave any residue upon release. Therefore, carbon dioxide extinguishers are best used for fires in electrical stations and server rooms as they prevent damage to electrical equipment.
On the other hand, there may be some drawbacks to using this type of extinguisher. Due to its low temperature, carbon dioxide extinguishers can cause frostbites when handled carelessly.
Clean Agent Fire Extinguisher
This type of extinguisher is similar to the carbon dioxide extinguisher. Clean agent extinguishers cool and reduce oxygen access to the flames – preventing additional spread. Its superior suppression capabilities allows it to be more effective in smaller rooms.
However, Singapore has prohibited the importation of halon-based extinguishers since 1994. These extinguishers can only be used – upon approval – in critical situations such as aircraft fires.
Water Fire Extinguisher
Water-based extinguishers function by significantly reducing fuel temperatures. However, the use of extinguishers that simply utilise water to put out fires has decreased, with most people opting for foam-based extinguishers.
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