Often, the prepping mentality focuses on special and rare situations that can jeopardize individuals. These can include a set of rare circumstances that can bring about catastrophic results. Thinking and preparing about these is the right thing to do, but at the same time, there are many more mundane situations that are equally dangerous, but many times more likely to occur. Among these is the danger of fire, as one of the main issues people have been encountering ever since the ancient history. Then, as well as now, the combination of fuel, oxygen, and heat, or the so-called combustion triangle, is an extremely dangerous one. Because of this, any prepper must be aware of this threat and the ways it can be confronted before it can damage property or put lives in any kind of hazard.
The first and strongest line of defense against this danger should be a presence of one or more fire extinguisher. Yet, on the other hand, people might find themselves confused with different types of fire extinguisher and the way they are used. Also, not all extinguishers should be used for the same forms of fire hazards. To help with this, here is an overview of these firefighting devices and an explanation how they are put into action.
Foam and Water Extinguishers
Extinguishers that use foam and water operate by taking out the element of heat from the combustion triangle. They are applied to those fires which include regular combustible elements like paper, wood, fabric and other non-chemical and non-liquid materials. To use one of these, the canister that holds the foam and water can either be already pressurized, or they can come with pressure capsule that needs to be pierced by the user. The pressurized types can be employed immediately by simply pressing on the handle. The unpressurized devices first must have their capsule pierced, which happens when the user presses on the handle for the first time, but then releases it. After that, the user should wait for about five seconds before the gas from the pierced capsule fills the extinguisher tank. Once the same time has passed, they can use the device.
Carbon Dioxide Extinguishers
These devices operate on the basis of taking out the oxygen from the fire. This is additionally enforced by their ability to remove the heat, being that the CO2 discharge is exceedingly cold. These extinguishers are most effective when it comes to the so-called electrical fires or those fires that include electrical equipment. These are very dangerous to be put out by water, so CO2 is effective because it not only stops the fire but minimizes the damage from its use to the rest of the functional electric elements. These come pressurized, so using them only includes pointing the nozzle at the fire and letting out the CO2. However, being that the gas is exceedingly cold, the user must be careful not to touch the nozzle directly with unprotected hands.
Dry Chemical Extinguishers
These extinguishers are one of the most widely used devices today because of their versatility. They work by dispensing a special type of dry chemical element that works by interrupting or completely stopping the chemical reaction that takes place between the three elements of the combustion triangle. These multipurpose devices have been shown to be very effective. However, regular fires that included ordinary combustible elements sometimes can be reignited by using specialized dry chemicals. This is why any dry chemical extinguisher must be calibrated for all types of fires. However, all of them are immediately usable, being they come pressurized.
Water Mist Extinguishers
These are one of the most recent types of extinguishers that have been developed. Every water mist device operates by creating incredibly small water droplets, which measure only around 25 microns or so in their diameter. This means that they saturate any fire in a really rapid manner, including electrical blazes. Also, because of their small size, the current cannot travel between the droplets, making it safe even for this type of fire hazard. Additionally, these extinguishers leave no chemical trail after their use, so they are great for spaces that include sensitive or biological material. As the newest version of extinguishers, the water mist devices can be used immediately.
With this crucial information on different types of fire extinguisher, any prepper will be able to put any type of a fire under control. This way, no matter what scenarios causes the same blaze, it can be stopped before it does any real harm.