Fire fighting is an essential skill in safety-critical industries, this skill is also very important for everyone to know as well. You never know when the need to extinguish a fire will arise.
Fire outbreaks can occur anytime and anywhere provided the components of the fire triangle are present.
In this article we will discuss, fire triangle, how to extinguish fires and fire extinguishers.
What is the Fire Triangle?
The fire triangle shows us the relationship of the components of fire. For there to be an outbreak, all components of the triangle must present.
The three components of the fire triangle;
How do you extinguish fire?
Basically, eliminating 1 or 2 components of the fire triangle will kill the fire.
You will need to identify the cause and root of the fire and also if you know your classes of fire, you would know the most efficient way to douse it.
In eliminating the components of the triangle, you break the cycle of the reaction.
- When you eliminate heat (ember, sparks and flame) there will be no further reaction with the fuel.
- When you eliminate the fuel, the reaction ‘combustion’ doesn’t occur, combustibility is the major property of a fuel, this is simply the ability to burn well.
- When you eliminate oxygen, by reducing the oxygen level you will end the reaction between the other two. Oxygen feeds the flame so in its absence combustion cannot occur. Fire requires about a minimum of 16% of oxygen.
Fire Extinguisher Bottle;
Fire extinguisher bottles are of different types are also color coded, to show their content and the class of fire they can put out. They also bear content description on the material data sheet printed on the bottles.
How to use a Fire Extinguisher to fight fire
- Stand facing the fire.
- Pull pin of the bottle.
- Point nozzle at the root or base of the fire.
- Squeeze handle of the extinguisher.
- Apply in a sweeping motion.
Watch video below
- Observe the wind direction and how it carries the flames if there is need.
- This is only used to fight contained fires.
- Hold the bottle correctly and firmly.
- Stand properly.
- It is best to not attempt this alone.
- Ensure there is a free exit behind you.
- If you can’t, exit the premises immediately.
- If it is possible close windows and door on your way out.
- Attend firefighting training, this fully exposes you to all the conditions that could jeopardize a firefighting exercise, and this teaches you the safest and proper way to make an attempt.