Despite government’s efforts to raise awareness on fire safety, many people are still unaware of some important details about this matter. For example, most people know what a fire extinguisher is, but if you ask them what a foam extinguisher is, you would probably get a lot of “I don’t know.” Foam fire extinguishers, which are also known as AFFF Foam (Aqueous Film Forming Foam), are vital pieces of firefighting device that can create a smothering coating of foam over the flames that cuts down the oxygen supply, which fire needs to thrive. This extinguishing agent can penetrate through porous materials and can cool down the flames through the evaporation of water content found in the foam.
This type of firefighting tool is primarily used for controlling Class B fires or those that have resulted from flammable liquids like petrol, oils, and solvents. This is especially necessary for businesses that make use of such chemicals. At home, store this extinguisher in the garage or in any area where these chemicals are kept or used. Aside from Class B, this can also be utilised to tackle Class A fires (paper, wood, clothing and other similar materials). Lastly, these extinguishers can also combat electrical fires effectively. However, you should take note that this agent can seriously damage electrical equipment.
Apart from knowing the right class that foam is designed to put out, you should also know the determining factors that will help you decide whether to fight or flee. For one, you should only use this device if the fire is still small and incipient. If it is spreading quickly, you should just get out of the area immediately. In addition, you should have your back to an exit so that it the fire gets out of control, you can still escape quickly. Lastly, do not attempt to use the extinguisher if you are not trained or skilled in using it. Even if you have the correct type, you can still end up being injured if you do not know how to use it properly.
Although this type of firefighting device is highly effective, it has several disadvantages that you should know about. For one, it is dangerous to use this for Class C fires or those that are caused by flammable gases. Use a powder fire extinguisher instead. Also, this extinguisher is relatively heavy so it would help if you opt for one that comes in wheels or has a trolley so that transporting it to the scene would be easier. It also contains fluoro tensides, which can be accumulated in the body. But this should not be cause of worry since there are no studies yet that can prove its negative effects on the body.
Foam extinguisher is one of the most important pieces of firefighting equipment that can effectively extinguish flames caused by flammable liquids. Fight fire only if you know how to use an extinguisher, if you can have you back to an exit, and if the flames are still small and not yet spreading.
Bennett Glover is a professional fire safety expert and consultant for commercial businesses to help promote fire safety and awareness in the UK area. He regularly writes articles to inform the general public about the safest ways of handling fires and how to prevent them in the first place. His knowledge and expertise has earned him many writing and speaking engagements. He enjoys teaching fire safety to students, business owners, and learning institutions to help save lives.