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Water Fire Extinguishers

Water Fire Extinguishers

Water fire extinguishers come in a variety of different sizes and derivatives. There is plain water, Water additive, water mist and more. So essentially what can they be used on, and what are they for?


Fire extinguishers are a necessary piece of equipment in the work place. Fire extinguishers can save lives as they can prevent a small fire developing into a large fire that endangers life and property.


Under the Health & Safety At Work Act 1974 an employer is required to provide and maintain safety equipment and safe systems of work. Additionally The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 states that premises are to be equipped with appropriate fire fighting equipment and maintained in an efficient state, efficient working order and in good repair.


It is clear that fire extinguishers need to be provided in the work place, but what type? We will attempt to describe the different types of water fire extinguishers and give some pros and cons on selecting water.



Water

Plain water is exactly what it says on the tin - plain tap water! These extinguishers work by spraying water onto a fire which smothers and cools it putting out the fire. A typical 6L water extinguisher will weigh in the region of 10 Kilograms and have a rating of 13A.


Water extinguishers come in two main varieties - spray and jet. A jet is just like your garden hose and is good for fighting fires from a distance or reaching high areas. Spray models are like a sprinkler and are good for covering a larger area.



Plain Water Fire Extinguisher


Pros

  • Environmentally friendly

  • Easily refilled and recharged at the 5 yearly extended service interval.

  • Economical - one of the cheapest extinguisher to buy.


Cons

  • Not for outdoor use as can freeze in low temperatures unless an antifreeze agent is added.

  • Can only be used on Class A (Flammable Solids) fires.


Water Additive

Water additive fire extinguishers are the same as plain water extinguishers however they have a foam type additive within them. This additive typically reduces surface tension of the water and allows it to soak in instead of forming droplets. Water additive extinguishers have a higher fire fighting rating than plain water extinguishers. As an example one of our Compact 34 extinguishers manufactured by Checkfire comes in a 6L size - the same as a plain water extinguisher however it has a much improved rating of 34A. One of the other advantages of using water additive fire extinguishers is the ability to reduce weight. A 3L water additive fire extinguisher will commonly weigh in the region of 5.5 Kilograms and will have a fire fighting rating of 13A compared to 10 Kilograms for a plain water fire extinguishers with the same rating. Water additive extinguishers are a useful consideration for buildings where weight is an issue. An example of this may be a village hall which is used by elderly or frail persons who may be unable to lift the weight of a 6L extinguisher.



Water Additive Fire Extinguisher


Pros

  • Increased fire fighting performance

  • Allows a lighter weight extinguisher to be provided with the same fire fighting rating.

  • Economical - increased fire fighting rating may reduce the number of fire extinguishers required to cover and area and therefore save money.


Cons

  • Not environmentally friendly.

  • May require replacement at the 5 yearly extended service interval rather than refilling and recharging.

  • Not for outdoor use as can freeze in low temperatures unless an antifreeze agent is added.

  • Can only be used on Class A (Flammable Solids) fires.

  • Associated costs for disposing of the extinguisher at the end of its working life.


Water Mist

Jewel Saffire have manufactured the E-Series Water Mist Fire Extinguishers. These innovative extinguishers use de-ionized water that forms very small droplet sizes that form a fine mist that smothers and excludes oxygen from a fire. These extinguishers are more expensive than conventional water extinguishers however come with some benefits. They are better at clearing smoke and the fine water mist tends not to saturate as much when compared to plain water or water additive extinguishers. This would make them beneficial for a site such as a museum or National Trust property where damage avoidance is a prime concern.





Pros

  • Environmentally friendly

  • Provides a large benefit over traditional water extinguisher where water damage is an issue.

  • Can be used on Class A (Flammable Solids), Class B (Flammable Liquids) and Class F (Cooking Oil) fires.


Cons

More expensive than a plain water fire extinguisher

  • May require replacement at the 5 yearly extended service interval rather than refilling and recharging.

  • Not for outdoor use as can freeze in low temperatures unless an antifreeze agent is added.





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DW (Hampshire) Ltd

 

35 The Park

Droxford

Hampshire

SO32 3QQ

Hours:

Mon-Fri 8:00am - 5:30pm 

Tel: 0800 0862900

 

info@dwhampshireltd.co.uk

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