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Powder extinguishers discontinued?

Guest MOConn

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  • 2 years later...
Guest Old Firefighter

That's a very curious reason. Many firefighting media have health affects if used incorrectly or to attempt to extinguish the 'wrong' type of fire. DP is a very effective extinguishing media but as we all know, can be messy and if used in the wrong hands, can do more damage than a fire in the early stages. To suggest that DP will be withdrawn in favour of, I presume CO2, then this misses the point somewhat. CO2 is an asphyxiant at very low concentrations and also should not be used in confined spaces. The issue here is, there is a fire risk-the first aid firefighting equipment should be fit for purpose - all the associated risks with the use and operation should be known and controlled by training, supervision, instruction, information as with any other activity.

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When giving advice you can use your experience/knowledge and /or bench mark guidance/best practice and providing you are not required to justify that guidance, no problems.

However I believe it is best to use bench mark guidance/best practice which in this case is BS 5306-8 which states “Use of powder extinguishers, the discharge of a powder extinguisher can cause a sudden reduction of visibility, which could temporarily jeopardize escape, rescue or other emergency action. For this reason water-based extinguishers should ideally be specified for use indoors.” If you choose to go against that guidance make should you can make a good case as there are a number of different extinguishers you could use.

Check out http://www.safelincs-forum.co.uk/topic/5081-what-type-of-extinguisher-for-kitchen-and-lounge/#comment-9757



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CO2 is an asphyxiant, but in the real world the size of room (or more accurately cupboard!) needed to be at risk from discharging a CO2 is so small the combustion products of the fire would be more likely to get you first - plus starting no nearer than 1m to the fire would usually put you outside the area anyway.

Powder is still very useful and it's not an absolute no-no indoors if justified by a Health & Safety assessment. However for your usual place of assembly, office, shop, hotel, healthcare premises, etc it's not appropriate - it's usually industrial type risks where the need for it's rapid knockdown properties outweighs the secondary damage and health risks where it can remain.

CO2 is not the only replacement for powder - depending on the risk to be covered then Wet Chemical, Water Mist, Triclass, Foam, Water Spray are all possibles as powder extinguishers can be found covering all sorts of risks!

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