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Foam extinguishers on Electrics

Guest Sean

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Hello, looking at some AFFF Foam extinguisher and some advice states passed die-electric test to 35kV ( 35,000 volts) but lots of advice states "Safe up to 1000v at 1 metre"  Which is it, 35000 or 1000 

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If we were anywhere else in Europe they would all say "Safe for direct use on electrical equipment up to 1000v at 1 metre" after passing a safety test that ensures a suitable resistance in the discharge stream when sprayed on a metal plate with 35,000V running through it because the manufacturing standard EN3 says this.

The UK trade doesn't like this as it stops them selling extra extinguishers for electrical fires (really!) so many brands omit the 'safe for direct...' phrase and just rattle on about a 35,000V conductivity test (which will mean nothing to most users) even though the same manufacturing standard is used, although some models (Water Mist, P50 Triclass) do follow the correct 'safe for direct use...' marking. Others vary batch to batch!

The 1000V is partly to give a margin and partly because there are general hazards with high voltage fires such that only specialist personnel should be dealing with them  

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