Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Bison Fire's How to Clean Fire Extinguisher Residue

Bison Fire's How to Clean Fire Extinguisher Residue

Although it’s not ideal, there are times that a fire-related emergency occurs. When this happens on a small scale, a small portable fire extinguisher is probably the only type of fire safety equipment needed to extinguish the fire fully.

However, after an extinguisher has been used to quench a fire, it’s time to deal with the clean up. Because different types of portable fire extinguishers are meant for varying types of fires, the materials contained require specific clean-up methods. Use the following tips and tricks to completely clean various types of fire extinguisher residue effectively:

Types of Fire Extinguishers

As mentioned above, there are various types of fire extinguishers that are each designed to quench different types of fires. The type of extinguisher needed for environments vary, as a grease fire in the kitchen will act differently than an electrical fire in your home. Some types of portable fire extinguishers commonly found in homes and businesses include:

  • Clean agent fire extinguishers: Clean agent fire extinguishers are meant to put out fires around sensitive electronic equipment like computers, as the material dissipates into the environment in a “clean” fashion, not leaving damaging residue behind.
  • Dry chemical fire extinguishers: These small, portable extinguishers are ideal for minor emergencies in commercial environments.
  • Class K fire extinguishers: Class K fire extinguishers are designed to be used on grease fires in commercial kitchens.
  • Wet chemical fire extinguishers: Wet chemical fire extinguishers contain a liquid agent and are ideal for industrial or kitchen settings.

Cleaning Residue from Wet Chemical Fire Extinguishers

As the extinguishing agent in wet chemical fire extinguishers can be irritating to eyes and skin, it’s vital that personal protective equipment (PPE) is worn during all stages of residue clean up. The residue will be foamy, so it’s important to scrub the area with hot and soapy water. Do the same for all areas that have been covered by the extinguishing agent.

When you’ve completed the initial clean-up, rinse all scrubbed areas with clean hot water.

Cleaning Residue from Dry Chemical Fire Extinguishers

The clean-up process for dry chemical fire extinguishers differs from those with wet agents. The first step is to vacuum or sweep the chemical residue from the impacted area. Next, it’s important to break down the silicone that is present in the dry chemical agent. A combination of 50% warm water and 50% isopropyl alcohol should be sprayed on the area and allowed to soak in for a few minutes.

It’s important to neutralize the potassium and sodium bicarbonates as well, which can be done with a solution of 98% hot water and 2% vinegar. Monoammonium phosphate will also need to be neutralized, so clean the area with baking soda and hot water. After each neutralization process, make sure the area is rinsed thoroughly with hot water.

Cleaning Residue from Clean Agent and Class K Fire Extinguishers

The clean-up process for these type of extinguishers is relatively simple as compared to the others. With these fire extinguishers, there are no special steps or precautions to be taken, so clean the area affected by the fire in the most effective way.

Having to use a fire extinguisher is not an ideal situation in any setting. However, when used correctly and effectively, the clean up process can be straightforward.

At Bison Fire Protection, we’re proud to offer our expertise and knowledge to help you find the right fire protection equipment for your property. To schedule an appointment with one of our fire safety experts in Winnipeg, Brandon, Thompson, Kenora, Regina, and Saskatoon, call 866-441-3473 or find us online today.

Posted by Rob Read at 11:28 AM


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