Fire extinguishers are an important firefighting tool that can put out some fires or reduce their rate of spreading while you summon help. However, the extent to which your fire extinguisher will be effective depends on several factors. This article discusses some of those factors.

Fire Extinguisher Type

Fire extinguishers come in different types or classes. For example, class "A" fire extinguishers are designed to combat fires affecting ordinary combustible materials, such as paper and wood. Conversely, class "C" fire extinguishers help to put out any fire that develops in an energised piece of electrical equipment. The success that you can register when you use a fire extinguisher to put out a fire may therefore depend on how appropriate that extinguisher is for the type of fire that has broken out. It is therefore advisable for you to select the type of extinguisher that is most suited to the fire risks present in your premises.

The Range

Every type of fire extinguisher also has a range within which it is effective. For example, you may get dismal results when you try to use a carbon dioxide fire extinguisher when you aren't close to the fire. This is because the gas will dissipate without starving the fire of its oxygen supply. Similarly, dry powder extinguishers work best when the powder is discharged directly onto the burning object. Learn the effective range of your fire extinguisher and ensure that you are within that range when using the extinguisher to put out a fire.

Wind Strength/Ventilation

The amount of ventilation or wind power in the location of the fire may also affect how well fire extinguishers do their work. Fires in locations with high winds may not be put out easily using a fire extinguisher. This is because the wind will keep providing oxygen for the fire to rage on and even spread. Conversely, poor ventilation augers well for fire extinguisher use since the limited supply of oxygen will slow down the growth of the fire. It can therefore be easy to put the fire out when there isn't enough air for it to keep raging.

It's always advisable to call emergency responders as soon as you detect a fire on your property. Never imagine that you don't need their help simply because you have fire extinguishers in the premises. Only use the fire extinguisher after calling for help, and evacuate the building quickly so that the professionals can take over fighting that fire when everyone is safely out of harm's way. For more information, visit websites like