Having a fire extinguisher handy when you need it may save your life. Find out how fire extinguishers work and how to use them correctly. Our fact-filled quiz will get you started.
For a fire to ignite, oxygen needs to combine with:
For a fire to occur, there needs to be oxygen; the absence of oxygen will cause a fire to extinguish. The reaction between oxygen and a fuel such as gasoline or wood is known as a chemical combustion reaction.
The best way to remove oxygen from a fire is to cut it off from its oxygen supply. To smother a small fire, cover it with a heavy blanket or dump a nonflammable material such as sand or baking soda on top of it.
Which type of fire extinguisher is popular in restaurants?
A fire extinguisher that uses pure carbon dioxide is popular in restaurants because it won't contaminate the cooking equipment or food. Carbon dioxide gas, which is heavier than oxygen, displaces the oxygen surrounding the burning fuel.
Which common ingredient used in baking is the most popular fire extinguisher material?
The fire extinguisher in your home is probably the kind that uses a dry chemical foam or powder made of sodium bicarbonate (baking soda), potassium bicarbonate (very similar to baking soda) or monoammonium phosphate. The carbon dioxide released when the baking soda decomposes, along with the insulation of the foam, smothers the fire.
Fire extinguishers are rated by the _____ of fire they can put out.
Fire extinguishers are rated by the type of fire they can put out: Class A extinguishers can put out fires involving "ordinary combustibles," Class B extinguishers can put out fires involving burning liquids and Class C can put out electrical fires. Some extinguishers can put out all three, but all fire extinguishers are meant for small, contained fires; for a fire that's spread, call the fire department.