Fire Extinguishers Systems
A fire extinguishing system may involve active and/or passive protection systems. Active protection systems are concerned with a more direct approach to extinguishing fire with the help of dry or wet agents whereas passive protection systems are mainly concerned with using fire resistant materials for building purposes, segregating the space into separate sections to contain fire and insulating the interiors by using non-combustible panels, doors and ducts.
Â How to fight a fire?
Â The first thing that one must do is detecting the source of fire in order to evacuate as many people as possible from the area. This is one of the main reasons why buildings nowadays are made in compartments so that each section is cut off from the other. This ensures that the fire is contained in the minimum possible area.
The next thing to do is to decide which extinguishing agent to use. This depends on the source of the fire. If the fire is caused due to dry agents such as paper, wood, plastic or rubber, then carbon dioxide based extinguishers should not be used. Water extinguishers can work in such circumstances. In case the fire started because of combustible liquids such as gasoline, paint or petrol, cooking oil, grease, or gaseous substances such as hydrogen potassium carbonate or ammonium phosphate based extinguishers work well. Carbon dioxide based extinguishers should not be used for fire caused by solid substances since it only encourages reigniting.
Â Fire cause due to flammable metals such as potassium and magnesium require dry extinguishing agents since the oxygen in the wet extinguishers undergo hydrolysis and form acids which can corrode the surface of the object.
Â Uses of Fire Extinguishing Systems
Â Individuals who have had prior training in handling them should use fire extinguishers. In case of fire if one does not have enough knowledge of how to use them, he or she should NOT make an attempt to do so. It is best to call the fire department and let them handle the situation. This is mainly because the chemical composition in fire extinguishers can put out only certain classes of fire, depending on its source. If wet chemical agents are used in laboratory fires, chances of explosion are high.
Â Opinions are divided as to whether fire extinguishing systems should concentrate on protecting the property or prioritizing the safety of human lives trapped inside. That side which has a stronger market hold draws the ultimate conclusion.