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What Size Of Fire Extinguisher Do I Need?
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This is governed by the fire extinguisher Australian Standards AS2444. In general the number, size and type of extinguishers you need is determined by the area to be protected and the type of fire risk. Other considerations are barriers that prevent access to the extinguisher eg internal walls, machinery, pallets or storage shelves. The presence of a fire sprinkler system will also change the requirement. So the same building could require different extinguishers depending on how its used, and what is stored there. For this reason Councils require a Fire Safety compliance certificate whenever a new DA is requested.
dry chemical DCPThe size of a fire extinguisher is often referenced by its weight eg a 4.5kg extinguisher. However, the weight of a fire extinguisher does not necessarily describe its fire-fighting capacity. Different brands of fire extinguishers, vary in their ability to put out fires. When comparing prices and value for money look at the ABE rating, not just the weight. For example at the home fire extinguisher level, a 1kg fire extinguisher could vary wildly in its ability to put out a fire: a cheap one might have a 1A:10B:E rating, whereas our 1kg ABE extinguisher has a rating of 1A:20B:E. That's twice the ability to put out a B type fire.
How to use a fire extinguisher
Signs above the extinguisher tell you what sort of fire it can be used on.
Always test the extinguisher before proceeding to the fire.
Ensure you have an escape route.
Most fire extinguishers only discharge for seconds, not minutes, so don't tackle a fire unless it is safe to do so and you are trained.
The rule of thumb is if you can not put a fire out with one extinguisher, then the fire is too big to fight - call emergency 000
To use a fire extinguisher, follow the PASS rule - acronym for Pull, Aim, Squeeze, Sweep
Pull the pin,
Aim the extinguisher at the base of the fire,
Squeeze the handle,
Sweep it back and forth.
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