We are pleased to announce that Midland Fire has been named as a Fusion21 Framework Supplier for the next 4 years.

A fixed group of organisations have been selected to help public sector companies nationwide meet new (and current) legal requirements – With an emphasis on fire safety and building safety. As a Fusion21 Supplier Midland Fire have been assessed against a strict set of criteria including skills, knowledge, experience and behaviours (SKEB).

The company will be able to bid for works across a number of crucial public sector buildings and infrastructure. There are 14 lots on the framework with an estimated value of £880m over a four-year period.

Active Fire Safety Services

Midland Fire Security Services have been successful in “Lot 10 – Active Fire Safety” meaning that they have the skills and experience necessary to fulfil building safety projects to the required legal standards throughout the UK.

About the Fusion21 Framework

Fusion21 is a framework designed to help public sector organisations choose a supplier for key building safety services. Framework organisations can select from any of the approved suppliers in an open tender for major contracts.

A Fusion21 representative “We are delighted to welcome all of the new suppliers onto the framework, including Midland Fire Security Services Ltd. The tender process was highly competitive and the process has identified the best contractors for our members to use.”

“A further, real benefit to our members and their communities is the social value delivery that is aligned to organisational priorities and can be monitored and reported against for all call offs”

Looking for an approved Active Fire Safety Company?

Please contact Midland Fire Security Services Ltd for advice and a consultation.

NHS Staff attend Midland Fire Fire Alarm Training Course

Ross and Oliver after completing their training course at Midland Fire’s Purpose Built training Centre

 

We’d like to congratulate Ross Coxon and Oliver Kelly for successfully completing our MFEUT-02 Vigilon Introduction & Operator Training Course.

Ross and Oliver are part of Derbyshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust. They are responsible for weekly tests of fire alarm systems – performing basic fault diagnosis and rectification at a number of key NHS premises. This includes hospitals and clinical settings throughout Derbyshire.

The course was tailored to their installed system. Although both attendees have looked after a number of Gent Viglion systems for some time, they have not previously had access to any formal product training.

Our range of fire alarm end user and installer training courses provides an excellent opportunity to help maintenance staff and facilities managers conduct basic fire alarm fault finding without a callout engineer.

Fire Alarm Training Outcomes

The MFEUT-02 training course helps to build the confidence and knowledge to carry out fire alarm maintenance and fault finding. It also teaches best practice when it comes to system isolation and testing procedures – This should lead to a reduction in unwanted false alarms when working on site.

One of the ways considered to achieve this was the use of sensor state changes controlled by the software clock that enables a detector to have different sensing characteristics at different times of the day. Although this was not part of the original course syllabus, we were able to provide a demonstration to the delegates and the opportunity to practice this in a controlled setup. This is important considering how critical life safety systems are in a busy clinical environment. Having this knowledge will make implementation easier on site with less disruption.

Positive Feedback

Ross provided some feedback on the experience:

“Thank you for providing excellent training. Dave’s knowledge and experience is evident which was very reassuring.

Being able to ask questions and go through other things not on the agenda was very helpful and refreshing. It’s given me the confidence in being able to get more involved in maintenance/testing etc on our sites”

Fire Alarm Training Course dates available throughout 2021

If you are a facilities manager or maintenance engineer with fire alarm responsibilities our Fire Alarm training courses could help you learn advanced fault finding and fire alarm management skills. Please visit the Course Calendar for planned dates or Complete our Booking/PreBooking Form to arrange training on days that suit you.

Midland Fire Security Services have recently been awarded the planned maintenance contract for Dudley College of Technology. The contract is for 3 years starting from March 2021 and includes the maintenance and testing of both conventional and addressable fire alarms throughout the college. Midland Fire will also be responsible for the maintenance of the disabled refuge system at Dudley 6th College Campus.

The College has several thousand students enrolled at any one time including apprentices, full time learners, A Level students and adult learners. With the high number of people onsite daily, having an adequate life safety system is vital. The college campus is split over several buildings, each with its own challenges and fire safety considerations.

The Broadway and Dudley 6th

Since 1931 “The Broadway” has been considered the main heart of the college. It is the largest of the colleges buildings and provides dedicated spaces for learning and socialising also acting as a home for the college’s student union. The 6th is a dedicated building complex for 6th form learning including A level studies.

The Broadway is protected by a 5-panel network of modern Gent Vigilon Control Panels with S-Quad Detectors installed throughout the building. The Dudley 6th is protected by a similar system providing reliable fire detection to alert occupants of a potential emergency.

The maintenance of Dudley 6th also includes the Disabled Refuge System with Voice Panel and Outstations (Also known as an EVCS Emergency Voice Communication System). A disabled refuge is a secure location within the building where individuals with additional mobility needs can wait for assistance during an evacuation. The individual or a carer can then use the voice communication system to contact the responsible person safely and securely for assistance.

The Motor Vehicle Centre

Located on Wolverhampton Street, the motor vehicle college provides industry standard facilities that allow students to learn through a range of practical assignments. Midland Fire will be responsible for the maintenance of the Two Gent Conventional Panels – linked together for easier management. Students work on practical assignments including welding and fabrication – minimising false alarms is crucial to the smooth running of the facility.

Wrens Hill Nature Reserve – Wardens Houses

As part of the contract Midland Fire will also be responsible for the maintenance of the Fire Alarm system at the Wrens Hill Nature Reserve (Wardens Houses). The facility is used for conservation and educational projects in conjunction with the college. A conventional Gent Fire Alarm Panel protects these facilities.

 

Midland Fire Security Services look forward to working with Dudley College of Technology – helping to prevent fire emergencies and  ensure the safety of staff, students and visitors at all times.

Looking for Fire Alarm Maintenance for your School or College?

Please get in touch by calling 01283 741000 or sending an email to info@midlandfire.com

wullcomb-building-leicester-4

Midland Fire Security Services has been awarded an extensive maintenance contract for the Life Safety Systems at “The Wullcomb” residential building. Located on Vaughan Way in Leicester city centre, the contract has been awarded by Way of Life Management Ltd.

The Wullcomb is a build to rent development offering 297 apartments, a shared kitchen and dining space “The Perch”, coffee shop, roof top terrace and private theatre and function room “The Bower”. The development also benefits from a secure car park and a 24 hour concierge.

Complete Life Safety System Maintenance

The life safety system at The Wullcomb comprise of 2 networked Gent Vigilon Panels combined with Self-Contained LED Emergency Lighting. Midland Fire will also be responsible for maintaining their Cameo Disabled Refuge System with Emergency Voice Call.

In addition to these systems the contract also includes maintenance of Portable Fire Extinguishers, Lightning Protection, Dry Risers, Sprinklers and Smoke Vents.

Having such a wide range of systems to maintain on a single site provides its own logistical challenges, for example, the fire alarm requires 4 visits per year, the emergency lighting and smoke vents require 2 visits per year and finally, the disabled refuge system, lightning protection system and portable fire extinguishers require a single visit per year. The contract includes 100% testing of all devices on all of these systems within the contract term.

Real Time Monitoring

Another feature of the services provided is the inclusion of cloud based real time maintenance event data logging which gives both the client and Midland Fire greater visibility and control over the planned maintenance activities within the building and ensures a fast response to any issues that may require investigation and rectification.

wullcomb-building-leicester-5

Midland Fire Security Services look forward to this opportunity to work in partnership with Way of Life Management Ltd to provide services to this modern and prestigious housing development.

Looking for a complete life safety and fire alarm maintenance service?

Please get in touch by calling 01283 741000 or sending an email to info@midlandfire.com

As one of the leading Fire Alarm Engineering companies in the UK, we have created a series of professional training courses designed for Electrical contractors, Fire Alarm Engineers and End Users. Learn how to manage your fire detection system to minimize call-outs. We also offer comprehensive WinMag Operator training.

Each course is delivered by Dave Green, our in-house training specialist. Dave has over 35 years’ industry experience, working with Gent Ltd since 1984 giving him excellent technical knowledge of Gent products. Each training course has been written specifically for Midland Fire. Our end user training courses are designed to up-skill your maintenance staff or fire marshals. Our advanced Gent systems training is designed for Fire Alarm Installers and Electrical Contractors looking to improve their technical understanding of Gent products.

Who are Midland Fire Training Courses suitable for?

Employees – End user training allowing employers to up-skill their maintenance staff or fire marshals

Electricians and Fire Alarm Engineers – System installer training courses are designed to give general electricians and specialist fire alarm engineers the knowledge required to work with Gent / Honeywell products.

Bespoke training

Although the training courses are broken down into modules. Delivery of each course is tailored to the attendees needs. So please contact us if you have specific questions or require training on a specific topic or Gent product.

Available courses:

Click here to see course content and details of each course.

How to book

Click here for course dates

Click here for the booking form

Please contact Midland Fire Security Services Ltd by calling 01283 741000 or emailing dave.green@midlandfire.com and we’ll get back to you with availability.

 

 

Midland Fire Security Services is proud to announce that it has recently won a significant maintenance contract working in partnership with Coventry City Council. This contract involves the planned maintenance of close to 250 individual sites.

The contract period is set initially at 2 years, with an option to extend for a further 2 years. It involves the maintenance, testing, repair and installation of Fire Alarm Systems, Sprinklers Systems, Dry Risers and Fire Hydrants throughout Coventry. Each site varies in size and complexity including housing accommodation, some with vulnerable adults, public spaces such as shopping centres and museums. The contract entails providing the planned maintenance of Fire Alarm systems on these sites along with an “all inclusive” 24 hour call out service for faults and repairs.

Fire Alarm Maintenance at Prestigious Buildings

fire alarm maintenance at one friargate coventry

One Friargate Coventry

Included among these sites are a number of prestigious buildings such as Friar Gate which is the principle home of Coventry City Council and Coventry Retail Market. The market, which has been operational for over 60 years was originally built to replace the old market which was destroyed by bomb damage during World War II. The new building was opened by Princess Alexandria in 1958. Its pride is its diversity of goods on sale and the many venues supplying a wide variety of food and beverages. The market has worked extensively at making itself Covid safe and is now, after a closure during lockdown, once gain welcoming traders and customers.

Coventry City Market

Coventry City Indoor Market

 

There are a number of tourist destinations covered by the contract, principle among these are Coventry Transport Museum, The Herbert Art Gallery and Lunt Roman Fort.

Coventry Transport Museum Fire Alarm Maintenance

Fire Alarm Maintenance at Coventry Transport Museum is included in the contract

The Coventry Transport Museum provides a home for a collection of vehicles of designated national importance, and consisting of 300 cycles, 120 motor cycles and 250 cars and commercial vehicles.

The Herbert Art Gallery

The Herbert Art Gallery Coventry

The Herbert Art Gallery, a nationally recognised art gallery and museum located close to the iconic Coventry Cathedral, has permanent galleries dedicated to the visual arts, social and industrial history and Natural History. It is also home to the Coventry Archives, the location of historical documents, photographs, maps and archive material relating to the city.

Lunt Roman Fort Coventry

Lunt Roman Fort

Of significant historical interest is Lunt Roman Fort, built in 60AD by the Romans in an attempt to suppress the Iceni rebellion led by the fearsome warrior queen Boudica. The fort is unusual in the sense that although these type of forts were built quickly from timber in an attempt to secure recently occupied territory, most were later rebuilt using stone. The fort had the advantage of being in easy reach of both Watling Street and the Fosse Way, both major arteries in Roman times and not dissimilar to the M1 & M6 of modern times.

Implementing a life safety system maintenance plan

Providing a service contract to such a large, diverse customer presents its own array of unique challenges. Foremost among these is preparing an accurate asset register for each site detailing the amount and type of equipment installed in each location, creating a comprehensive list of contacts and access information for each of the sites which is made all the more challenging by the current pandemic.

For the planned maintenance, there is a logistical challenge associated with organising our engineering workforce where each visit is booked directly with the site and there is a requirement to attend sometimes as many as four sites per day within specific, predefined time slots. The contract includes a number of schools and nurseries where knowledge of who will be attending site and at what time is important to the safety of the occupants.

In addition to the planned works for maintenance and building modification, the contract also incorporates surveying existing sites which contain obsolete equipment and devising a path to replacing and upgrading to current specifications. In most cases this will involve installing Gent fire equipment other than in locations where a wireless solution is preferable, either for reasons of aesthetics or buildings where asbestos may be found, and in these circumstances EMS radio equipment will be utilised.

From an internal perspective, the task of integrating locations, asset lists and timetables into our inventory system is no small matter. This has involved creating new processes to assist in prioritising and managing the workload. These new processes include devising a methodology for organising and storing paperwork including engineer reports, certifications and site surveys all of which has to be achieved in a fashion congruent with the council’s own prescriptive manner of doing things.

Although there are clearly both challenges and opportunities ahead, Midland Fire Security Services relish the prospect of working in conjunction with Coventry City Council on this large and varied contract.

We thought that we would leave the final word to Kenton Sarjaeant, Compliance Manager for Coventry City Council;

“Midland Fire Security Services took over the Fire Alarm installation, maintenance and repair term contract for Coventry City Council in July 2020. These are challenging times for the country as a whole and they have embraced the requirements of the contract as well as dealing with the added complications caused by COVI-19.

For obvious reasons it hasn’t been straight forward but I am pleased with the way things are going and look forward to further progression over the coming months”

We are pleased to announce that Dave Green is joining Midland Fire Security Services Ltd as a Training and Technical Specialist.

Dave has over 35 years’ experience working with Gent Ltd since 1984 giving him excellent technical knowledge of Gent / Honeywell products. His new role at Midland Fire will be to provide further training to Midland Fire staff and provide advanced technical support to clients and end users – further improving the great service we already provide to our customers.

Dave is very well known amongst Fire Alarm Engineers in the area for his excellent advice and technical support provided in his previous role. Rather than us telling you, we asked Dave to tell us more in an informal interview.

Tell us about your experience

I joined Gent Ltd in 1984 after finishing two years at technical college. Initially starting in the manufacturing side of the business but over time diversifying into first customer service type roles before finally settling in training and development roles of one form or another, not all of which technical, from 1995 to the present day.

Over these many years I have witnessed the Gent business and the industry as a whole evolve beyond recognition. Gent as a business went through several changes of ownership from the Pillar electrical group, to RTZ, to Caradon/Novar and finally, since 2005, to Honeywell. Each change of ownership bringing its own set of opportunities and challenges.

As an industry, we have witnessed not only the development in flexibility and applications of fire alarm equipment but also the on-going increase in professionalism in terms of 3rd party accreditation in the form of BAFE, ISO9001, BS5839:1 design and more recently, associated standard sub-sections for installation, commissioning and maintenance.

What products have you worked with?

In the main I have perhaps been a bit of a “one trick pony” as I have extensive experience in the Gent 3400 fire detection and alarm system  from the late 1980’s, Vigilon F.D.&A from its launch in 1998 and it’s metamorphoses into the current Vigilon Plus range more recently.

In recent years, a considerable amount of my time has been taken up with Winmag (the Gent graphical user interface), BACnet, XLS80 (a Honeywell branded Notifier panel) and more recently the C.L.S.S. remote monitoring and service diagnostics tool.

Have you ever come across any problems when training staff?

I can honestly say that I have not really encountered any problems worthy of mention when delivering training. More often than not, delegates actually want you to be successful and are usually relieved that it is someone else at the front of the training room rather than themselves. There are, however, a few absolutely key elements that should always be taken into consideration during any training activity;

  1. Basic Respect – never talk down to anyone and always value the input and experience of the delegates.
  2. Training is about changing behaviour – acknowledge that change can be difficult for people for a variety of reasons and always empathise and attempt to understand their point of view.
  3. Remember that people do things for their own reasons, not yours. A failure to acknowledge and respect their reasons and motivations will generally end in disaster.
  4. Make it relevant, Informal and relaxed – very few people perform at their best when under duress or when they cannot see a useful application for the information that they are being given.

All of the above may seem like straight forward, common sense but they are all things that I have witnessed either being forgotten or paid lip service to all too often.

What do you enjoy about training?

It sounds corny when you put it into words but what I really enjoy is “the lightbulb moment”, that moment when you help someone to learn a new skill, where you can instantly see the difference that what you are doing as a trainer is making. Training is a profession singular in its ability to offer instant job satisfaction and reward (unless you count being an actor or rock star – neither of which I have the talent nor the temperament for). A trainer generally does not have to wait to witness the results of their work, unlike so many other job roles where you form one part of a larger process. Having started in a manufacturing role where I had no visibility of the process that came before my role, nor indeed what happened afterwards, this instant visibility and reward is not something that I ever take for granted.

What are the common questions customers ask you?

In fire alarm systems, as in most walks of life, the most profound and the most common questions are usually the simplest – “How do I?”, “What Happens if?”, “Is it possible to?”. (You can probably add “How much is it going to cost me?” to that list as well). All of these questions can, as you might imagine, greatly expand dependent on the circumstances in which they are being asked and the knowledge and experience level of the person doing the asking. The key is to have the answers.

What do you hope to bring to Midland Fire Security Services?

In my new role with Midland fire I would hope to be involved in the development of both the people that work within the business and of the business itself. I expect this to take many forms including developing and delivering training materials, providing technical support, coaching and mentoring our engineers, being involved with CPD’s and other customer presentations, to assist in the preparation of tenders and audits, to be involved in launching new products such as the C.L.S.S. gateway to our client base and ultimately to assist in building strong, long term relationships with our customers.

Got a question for Dave?

Dave Green is due to start with Midland Fire on the 31st November 2020 and will be available to provide advice and guidance should you need technical help with any of our products. Please get in touch if you need assistance.

fire-alarm-leasing-available-midland-fire-2

Midland Fire have partnered with Complete Leasing Solutions – The official equipment leasing partner of the FIA (Fire Industry Association), helping to make Life Safety more affordable for your business.

A Finance Lease is the perfect way to fund your new system . With terms available from 1 to 5 years and ownership available on completion of the agreement you can spread the cost of your new fire alarm system and keep up with the latest legislative requirements.

We have added a leasing calculator to our website.

Please visit the Equipment Leasing page for more information.

Moseley Hall Hospital Birmingham Community Healthcare NHS Trust

Over the past 12 years Midland Fire Security Services (Midland Fire) are proud to have worked on fire and life safety projects with Birmingham Community Healthcare NHS Trust (BCHC). Our reliable design, installation and maintenance service has helped the trust comply with legal requirements on time and within budget.

BCHC NHS trust operates a portfolio with 22 sites, predominately health centre clinics, however the portfolio includes 4 residential hospital buildings across Birmingham and the West Midlands region.

We conducted comprehensive site surveys at each location. We also worked with the existing fire and life safety systems to ensure they are fit for purpose and meet the latest legal requirements.

2007 – Present

  • Access control systems
  • BT Redcare centralised monitoring services
  • Electrical installations in line with site refurbishments
  • Fire alarm system Installation
  • Planned and reactive maintenance services
  • Remedial works and electrical safety testing

Working in a live hospital/care environment

BCHC NHS Trust operates primary care facilities for the elderly including patients with high dependant needs with conditions such as dementia. When working in this environment, extra care was taken to ensure patients were not disturbed.

Dan Sillito, Director at Midland Fire explains: “Midland Fire safety engineers are experienced in working in busy public spaces. All engineers have up to date DBS checks and we took extra care to ensure that patients were not disturbed and planned our work around the hospital’s day to day routine. A detailed risk assessment was completed and agreed with the BCHC NHS Trust prior to any work taking place.

Asbestos is a big concern in older facilities. Our engineer’s due diligence was crucial in checking the Asbestos Registers prior to carrying out work and their awareness throughout each project.  Commissioning works were performed by our fully trained fire system technicians, who are qualified to Gent24 standards and competent in many system protocols.”

Planned maintenance and emergency callouts

Midland Fire has been awarded a planned maintenance contracts for fire alarm systems across the region. Projects include working with fire alarm equipment from multiple suppliers including Gent Vigilon, Ziton & Notifier multi panel network systems.

Our maintenance service includes regular site visits for maintaining the fire alarm systems, planning and liaising with site contacts, testing of control panels and standby batteries, input device testing (MCP’s, Sensors), Cause & Effect testing & reporting defects / recommendations for compliance to BS5839-1 2017. As part of this contract we also provide full customer support, callout facilities and access to our qualified technicians 24hrs a day, 365 days a year.

BT Redcare secure 24 hour alarm monitoring

Midland Fire has recently been awarded the BCHC BT Redcare manned centre monitoring contract. Monitoring is an important part of any life safety system. All monitoring is undertaken by our partner company EMCS monitoring who provide comprehensive monitoring solutions for a wide variety of fire alarm equipment. Midland Fire worked closely with EMCS to ensure a seamless transition to our services.

Helping the NHS stay within budget

Working with EMCS Midland Fire secured a significant discount (and in some cases free) on BT Redcare monitoring equipment. We are pleased to have been able to add value to the contract. The new equipment comes with a full manufacturer’s warranty, reducing the risk of expensive maintenance should equipment need replacing in the near future.

Access control and Fire alarm refurbishment at Moseley Hall Hospital

As part of a major building security improvement project, new door access equipment was installed and interfaced to the main fire alarm system. Midland Fire was responsible for conducting initial site surveys and worked closely with NHS project management and security contractors to ensure the system was adequate for the trust’s needs.

All fire safety system design work is completed in house at Midland Fire to ensure that legislative and technical requirements are met. The system meets or exceeds the requirements of the Fire Risk Assessment, Fire Safety Order Regulatory Reform (2005) and British Standards in Fire Alarms BS5839-1 2017.

 

We look forward to working with BHCH NHS Trust on future projects.

Types of Fire Extinguisher

Types of Fire Extinguishers

Fire extinguishers are a necessary part of fire safety and protection. In order to ensure that you keep your surroundings safe, it is important to ensure that you utilise the right type of fire extinguisher for your unique situation. There are different types of fire extinguishers that serve a variety of purposes and these will be covered in this article to ensure that you are adequately protected. There are six types of fire extinguishers that will be outlined here, each suitable for a different class of fire.

Categories of Fire

Let us first take a quick look at the different categories of fire, this should help you to understand when is best to use each type of extinguisher.

  • Class A – fires involving solid materials such as wood, paper or textiles.
  • Class B – fires involving flammable liquids such as petrol, diesel or oils.
  • Class C – fires involving gases.
  • Class D – fires involving metals.
  • Class E – fires involving live electrical apparatus.
  • Class F – fires involving cooking oils such as in deep-fat fryers.

Water – Category A

Water fire extinguishers are suitable for fires involving solid combustibles (category A), these include wood, textiles and paper. When using this type of fire extinguisher it is important to avoid electrical equipment, as this is another potential fire risk. Water based fire extinguishers are also not for use on burning fat or oil fires.

To use a water fire extinguisher, point the jet at the base of the fire and move it around the area, ensuring that all of the fire is extinguished.

Water based fire extinguishers work on solid combustible fires as they cool down the fuel’s surface.

There are a few different types of water based fire extinguishers, which is worth noting. Some have additives added to the water and this makes them overall more effective. This is due to the fact that this extinguisher sprays, rather than jets, covering a larger surface area, and also the addition of surfactants helps to penetrate the combustibles, cooling them more rapidly.

Another category of water based fire extinguishers is the Water Mist Extinguisher. These extinguishers contain de-ionised water and are capable of fighting class A, B, C and F fires (solid materials, flammable liquids, gases and cooking oils/fats).The mist emitted from the extinguisher suffocates and cools the fire. It also helps to create a barrier of sorts between the person using the extinguisher and the fire itself, therefore improving safety.

AFFF Foam – Categories A, B, E

AFFF fire extinguishers are used for fires that are burning solids or liquids. They are not suitable for use on fires stemming from oil/fat. AFFF Foam extinguishers are used in the same way as water based extinguishers, in that you aim the foam at the base of a solid combustible fire and cover the area of the flames, ensuring that all of the fire is extinguished. However, if the fire is a liquid, you need to aim to build enough foam to cover the surface of the liquid. Therefore, it is a good idea to aim the foam above the flames, or into a corner of the flames if the fire is in a container.

AFFF Foam extinguishers work by forming a barrier on top of the burning liquid, preventing the interaction between the flames and the fuel. The foam prevents reignition from occuring due to the foaming agent.

Carbon Dioxide (CO2) – Categories B and E

Carbon dioxide fire extinguishers are best used for electrical fires, as CO2 is not a conductor of electricity. They were originally intended for use on flammable liquid fires, but have since proven to be very effective on electrical fires. As a result of this, they are commonly used on large computer servers.

When using CO2 extinguishers it is important that you take care as they are not recommended for use in close quarters, as it can lead to suffocation. Not only that, but it is important to remember that these extinguishers are not to be used on category F (fat/oil) fires as it can carry the oil out of the container, therefore spreading the fire. Areas should be ventilated as soon as the fire is under control in order to avoid asphyxiation.

To use a CO2 extinguisher you should point the horn at the base of the fire and keep it moving until the flames have extinguished. The extinguisher works by literally suffocating the fire, as the CO2 displaces the oxygen in the air. As the CO2 dissipates there is a risk that the fire will reignite, so be aware of this.

ABC Powder – Categories A, B, C and E

ABC Powder extinguishers are very versatile and can be used on many different categories of fires, including organic materials, liquids, gases and electrical fires. They are not to be used on oil/fat fires.

There is a slight danger of inhalation of the powder when it is used within buildings and it is therefore not recommended for use within enclosed areas. To use this type of extinguisher point the horn at the base of the flames and move it in a rapid sweeping motion, driving the flames backwards.

ABC powder is effective as it cools the fire down so much that the chemical reactions can no longer take place. However, there is a chance that the flames will reignite shortly after the powder is administered when the components heat back up.

Wet Chemical – Categories A and F

Wet chemical fire extinguishers are ideal for use on cooking fires including oils and fats. They can also be used on category A fires. The wet chemical extinguisher is simple to use and should be applied in a slow circular motion to the fire, eventually the fat/oil will become a soapy-like liquid and this shows you that the fire is adequately extinguished. Application should be gentle in order to prevent any oil from splashing and the fire spreading.

Wet chemical extinguishers work by providing a blanketing effect, similar to foam extinguishers. They usually contain some form of chemical, such as potassium acetate, that helps to cool and blanket the fire.

Summary

It is important that you have the right type of fire extinguisher for your own situation. But remember that safety is key and anybody expected to use a fire extinguisher should have the proper training in order to ensure that they fight the fire effectively.