There are many things that can stop a fire before it gets too out of hand. Water, foam, controlled substances; the list goes on.
All of these can be found in the form of a fire extinguisher, which is available to help people stop fires at the source before they do too much damage and cause a risk to human life.
However, many wonder whether these amazing inventions can freeze.
There are a few different factors when it comes to fire extinguishers and freezing, which we’ll look at today in our guide.
After all, before trying to handle one of these you need to understand how they work and the potential different things that can happen to a fire extinguisher, including freezing.
What Is A Fire Extinguisher?
Of course, most people will have heard of fire extinguishers, however, many might not know what it actually is.
In short, a fire extinguisher is an ideal bit of apparatus that can be transported about and moved, depending on the situation and where the fire is located.
Because of this, many places and local communities will have legal requirements to have one of these devices on-site and ready to use.
Fire extinguishers put out fires and prevent loss of life and damage to buildings and structures so that we don’t have to worry when small fires break out and pose a risk.
Of course, larger fires will require something more substantial to combat them, but these definitely serve a purpose!
How Does A Fire Extinguisher Work?
They work by taking oxygen away from the flames of a fire and forcing the fire to become mere ashes on the floor.
Because fires require oxygen to even exist. Although, chemical fires can often thrive without oxygen, but there are different fire extinguishers that can be used to fight these fires.
Different types of fire extinguishers will fight best against certain types of fires, with their specific purpose often depending on the type of environment that they are kept in.
For example, a water extinguisher will be kept in close proximity to flammable wood or paper, whereas, a laboratory will have a fire extinguisher that is more suited to battling chemical fires.
What Are The Different Types Of Fire Extinguishers?
Now, although all of this may seem irrelevant to whether a fire extinguisher can freeze or not, it actually plays a big part and will often decide on whether fire extinguishers will freeze.
Depending on the substances inside the extinguisher, the apparatus might find it easier or harder to freeze.
Without further ado, let’s look at four of the main fire extinguisher types that you’re bound to see in common places.
As we already mentioned, water-based fire extinguishers are perfectly suited for being used against fires that include wood, paper, textiles, and other solid combustible materials.
Because these fires rely heavily on heat and oxygen, water is a great tool to be used and will make a huge difference in keeping everyone safe from burns.
One thing that will be a lot harder to fight against with water is flammable liquids. These are often caused when temperatures reach a point of reaction.
These liquids will need to be fought with foam so that the extinguisher can stop the fire before it reaches a size that’s too big to fight against.
Carbon Dioxide (CO2)
Frequently used against electrical fires, this compound is used in lots of different places around the world.
With all the different uses for technology now and all of the different locations we see electricity, we often see these extinguishers throughout schools and places that contain a lot of computers and similar devices.
Being used against flammable gases, and electrical equipment once again, this form of extinguisher is handy because of its versatility and the different things it can fight against.
With regard to which one it works best against, there is no real answer because it has been specialized to work against both with great efficiency.
Can Fire Extinguishers Freeze?
We’ll now get to the answer that you were looking for in the first place. Can fire extinguishers freeze?
Well, the easy answer is yes. Certain types of fire extinguishers can freeze, however, not all of them will.
Water types and foam extinguishers are the most vulnerable to freezing out of the extinguishers and will become frozen if they plummet below a certain temperature.
When stored in temperatures below 40-degrees Fahrenheit, these extinguishers have been known to freeze, which will cause problems for you, should you feel the need to use them to put out a fire.
However, if you need your fire extinguisher to battle against the cold more efficiently, then it’s always best to talk to your equipment provider so that you can keep things safe and ready for use.
However, there are things you can do to prevent issues with your fire extinguisher. We’ll now help you understand more about storing your fire extinguisher safely.
It’s always best to know all of the ins and outs before trying to keep one of these devices close by.
How Do I Store My Extinguisher Safely?
There are always official bodies and sources that you should use when looking for information on a subject so crucial.
The NFPA, or National Fire Protection Association, states that you need to keep a fire extinguisher on each floor of your building so that there is always one nearby.
All should be kept out of areas that involve high or low temperatures to avoid freezing or becoming too warm.
Having these extinguishers on mounted wall brackets and keeping them out of the way of doors is always good practice to make sure that they don’t get in the way and prevent people from going about their daily lives.
There you have it! There are different types of extinguishers, which no doubt has an effect on whether a fire extinguisher will freeze or not.
Water-based and foam-based extinguishers are usually the ones that have the largest chance of freezing and they need to be kept in conditions that have temperatures greater than 40-degrees Fahrenheit.
Otherwise, you risk having a fire extinguisher that doesn't work when you need it to!