Foam-based extinguishers and their applications

Foam fire extinguishers are also known as AFFF which means Aqueous Film Forming Foam. A foam fire extinguisher generally has a foaming element along with water. That is why it is considered one of the most affordable fires extinguishing elements. This type of fire extinguisher has some limitations in use that we will discuss further.

How do foam-based fire extinguishers work?

A foam fire extinguisher works in two ways. At first, the water cools down the heat and then secondly the foam locks the inflammable vapour that helps to stop the fire quicker. Since the vapour is locked it is becoming non-toxic for humans to breathe. People can breathe in that situation properly without inhaling any toxic gas. Both the elements present in the fire extinguisher which is fire and foam work to reduce the heat and stop the fire. Fire has three elements which are oxygen, heat and the flammable agent. If any one of these three can be removed then fire can be controlled and eventually stopped. Foam fire extinguishers eliminate heat from the fire.

Uses of foam-based fire extinguishers

  1. A foam fire extinguisher is used to stop the fire from flammable solids such as wood, paper, and textile materials making it a Class A fire extinguisher.
  2. A foam fire extinguisher is also used for Class B fire which is caused by Flammable liquids.
  3. It can be used in electrically-caused fires because it has passed the 35KV conductive test.

Where should you use foam-based fire extinguishers?

Foam-based fire extinguishers can be used in the places mentioned below.

  1. Home and residential properties except for the kitchen.
  2. Office buildings
  3. Warehouses.
  4. Garages.
  5. Hotels

Where you should not use foam-based fire extinguishers?

You should never use Foam based fire extinguishers in the places mentioned below.

  1. Never use it in places where flammable gasses are kept. This cannot control such fire outbreaks.
  2. The kitchen contains some flammable liquids such as oils and that is why this type of fire extinguisher will not work there.

Advantages of using foam-based fire extinguishers

Foam fire extinguishers come with a lot of benefits. Here are some of them listed below.

  1. It is a non-toxic product to use in case of fire outbreaks. Since it only includes water and foam it does not disturb human health.  
  2. It does not damage any materials under fire. The composition of the fire extinguisher does not include any harmful chemicals that could damage any materials. That is why it is a safe option to choose.
  3. In some cases, it can be used in electrical fires. Though it is not designed to control electrical fire outbreaks times it can help with additional products used.
  4. It is an economical option. The elements used in such fire extinguishers do not cost much and that is why it is an affordable option for many users.

Disadvantages of using foam-based fire extinguishers

Everything has some advantages and some disadvantages. Let’s know about the disadvantages now.

  1. Though it can control some level of electrical fire it damages any electronic gadget or device. It is not at all suitable for that.

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