There are five main types of fire extinguishers namely, water, foam, CO2, dry powder, and wet chemicals. Each of these types of extinguishers are suitable for certain fire class or classes. For a foam fire extinguisher, it is best to use on combustible carbon-based solids eg paper, wood or textiles or class A and class B which includes flammable liquids, like, petrol paraffin, diesel or oil but excluding cooking oil.
Foam fire extinguishers contain water and foam which are compressed by nitrogen which propels the materials for discharge. They are also called AFFF fire extinguishers which stand for aqueous film-forming foam. When a foam fire extinguisher is aimed at a burning organic material (class A fire) or a liquid (class B fire), the foamy discharge smothers the flame The foam is cool and can absorb heat.
Fire can only thrive when there is oxygen, heat, and fuel. Without one, fire cannot be created. A foam fire extinguisher works by removing one component, which is the oxygen. By engulfing the burning material, oxygen from the air is prevented from interacting with the other elements.
The use of foam fire extinguishers on class A and class B fires has advantages. Here are some of them.
It Can Cover a Wider Area
The ability of the foam to expand once it hits the air means that it can be used for larger areas engulfed with fire. This cannot be said of water fire extinguishers. Once sprayed on a burning material, it smothers the fire to prevent oxygen from coming in and cools down the material, thus extinguishing the fire.
It Is Portable
A foam fire extinguisher is more lightweight when compared to water fire extinguisher. This means more convenience when the fire started far from where the extinguisher is positioned.
It Is Versatile
AFFF fire extinguishers are known for their versatility because they can be used on flammable liquids and solids as well. This means that you do not have to buy two different extinguishers for class A and class B fires.
It is Cost-Effective
When compared with water a fire extinguisher, a foam fire extinguisher is cheaper. And because it is versatile, you don’t have to buy two extinguishers.
It Is Easy to Clean
After the fire is successfully extinguished, you have the task to clean the mess produced. With a foam fire extinguisher, you may spend less time cleaning as it can be easily removed unlike when you use CO2 fire extinguisher.
It Completely Kills the Fire
You must have heard of extinguished fire only to be revived again. This is not possible with foam extinguishers as it smothers the burning material and cools it down.