CO2 Fire Extinguishers: Everything You Need To Know

Fire’s come in all shapes and sizes. 

And while it would be amazing to have one universal extinguisher, different fire extinguishers are needed for different purposes. 

In fact, we have dedicated a full blog to explain the many different types of extinguishers, which you can read here.

However, in this blog we are going to focus on one type of fire extinguisher in particular: CO2 fire extinguishers. 

By the end of this article, you will know exactly what a CO2 fire extinguisher is used for, how it works, where to buy one from and much more.

So, without further ado, let’s get into it! 

What is a CO2 Fire Extinguisher?

A CO2 fire extinguisher, as the name may suggest, uses carbon dioxide in order to extinguish fires started from electrical equipment and also class B fires e.g. flammable liquids. 

One of the main benefits of CO2 fire extinguishers is that they do not leave any residue or mess when discharged. 

This is essential if you are putting out a fire caused by electrical equipment. 

What colour is a CO2 Fire Extinguisher?

CO2 fire extinguishers can be identified by the red body and black and white label on the front of the canister. They also come in 2 different sizes at 2kg and 5kg.    

What is a CO2 fire extinguisher used for?

CO2 fire extinguishers are the only recommended extinguishers for computer fires and other electrical fires. 

A great feature about CO2 fire extinguisher is that the gas released by them is non-conductive. This comes in really useful when you are dealing with any fires caused by electrical equipment. 

Due to their effectiveness, they are the most popular fire extinguishers for offices and retail/convenience shops. 

If you’re working in a large office building, you would likely find a CO2 fire extinguisher in a server room as well as in other areas of the building. 

CO2 extinguishers are ideal for places with a lot of electrical equipment such as offices or server rooms because they are safe to use on fires involving electrical apparatus.

The fact that the gas is non-conductive means that CO2 fire extinguishers are perfect for any offices that have electrical equipment.

How does a CO2 fire extinguisher work

If you have to deal with a fire and need to use a CO2 fire extinguisher, it is always good to have an understanding of how the extinguisher actually works. 

A CO2 fire extinguisher contains carbon dioxide in liquid form. 

When you spray the extinguisher, the carbon dioxide liquid gets released into the air, neutralising the oxygen that the fire is using. 

When the carbon dioxide liquid comes into contact with oxygen, it will disable the fires ability to burn or spread any further. 

The carbon dioxide in the extinguisher is ice-cold temperature, meaning that it not only puts out the fire but also prevents it from reoccurring.  

How to use a CO2 fire extinguisher safely?

One of the most important things to consider when operating a fire extinguisher is safety. 

As mentioned above, CO2 fire extinguishers are only suitable for electrical fires and class B fires. But before you consider using a CO2 fire extinguisher, you need to make sure it is safe to use. 

Here are some of the things you need to look out for:

  • Ensure that the safety pin isn’t bent

  • To prevent frost burns, do not hold the horn

  • Or, purchase an extinguisher with a frost-free horn

  • Stand a safe distance from the fire when removing the safety pin

  • With flammable liquids, aim the horn at the base of the fire and move across gradually

  • If it’s safe to do so, make sure to switch off the electrical equipment, then direct the extinguisher at the fire

  • Slowly squeeze the lever to discharge the extinguisher

Where can I buy a CO2 fire extinguisher from?

Now you’ve added to your knowledge on CO2 fire extinguishers, the next step would be to go ahead and purchase one if your building doesn’t already have them.

Most businesses will need a different fire extinguisher for each need. For example, for the kitchen in the office, they may need a wet chemical extinguisher to deal with high-temperature fires. Whereas, in a server room, they may need a CO2 extinguisher for electrical fires. 

If you are looking for the best prices on fire extinguishers in the North West, look no further than our dedicated website of safety supplies. Our extinguishers are Kitemarked and CE marked and get thoroughly tested before they are dispatched.

Fire Protection Team

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