Testing & Maintenance
Fire extinguishers play an important role in controlling a fire in its earliest development stages, potentially preventing significant property damage, injury or even loss of life. It is essential to accurately identify the category of fire in front of you, and to only ever use the correct fire extinguisher for the job. Using the wrong fire extinguisher, particularly on cooking oil fires, can be catastrophic and fatal. Likewise, using an extinguisher that has not been regularly serviced can also be very dangerous – which is why regular fire extinguisher servicing is essential. With proper fire extinguisher training, building occupants are able to assess a developing fire and determine whether it is within their capabilities to safely extinguish it.
Hawkins On Fire’s experienced technicians have many years of experience working on many of Australia’s leading fire detection system brands including Notifier, Ampac, Chubb, Tyco, Wormald, Pertronic Industries, Honeywell, Brooks and many others. Our on call service provides 24 hours a day, seven days a week phone and on-site support, ensuring your facility the most reliable protection possible.
Types of Fire Extinguishers
There are a variety of different types of fire extinguishers and these are designed to be used on one or more of the six different classes of fire. The classes of fire are:
- Class A – fires involving solid materials such as wood, paper or plastics.
- Class B – fires involving flammable and combustible liquids such as petrol, diesel or oils.
- Class C – fires involving flammable gases.
- Class D – fires involving metals.
- Class E – fires involving electrically energised equipment.
- Class F – fires involving cooking oils and fats.
Each of the different types of fire extinguishers and their uses are explained in more depth below:
Water Extinguishers – Red Band (All Red)
Water extinguishers are generally used for fighting class A fires. There are two main types of water extinguishers:
- Water extinguishers work by spraying a jet of water at the burning materials, cooling the fire and preventing re-ignition.
- Water extinguishers with additives are water extinguishers with foaming chemicals added. The water loses its natural surface tension allowing it to soak into the burning materials more effectively. Adding the chemicals to the water means that a smaller extinguisher can produce the same fire rating as a larger, water only, extinguisher.
Foam Extinguishers – Blue Band
Foam fire extinguishers can be used on Class A and B fires. They are generally used for liquid fires such as petrol or diesel but can also be used on solid fires such as wood and paper. The foam extinguishes liquid fires by sealing the surface of the liquid, preventing flammable vapour reaching the air and starving the fire of fuel. They are not suitable for use on free flowing liquid fires.
Powder Extinguishers – White Band
Powder extinguishers are a good multi-purpose fire extinguisher. ABE powder extinguishers can be used on Class A, B, C and E fires. BE powder extinguishers can be used on class B, C, E and F fires.
Whilst being versatile, highly effective and relatively inexpensive, powder extinguishers have a number of drawbacks that should be considered when selecting an extinguisher. These include:
- loss of visibility when used
- may result in respiration difficulties for the operator or people in the vicinity
- will likely damage or destroy exposed electrical equipment
- after use, clean up can be arduous and costly.
Carbon Dioxide Extinguishers (Co2) – Black Band
CO2 extinguishers are ideal for environments with a lot of electrical equipment such as offices and server rooms because they are safe to use on fires involving electrically energised equipment. Carbon dioxide extinguishers do not leave any residue and therefore after event clean-up and downtime is generally minimal. CO2 extinguishers also have a limited level of effectiveness on Class A and B fires.
Wet Chemical (Vaporising Liquid) Extinguishers – Yellow Band
Wet chemical extinguishers are suitable for use on Class F fires involving cooking oils and fats. The wet chemical rapidly extinguishes the flames, cools the fire and chemically reacts to form a soap-like solution, sealing the surface from oxygen and preventing re-ignition. Although they are primarily designed for use on Class F fires, they can also be used on Class A fires and have limited effectiveness on Class B fires.
Ensuring that you have the correct fire extinguishers installed, maintained and ready for action is critical to both their performance and the safety of the user. Hawkins On Fire’s technicians are highly experienced in inspection, testing and maintenance of these critical firefighting components.
Areas We Service
Hawkins On Fire is the leading independent fire safety provider to the Northern Rivers of NSW. With our office centrally located near Lismore, our service area spans from Tweed Heads down to Grafton and out west to the Great Divide.
Alstonville | Ballina | Bangalow | Banora Point | Bexhill | Bogangar | Bonalbo | Broadwater | Brunswick Heads | Byron Bay | Cabarita Beach | Casaurina | Casino | Chinderah | Clunes | Coffs Harbour | Coraki | Corindi Beach | Dunoon | Eltham | Evans Head | Ewingsdale | Federal | Goonellabah | Grafton | Junction Hill | Kingscliff | Kyogle | Lennox Head | Lismore | Maclean | Mallanganee | Modanville | Mullumbimby | Murwillumbah | Nashua | Nimbin | Ocean Shores | Pottsville | Skennars Head | Suffolk Park | Tabulam | Tumbulgum | Tweed Heads | Urbenville | Urunga | Wollongbar | Woodburn | Woolgoolga | Yamba
Our Fire Protection Services
Hawkins On Fire are able to provide the full range of services including, but not limited to:
All inspection, testing and maintenance services are recorded and available to our customers at any time through our computerised operating system FireMate.
In addition, Hawkins On Fire provides a 24/7 call out service, which ensures your systems operate at their peak capability and that your occupants, employees, visitors and your business receive the best protection possible.