Breakdown of a Fire Extinguisher

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2 min 46 sec
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What we are going to do now is have a look at a fire extinguisher in a little bit more detail. Now, we are just looking at what is inside these extinguishers, and this does not mean that you can ever open them. We just thought that it was quite important to put a little module in so you can just understand a little bit more about how the extinguishers work. If you understand a little bit more about how they work, you are going to find it much easier to use.
Now, the main extinguisher here, the bit that you will start off when you are activating it is twisting the pin. You need to remove the pin to activate the extinguisher. This little tag here, what it is, is just a simple rip-tie and what you do with it is you can pop it through and it actually clips in place and it will hold the pin secure. If anyone comes along to the extinguisher and tries to remove the pin, then they will just twist it and that has then broken. So if you ever see an extinguisher with this missing, it will mean that someone has tampered with it. Now you won't know at this stage if the pin has just been taken out and pushed back in, or maybe the pin has been taken out and the extinguisher has been activated. If it has been activated, it is highly likely that if you need to use it in a couple of weeks or months later, it won't work. So any extinguisher that has this missing or broken would need to be serviced.

The extinguishers themselves are pretty much the same. We are dealing with a water one here, but the other ones are very similar in construction. The main ring here is threaded, so you undo the ring, and then when you pull the insides out, you have got the main pipe here which is what the water would be pushed up, and this here is the gas cylinder. Now with this gas cylinder, it is just putting the air into the system, very similar to maybe a soda stream at home; it works in the same way. Inside here, when you squeeze the handle, a pin will activate the top of this canister. So if we have a look at the top of the canister, we will see it is sealed. When the pin has activated it, it will actually puncture that and allow the gas to escape. As soon as you hit that button, you will hear the extinguisher charge up. Because there is a high amount of pressure, and air rises, the water is forced to the bottom, so when you push the button, the water is sucked up through the pipe, and out through the main nozzle.

All extinguishers will be the same - if it is a foam or a powder extinguisher, it works in a similar way. When you are looking at these extinguishers, do make sure that no-one has mucked about with them or broken the pin or there is any other damage on them. With the servicing of these, they must be done by a qualified person. If you think, for any reason, that there is anything wrong, don't adjust it yourself, make sure that you go to your proof person by your company and get them to service the extinguisher.