About Carbon Dioxide (CO2) Fire Extinguishers
As electrical fire extinguishers
Carbon Dioxide also known as CO2 fire extinguishers, are the only ones recommended for use on electrical fires.
This is because they don’t release any wet agents that could cause electrical shocks. Nor do they release any powder agents that could damage the appliances. The only extinguishant released by CO2 extinguishers is carbon dioxide.
They release no toxic substances
Some fire extinguishers release agents that are harmful. ABC dry powder extinguishers, for instance, release a toxic agent that can be harmful if inhaled. It will also obscure vision and hinder emergency evacuations.
With a carbon dioxide fire extinguisher, there is no such risk. This makes them suitable for use in smaller spaces, too, such as offices.
But they could cause Freeze burns…
So far, CO2 fire extinguishers seem fairly safe. Don’t be fooled…they’re not completely risk averse.
The CO2 stored in the extinguisher is incredibly cold. If you hold the extinguisher in the wrong way when using it, it can cause freeze burns.
It is for this reason that CO2 fire extinguishers have a discharge horn attachment. For extra protection, you can invest in a double-walled, frost-free horn.
Careful when mounting
CO2 fire extinguishers are smaller than other extinguishers of the same capacity.
When shopping for fire extinguisher mounting accessories (plinths, stands, cabinets, etc.), you will probably have seen some products advertised as universal. This normally doesn’t include CO2 extinguishers. Always check before buying.
Too much pressure?
Remember, the CO2 inside the extinguisher is kept at a high pressure. It’s important that you handle them with care, and mount them away from sources of heat (including direct sunlight and radiators).