15Aug 2011
by Nick Potter

CO2 Fire Extinguisher

CO2 Fire Extinguisher

A CO2 Fire Extinguisher is a commonly used abbrevriation for a carbon dioxide fire extinguisher.  Generally CO2 Fire Extinguishers come in two sizes, these being 2Kg and 5Kg.  The different sizes of CO2 Fire Extinguisher give varying fire ratings.  These fire ratings indicate the size of fire which the extinguisher is rated to extinguish.

A CO2 Fire Extinguisher is a stored pressure type unit and features a directional horn which can be moved in different directions to point the extinguishant directly at the fire.  Once the user has aimed at the fire source, the safety pin should be removed from the handle by pulling the pin and breaking the anti tamper seal, and on squeezing the level the CO2 will be discharged towards the fire.  The range of throw of a 2 Kg CO2 Fire Extinguisher is typically around 4 metres and the duration of the discharge is around 8 seconds.  However the larger 5Kg units also have a range of throw of 4 metres but a duration of discharge of 14 seconds.  The fire rating

It is also a good idea to position a fire extinguisher ID sign above the wall position of the CO2 Fire Extinguisher.  These signs indicate the type of unit and also show the user what types of fires the extinguisher is suitable to be used on.  The types of fires and fire rating of the extinguisher should also be physically marked on the extinguisher.  The CO2 Fire Extinguisher should be mounted at 1 metre from the floor.  A CO2 Fire Extinguisher should always be mounted either directly on the wall using a bracket or in a specific fire point enclosure.

CO2 Fire Extinguisher

A CO2 Fire Extinguisher is designed specifically to tackle category B and electrical fires.  A category B fire is a flammable liquid or a liquefiable solid fire.  Examples of flammable liquids are Petrol, Diesel and Paints, examples of liquefiable solid fires are Lard, Margarine and Butter.  However a CO2 Fire Extinguisher is normally utilised where there is a risk of fire to electrical equipment.  Other types of devices such as water and foam extinguishers are not suitable for use on electrical fires due to the increased risk of electric shock which may result from using water based extinguishant mediums.  Certain powder extinguishers can be used to tackle electrical fires, however a CO2 unit is usually favoured due to the increased amount of mess caused by using a powder device.

CO2 Fire Extinguisher

A CO2 Fire Extinguisher should have a basic service / inspection every year, with the swivel horn O-Ring being replaced everytime the horn is removed.  Every 10 years the unit should then be given an extended service which features a full discharge and refill, along with a pressure check on the components.

A CO2 Fire Extinguisher sold in the UK should have a CE Mark and preferrably a BS Kite mark to BS EN3.  BS EN3 is the British and European standard which is applicable to the manufacture of a CO2 Fire Extinguisher.

There are several manufacturers of these products in the UK market place, such as Thomas Glover, Chubb, Gloria and Saffire.

A range of CO2 Fire Extinguisher and peripheral items are available from the Safety Centre.  Please don’t hesitate to contact us should you wish to discuss any requirements you may have.

For More Information On These Products Please Click The Following Link: CO2 Fire Extinguisher