- Fire Extinguisher, Stored Pressure Air-Water ("AW")
A stored pressure air-water (AW) fire extinguisher is a type of portable fire extinguisher designed to combat Class A fires fueled by ordinary combustible materials such as wood, paper, textiles, and plastics. It is a versatile first-response fire suppression device commonly found in residential, commercial, and industrial settings.
The term "stored pressure" refers to the design of the extinguisher, where both the extinguishing agent and the pressurizing gas are stored within the same container. In the case of an air-water fire extinguisher, the extinguishing agent is water, while the pressurizing gas is typically compressed air or nitrogen.
The primary function of a stored pressure air-water fire extinguisher is to discharge a stream of water onto the fire, effectively cooling the burning material and reducing the fire's heat. The water disrupts the fire triangle by absorbing heat from the fire, extinguishing the flames, and preventing re-ignition.
Stored pressure air-water fire extinguishers typically feature a cylindrical container made of metal, often painted red to indicate its purpose. The container houses the water and gas, along with a discharge nozzle or hose and a control valve. The valve controls the flow of water when the extinguisher is operated.
It's important to note that stored pressure air-water fire extinguishers are primarily suitable for Class A fires, which involve ordinary combustible materials. They may not be appropriate for fires involving flammable liquids (Class B fires) or electrical equipment (Class C fires) due to the conductivity of water. In such cases, other types of fire extinguishers, specifically designed for those fire classes, are more suitable.
Proper training in the use of stored pressure air-water fire extinguishers is crucial for effective fire response. Users must understand the appropriate operating procedures, the limitations of the extinguisher, and any specific safety precautions associated with its use.
Always consult local fire safety requirements to ensure compliance and the correct selection of portable fire extinguishers based on the specific needs and risks of your environment.