Top Tips For Cleaning Dry Fire Extinguisher Chemicalsby Norman Holden on 11/13/14
Portable fire extinguishers are widely used by many homeowners and business operators as well. They are ideally helpful when it comes to putting out small fires. With its portability, you can easily grab it and use it to put off fire. Whilst it is easy to use portable fire extinguishers, it would often be difficult to clean up the chemicals it leaves behind. With the following tips to bear in mind, however, the entire job can be easily done.
First things first, you should identify the category of the portable fire extinguisher you own
Before learning how you can clean up the residues left behind by the fire extinguisher after you used it, you should understand what type of portable fire extinguisher you own. There are two basic categories to consider. The first one is the water-based version that is easy to clean up with no actual special steps required. The second basic category (which we will talk more about in this page) is the dry fire extinguisher. These ones contain a variety of chemicals that are considered dangerous to anyone's health.
In case you own more than one fire extinguisher, it is relatively important to establish the category they belong to whether water-based and/or dry. Knowing this will prevent you from an increased risk of chemical-related injuries that may arise as you clean up the affected area.
Proceed to vacuuming the mess
When your dry fire extinguisher has either potassium bicarbonate or sodium in it, the safest way to clean up the chemicals it will leave behind is through vacuuming. Proceed to vacuuming only when you have geared up and worn a dust mask, a pair of gloves and safety goggles. You will need these gears to prevent toxins from dust and fumes that you may inhale later on. From gearing up, you can now sweep up all the larger debris and place them inside a trash bag. This should be thrown in a place where it will not affect other individuals.
Once the larger debris are removed, it will now be easier to vacuum the area. Vacuum the surface until there are no visible powder residues on them. You need to re-vacuum the space just to make sure that no chemical residues are left behind.
Proceed to cleaning the foam-like substance released from the fire extinguisher
There are certain types of fire extinguishers that release foam-like substances once they are sprayed over a surface or structure. This substance cannot be removed by merely vacuuming the space. What you will need is the usual water-soap combination to wipe off these foam-like substances.
Make sure you are working in a well-ventilated area
Dry fire extinguishers contain ammonium phosphate, a chemical that is very unpleasant once it is breathed in and gets into your eyes or gets in contact with an open wound. With this chemical in mind, it is important then that you should have proper ventilation in the area where cleaning of the chemicals need to be done.
Know what you should avoid when cleaning up
As much as possible, you should avoid sweeping the chemicals indoors since this can combine with other fire residue and indoor dust. This is the best way by which you will be saved from inhaling the powder residue. Also, you should not add fresh water to that of the chemical water discharged by the extinguisher.
The above-mentioned tips will help you clean up dry fire extinguisher chemicals all by yourself. However, if you do not want to put your life at risk and want a good cleanup, you should consider asking the help of professionals like us to do this job for you!