Having to put out a fire is scary, no matter how small the fire is or how many times you’ve been put in that situation. The last thing anyone wants is for the fire to get out of hand. Of course, that can happen in the blink of an eye, especially when the fire isn’t dealt with safely and properly.
When a fire breaks out, most people automatically and immediately turn to water. In fact, most of us are taught at a young age that water is the key to putting out a fire — but not so fast. Did you know water can actually make the situation worse and further ignite or spread the fire?
That’s right, water isn’t always the answer. It’ll help in certain circumstances, but it’ll also hurt in other circumstances. The key is knowing when it’s safe to put a fire out with water and when you need to turn to another solution — that way, you, your family, and your home are safe.
So, When Can You Use Water to Put a Fire Out?
Not all fires are created equal. In fact, they’re generally broken down into several different categories depending on the cause of the fire. These classifications include Class A, Class B, Class C, Class D, and Class K. These classifications are also used for fire extinguishers.
There is only one instance where water can be used to put a fire out — Class A fires. These are fires that involve solid materials, such as clothing, paper, plastic, and wood. If the fire involves electricity, flammable liquids, or metal ignites, don’t even think about grabbing water to put it out.
You might be wondering why water is a safe bet for Class A fires. This is because the water creates a protective barrier between the fuel and oxygen. Not only does this cool the fire down, but it effectively removes the heat source to eliminate the continuation and spread of the fire.
If you want to avoid water damage, Tampa residents should be mindful when using water to put out a fire.
Why Can’t You Throw Water On a Grease Fire?
This is a common question among homeowners and business owners, especially those that are constantly cooking with oil and dealing with grease. It’s one of the main reasons why most kitchen fires grow out of hand within milliseconds. It won’t take long for it to spread out of control.
Many of you have likely heard that oil and water don’t mix — it’s basic chemistry. When you throw water on a grease fire, the water immediately travels to the bottom of the pan and evaporates instantly. The oil splashes and causes the flames to spread throughout the room.
Instead of throwing water on a grease fire, you should immediately put a lid over the pan to cut off its oxygen and turn off the heat source immediately — if safe to do so, of course. If that doesn’t work or if it’s unsafe to do so, turn to your Class B or K fire extinguisher if it has yet to spread out of control.
When Should You Use a Fire Extinguisher?
In the event of a fire, especially larger fires, a fire extinguisher is an excellent solution. Of course, it can also be dangerous when not using the right type of fire extinguisher or not using the fire extinguisher properly. Like water, a fire extinguisher can cause harm in certain situations.
The best time to use a fire extinguisher is when the fire is small, contained, and not spreading throughout the home or business. Before grabbing the fire extinguisher and pulling the pin, you should make sure everyone has been evacuated and your back is facing the escape route.
If you’re dealing with a fire involving a flammable liquid, such as gasoline, alcohol, oil, and grease, you should only use a Class B fire extinguisher. If you’re dealing with a fire involving electricity, you should turn to a Class C fire extinguisher. Knowing the difference is important.
Some fire extinguishers are labeled A-B-C fire extinguishers. These are capable of putting out all three classes of fire extinguishers and make it extremely easy when containing most fires. When avoiding fire damage, Tampa Bay residents should know when and how to use an extinguisher.
Can Fire Damage Be Restored?
As scary and damaging as a fire can be, it’s not the end of the world. At DriRite, we offer the best fire restoration Tampa Bay has to offer. Our goal is to restore your home or business to its original condition, as if the fire never occurred in the first place. That’s our MO.
If you’ve recently experienced a fire and need the most professional restoration services of Tampa Bay, contact us today and we’ll send someone to your home or business immediately. We can’t wait to put a smile on your face!