How to Clean Up Fire Extinguisher Residue

How to Clean Up Fire Extinguisher Residue

Portable fire extinguishers have become an unavoidable element in a workplace or business premise. The advantages these products offer is highly regarded. These devices help you to control small fires effectively. However, you have to clean up the mess from a fire extinguisher before returning to business as normal. How do you clean up fire extinguisher residue?

Understanding the Type of Residue You Are Dealing With

Fire Extinguishers

Generally speaking, all fire extinguishers have similarities. However, these devices can be very different in many ways. You need to realize that fire extinguishers are composed of various  chemicals depending on the type of fires they are developed to smother. Different cleaning methods are needed for the different types of extinguishing agents. The safety precautions also vary with different equipment. All these aspects point out the importance of knowing the type of residue you are handling. The most popular extinguishing agents are dry powder, wet chemical, and dry chemical extinguishers.

How to Clean Residue from a Dry Powder Extinguisher?

Hose Reel

The primary function of dry powder extinguishers is to smother class D fires that contain combustible metals like titanium and magnesium. These types of metals are seen in machinery utilized in factories and warehouses. When you clean this residue, you must safeguard your eyes and hands with goggles and gloves. The dry powder residue can be extremely harmful.

For cleaning the powder residue, you can use a brush or vacuum and a plastic bag to store the powder. After sealing the bag, it can be placed in the trash. The powder residue available on the affected surfaces can be cleaned using a damp cloth.

How to Clean Residue From a Wet Chemical Extinguisher?

Operating fire extinguisher

If you want to extinguish class K fires containing grease, you can use a wet chemical extinguisher. You can find these types of extinguishers in restaurants and commercial kitchens. It is always advisable to safeguard your hands and eyes from the residue by using of gloves and goggles.

When it comes to cleaning wet chemical residue, all fuel sources attached to your cooking appliances should be turned off. You can use hot water and soap for removing any residue, and it is advisable to scrub the area. All surfaces and affected areas must be rinsed carefully and before turning any equipment back on, wait for these areas to dry.

How to Clean Residue From a Dry Chemical Extinguisher?

Fire Extinguisher setup

The most common extinguishers available are dry chemical extinguishers. This type of extinguisher is highly regarded for its versatility. You can use dry chemical extinguishers to smother Class A, B, and C fires. They are extensively used in commercial and industrial buildings. Dry chemical extinguishers contain fighting agents such as potassium bicarbonate, sodium bicarbonate, and monoammonium phosphate. These discharge a corrosive powder which creates a negative charge on metal surfaces and electronics. You need to prevent these substances from coming into contact with the surfaces. You have to use gloves, goggles, and dust masks while cleaning dry chemical extinguishers.

The unwanted residue can be swept or vacuumed. You can blend 50% of warm water and 50% of isopropyl to create a solution which can be sprayed onto the area to break up the leftover silicone. You have to keep the solution on the surface for five minutes, then it can be rinsed off with the help of warm water.

For addressing the negative effects of potassium bicarbonate and sodium bicarbonate oriented dry chemicals, you should combine 2% vinegar and 98% hot water to form a solution. The affected area can be washed using the solution. You have to leave the solution on the surface for five minutes so that it settles perfectly, and finally, you can clean the area with warm water.

Fire pipes

If you want to address the issues caused by monoammonium phosphate related to dry chemical, you should follow a different approach. For this purpose, you should blend hot water and baking soda. This solution can be applied on the area. Allow the solution settle down for around five minutes. After this time period, you can clean the surface with warm water. Once it is clean, it is necessary to wash and rinse the area using a solution that contains water and soap. A fan can be used to spot dry the surface.

These are the most important steps you need to follow while cleaning residue from different types of fire extinguishers.

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Disclaimer: The information provided in this blog is for general informational purposes only. While we strive to ensure the accuracy and reliability of the information we strongly advise that any electrical work or modifications be carried out by a licensed and qualified professional electrician. The content of this blog should not be considered as a substitute for professional advice or consultation. Any reliance you place on such information is strictly at your own risk.