Fire Extinguisher Demonstration – December 2010

Mr Barwick’s Visit

Did you know that fire causes millions of pounds worth of damage in homes, factories, offices and stores every year?  That during the year 2000 fire caused the death of 491 people?  That burns accounted for 24% of deaths and 21% were overcome by smoke and hot gases?

Fire extinguishers do not replace the fire and rescue service, no more than a bandage replaces a hospital.  A bandage can prevent infection to the wound.  A fire extinguisher can prevent an inferno and possible loss of life.  80% of fires are extinguished before the fire brigade arrives.  Knowing about which fire extinguisher to use, and how to operate it correctly, is important, as is knowing why you mustn’t play with fire extinguishers!

Mr Barwick explained about the types of fire extinguishers, their uses, how far each one will reach and how long each one lasts.  It was a surprise to learn how quickly an extinguisher empties!  After his talk, Mr Barwick let the pupils have a go in the playground with the different types of fire extinguishers.

Mr England

Fire extinguishers blast short and sweet, they put out the fire so you don’t feel the heat.

They come in canisters big and strong, point it at the fire and then hold on.

Some are powders, some are wet, glad to say we have never met.

If you see a fire act quick, pull out the tag and pin, point it at the fire and then begin.

Pull back the lever and blast away – if you do it right you will save the day.

Make sure it is replaced and serviced ready for another day.

Every building should have one with instructions for use and stuck to the wall ready to use.

Lance Pyle

Today a man named Mr Barwick came to tell us about fire extinguishers.  First he told us about the different types.  He also told us what all the types worked on. He said that the powder extinguisher was the best because it works on most things.  He said that a water fire extinguisher will put out class A fires, that a carbon dioxide fire extinguisher will put out class B and electrical fires, that foam fire extinguishers can be used on class A & B fires and that the dry powder fire extinguisher can be used on all fires.

He demonstrated, in the playground, what each of the fire extinguishers did.  The water extinguisher went a long distance but did not make a mess.  The foam extinguisher made a big mess!  The carbon dioxide extinguisher got cold very quickly and the powder extinguisher made a huge mess, which looked like snow!

Jordan Mitchell

For our last chemistry lesson of the term Mr England had invited a professional on fire extinguishers.  His name was Mr Barwick.  He explained what to do and what not to do to a fire extinguisher:

  • Only use the fire extinguisher when there’s a fire!
  • Don’t mess around with the plastic tags which keep the lever open.

He showed us how far each fire extinguisher can reach:

9 litre water extinguisher                            lasts 60 seconds                               reaches 30 metres

Carbon dioxide extinguisher                      lasts only 10 seconds!                    reaches 1½ metres

9 litre foam extinguisher                             lasts 45 seconds                               reaches 3½ metres         

Dry powder extinguisher                             lasts only 12 seconds!                   

I thought it was rather interesting to use a fire extinguisher and I think Mr Barwick enjoyed his visit too!

Oliver Heaton

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