Fire extinguisher residue in Malaysia refers to the dust and chemical residue left behind after using a fire extinguisher to extinguish a fire. As the chemicals in fire extinguishers can harm humans, it’s essential to follow proper cleaning procedures after using one.
Fire extinguishers are not only incredibly useful to have in the event of a fire, but also essential in saving lives during fire emergencies. However, you’ll be left with a substantial amount of fire extinguisher residue after extinguishing a fire.
Knowing how to clean up fire extinguisher residue is essential for many reasons. You’ll be able to assess the damage to your building underneath the fire extinguisher residue.
You can also minimise potential respiratory irritation caused by the ammonium phosphate and ammonium sulphate powder in fire extinguishers.
In this article, we’ll explain how to clean up fire extinguisher residue in Malaysia properly. This is so that you will be able to clean fire extinguisher residue regardless of the type of fire extinguisher used.
Cleaning Up Dry Chemical Fire Extinguisher Residue
Dry chemical fire extinguishers work with a pressurised spray of a dry chemical that will extinguish a fire. The most common chemicals used in dry chemical fire extinguishers are monoammonium phosphate and sodium or potassium bicarbonate.
Immediate action is required when using this type of fire extinguisher. This is because the chemicals can corrode metals and cause more damage if not cleaned up quickly.
Moreover, any electrical appliances with residue on them should be cleaned with an electrical contact cleaner. It is a compressed air canister containing a cleaning agent that evaporates quickly, such as isopropyl alcohol.
Here is how you can safely and effectively clean up fire extinguisher residue from a dry fire extinguisher:
- Clean up loose debris.
- Spray the fire extinguisher residue with a mixture of isopropyl alcohol diluted 50% with warm water. Let the solution sit for several minutes before wiping it with a damp cloth.
- To neutralise sodium bicarbonate and potassium bicarbonate residue, apply a solution of 98% hot water and 2% vinegar. Leave aside for several minutes before wiping the area with a damp cloth.
- To neutralise monoammonium phosphate residue, apply a mixture of baking soda and hot water. Let the paste sit for several minutes before wiping with a damp cloth.
- Clean the affected area again with soap and water, and then rinse.
- If dishes, cookware, or clothing have dry chemical fire extinguisher residue on them, wash as usual in the dishwasher or washing machine.
Cleaning Up Wet Chemical Fire Extinguisher Residue
Wet chemical fire extinguishers are most often used for class K fires. Class K fires are fuelled by flammable liquids that are unique to cooking, such as cooking oils and greases.
When a fire breaks out in commercial kitchens and restaurants, a Class K extinguisher discharges a mist to cool cooking surfaces and extinguish the fire.
Before you can resume cooking, you need to clean up the fire extinguisher residue. Here’s what you need to do:
- Switch off the power to all cooking equipment.
- Put on rubber gloves and goggles.
- Wipe away the foamy residue with a sponge dipped in hot, soapy water.
- Rinse all surfaces that were in contact with wet chemicals.
- Leave everything to dry completely before turning the power back on.
Cleaning Up After Clean Agent Fire Extinguishers
Clean agent fire extinguishers are non-conductive and do not harm the Earth’s protective ozone layer. This makes them ideal for putting out fires near electronics that could be damaged by water or corrosive dry chemicals.
Clean agent extinguishers are effective against Class A, B, and C fires. As clean agents dissipate harmlessly into the atmosphere, they leave no residue behind and require no clean-up.
A fire extinguisher is an essential safety device for all homes, businesses and other public buildings. Cleaning up after using a fire extinguisher can be done quickly and with little expense.
However, the job should not be considered complete until your fire extinguishers are positioned back in place and verified ready for the next time you need them.