A CO2 (carbon dioxide) fire extinguisher is a type of fire extinguisher that uses carbon dioxide gas to suppress fires. It is commonly used for Class B (flammable liquid) and Class C (electrical) fires. CO2 fire extinguishers work by displacing oxygen around the fire, which helps to smother it and prevent the fire from spreading. The carbon dioxide gas is stored under pressure in the extinguisher and is released as a white cloud of gas when the extinguisher is discharged.
CO2 fire extinguishers are particularly effective for fires involving flammable liquids and electrical equipment because they do not leave any residue behind and do not conduct electricity. However, they are not suitable for Class A fires (ordinary combustibles like wood and paper) because they do not have a cooling effect and may not penetrate deep into the burning material.
It’s important to note that CO2 fire extinguishers should be used with caution as the rapidly expanding gas can be extremely cold and may cause frostbite if it comes into contact with skin. Additionally, the gas can displace oxygen in the surrounding area, which could be harmful to humans in enclosed spaces. As with any fire extinguisher, proper training on its use is essential for effective and safe firefighting.