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Author Topic: What's the best fire extinguisher to use on a person?  (Read 25298 times)

paul.fr

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We all know someone we would not urinate on if they were on fire, but suppose they were, which type of fire extinguisher would be the best and least harmfull to use? Scenario: They were playing with matches when their night clothes went up in flames (sort of like on the old adverts).

Water
Dry Powder
Co2
Foam
Radon Gas


 

lyner

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What's the best fire extinguisher to use on a person?
« Reply #1 on: 23/11/2008 20:38:44 »
Unless the fire is electrical, I suggest that cooling them down is a priority, so, all things being equal, a water extinguisher would probably be best.
Or the NEAREST one!
 

Offline AB Hammer

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What's the best fire extinguisher to use on a person?
« Reply #2 on: 23/11/2008 21:04:44 »


Water; Is normally the best but, is not always available, by the time you get back it, it would be allot worst. Smother it by the simple stop drop and role method and if other material is around except for stuff life synthetics which are very flammable but like cottons and wools smother flames very well under these conditions.
 
Dry Powder; Not recommended

Co2; is quick and cold and should never be used around the face. Not to mention prolonged use can freeze the surface of the skin.

Foam; Is used for larger fires like buildings so it is not recommended
 
Radon Gas; Not recommended

The first best and fastest is stop drop and role, smother it.
 

Offline Bored chemist

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What's the best fire extinguisher to use on a person?
« Reply #3 on: 24/11/2008 07:00:17 »
Water is best. Depending on circumstances the ordinary bathroom (or safety) shower might be quickest.
 

Offline nicephotog

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What's the best fire extinguisher to use on a person?
« Reply #4 on: 24/11/2008 09:47:16 »
No, purely from my industrial training, "BCF" extinguishers.
CO2 will suffocate. Water will conduct electricity and drive flammables further over the body or face dependent the burning chemical.
 

Offline LeeE

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What's the best fire extinguisher to use on a person?
« Reply #5 on: 24/11/2008 11:09:59 »
Paul - did you mean Halon Gas?  In any case, Halon fire suppression systems work by supplanting the oxygen and suffocating the fire in closed environments (Any people who don't manage to get out of the room before it's triggered will suffocate too.  That's assuming that they don't get injured by flying floor/ceiling tiles first).
 

Offline rosy

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What's the best fire extinguisher to use on a person?
« Reply #6 on: 24/11/2008 11:16:28 »
Fire blanket. Or rolling on the floor. Or ideally both.
 

Offline nicephotog

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What's the best fire extinguisher to use on a person?
« Reply #7 on: 24/11/2008 11:47:51 »
That last one is a supplementary or initial(while someone gets the correct extinguisher) as recommended in OHS of industrial workplace safety.
 

Offline Bored chemist

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« Reply #8 on: 24/11/2008 19:06:31 »
No, purely from my industrial training, "BCF" extinguishers.
CO2 will suffocate. Water will conduct electricity and drive flammables further over the body or face dependent the burning chemical.
Did you read the original question?
"Scenario: They were playing with matches when their night clothes went up in flames "
Was that covered in your industrial training?  If so please let us know what industry you are in.

The damage done to people by fires is largely due to heat. The cooling effect of lots of water is a way of stopping that damage in its tracks.
It's also the initial stage of first aid treatment for the burns.



Paul - did you mean Halon Gas?  In any case, Halon fire suppression systems work by supplanting the oxygen and suffocating the fire in closed environments (Any people who don't manage to get out of the room before it's triggered will suffocate too.  That's assuming that they don't get injured by flying floor/ceiling tiles first).
If that were the reason they would use nitrogen or CO2 which are cheap.
Halon actively kills fires ( by inhibition of free radical reactions) at concentrations that you can still breathe- that's the whole point.
It's still a good idea to get out- the pyrolysis products of halon are pretty toxic.
 

Offline nicephotog

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What's the best fire extinguisher to use on a person?
« Reply #9 on: 25/11/2008 04:18:52 »
As a point YES and the reasons, either factory, farm or domestic house tends to carry more flammables than an office block.
In an office block water, CO2 and foam extinguishers are common.
The trouble in industrial areas also(really if your observant) is that they often contian flammable liquids.
As for a person being ignited, that is often not near the case in an office block hence until you get to the cafateria area the extinguishers are all the same.
For cooling effect, any discharge of compressed gas(propelent) will become colder and colder as it leaves the cylinder.
The quality of the BCF point is its caking ability upon fires that contain solid or molten material as fuels and also smothers but is largely non-toxic in relation to humans particularly where chemical mixing will occur by substances present(e.g the chemical storage area).
Foam unfortunatly has the effect of being able to obstruct the breathing passageways.
Water is always dangerous unless careful consideration was given to the construction of the space it will be used in because of electricity connections.
CO2 is dangerous in a confined space and drives fluid fires around as does water and only valuable at the point of contact not worth much after it runs or drifts from the contact point.
 

Offline Bored chemist

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What's the best fire extinguisher to use on a person?
« Reply #10 on: 25/11/2008 07:08:42 »
"The quality of the BCF point is its caking ability "
Bloody clever trick for a gas like BCF.
Hardly maters since it's been banned.

I'd still like to know what industry involves
"Scenario: They were playing with matches when their night clothes went up in flames "
 

Offline nicephotog

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What's the best fire extinguisher to use on a person?
« Reply #11 on: 25/11/2008 07:56:40 »
Bored chemist: ...Bloody clever trick for a gas like BCF...
"BCF" VAPOURISING LIQUID EXTINGUISHER oops! BUT IS NOT FOR LIQUID, but powder extinguishers are for liquid , electric and ordinary combustible.
Powder extinguisher is the one i was seeing as a cure all.
http://www.fpaa.com.au/information/docs/safety_extinguishers.pdf
It appears a vapourising liquid appears to be the best for that situation.

Powder:
human non-toxic: ..."Sodium bicarbonate based dry powder, non toxic"...
high-toxicity: ..."Monoammonium phosphate"...

Bored chemist: ...Hardly maters since it's been banned...
Only because of its Ozone depleting problem(Environmental), but since!!!...

... BCF VAPOURISING LIQUID EXTINGUISHER...
http://www.casa.gov.au/airworth/awb/26/002.pdf
Halocarbon Fire Extinguishers (Halon Replacement)
AD/General/65 requires that “where 2 or more extinguishers are required in the passenger compartment, at least 2 shall contain Halon 1211 (BCF) or a CASA approved equivalent”. At time of publication there was no fire extinguishing agent approved by CASA as equivalent to Halon 1211 (BCF) onboard aircraft.


oooh goody! now i'm up to date again! thanks fullas!
 

Offline LeeE

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What's the best fire extinguisher to use on a person?
« Reply #12 on: 25/11/2008 18:29:12 »
Thanks for the clarification BC.  We were just told that we had, iirc, twenty seconds to get out before we were 1. suffocated, 2. injured by flying floor & ceiling tiles and 3. permanently deafened by the noise.  In these systems (about 25 years ago) the Halon was under extremely high pressure.
 

Offline Bored chemist

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What's the best fire extinguisher to use on a person?
« Reply #13 on: 25/11/2008 19:07:31 »
Feel free to check the boiling point.
From my point of view it's a gas; but if you generally find yourself in an environment below 3.7 degrees below freezing (or presumably under high pressure) then OK, it's a liquid.

Ammonium phosphate is a food additive, E342 IIRC so it's not that toxic. I couldn't find any data about lethal dosesfor it.
These people's
http://www.imperialinc.com/msds0038940.shtml
researchers seem to have given up trying to poison rats with it when most of them survived a dose of more than 0.1% of their bodyweight of the stuff.
According to this site
http://fscimage.fishersci.com/msds/20970.htm
it takes about 0.4% to kill rats with bicarbonate of soda.
Niether compound is really very toxic. I don't know why you raised the issue anyway.


I still want to know what industry has people playing with matches (particularly if they are the cabin crew of passenger aircraft)

Lee, you shouldn't be suffocated; the other hazards are real.
 

Offline nicephotog

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What's the best fire extinguisher to use on a person?
« Reply #14 on: 26/11/2008 04:55:20 »
That s not the impression i get from the data sheets about them,
This one below mentions ingestion. I'll try to find the other URL
it finds it has carcinogenic qualities also.

http://www.ronasgroup.com/monoammonium-phosphate.asp
 

Offline Bored chemist

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What's the best fire extinguisher to use on a person?
« Reply #15 on: 26/11/2008 06:58:52 »
Nicephotog,
Are you an idiot or a troll?
The page you linked explicitly says the stuff isn't, and isn't suspected of being, a carcinogen.

I still want to know what industry has people playing with matches (particularly if they are the cabin crew of passenger aircraft).
Why won't you answer?

 

Offline Don_1

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What's the best fire extinguisher to use on a person?
« Reply #16 on: 26/11/2008 07:27:49 »
The first best and fastest is stop drop and role, smother it.
Fire blanket. Or rolling on the floor. Or ideally both.

I think you'll find these are the best, although if a fire blanket is not to hand, any fabric will do. Dry powder or any other chemical retardant can cause further damage to already damaged skin. Cold water could spread any spirit fire and send the victim into severe shock.

Extinguish the flames by smothering and or rolling, then remove (if it can be done without further damage to the skin) any clothing. Cool the affected area gently with clean cold water if available, and cover with food grade cling film. Always assume the worst, use minimum intervention to allow those who know what they are doing to get on with the job in hand rather than have to clean up any post trauma damage done by inappropriate means of extinguishing.
 

Offline nicephotog

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What's the best fire extinguisher to use on a person?
« Reply #17 on: 26/11/2008 08:31:45 »
..."a fire blanket is not to hand, any fabric will do"...
Fishnet stockings???
 

Offline Don_1

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What's the best fire extinguisher to use on a person?
« Reply #18 on: 26/11/2008 09:11:10 »
..."a fire blanket is not to hand, any fabric will do"...
Fishnet stockings???

Interesting and valid thought which requires investigation. I shal hot-foot to a local lady of ill repute to see how good she is at smothering me with her fishnets.

"No need to take them off miss"
 

Offline Bored chemist

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What's the best fire extinguisher to use on a person?
« Reply #19 on: 26/11/2008 20:32:24 »
Nicephotog,

I still want to know what industry has people playing with matches (particularly if they are the cabin crew of passenger aircraft).
Why won't you answer?

And, if it's to hand, I still think water does a better job of extinguishing burning clothing and reducing damage to people than CO2, halon or dry powder.
Rolling does have a very useful aspect- If you are standing your face is in the flames and smoke.
 

lyner

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What's the best fire extinguisher to use on a person?
« Reply #20 on: 26/11/2008 20:47:34 »
..."a fire blanket is not to hand, any fabric will do"...
Fishnet stockings???

Interesting and valid thought which requires investigation. I shal hot-foot to a local lady of ill repute to see how good she is at smothering me with her fishnets.

"No need to take them off miss"
With whiplash injury to follow!
 

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Offline Don_1

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What's the best fire extinguisher to use on a person?
« Reply #22 on: 27/11/2008 10:09:49 »
How do they know? Has someone been there to put it to the test?
 

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What's the best fire extinguisher to use on a person?
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