All About Carbon Dioxide Fire Extinguishers

Carbon All About Carbon Dioxide Fire Extinguishers NZ

Carbon Dioxide Fire Extinguishers

Carbon Dioxide extinguishers are the perfect choice for Class E fires involving electrical equipment.

CO2 is a non-conductive & non-corrosive gas, because of this, it is the perfect solution for protecting computer & electrical equipment in the event of a fire.

Carbon dioxide fire extinguishers can also be used on some Class B fires involving flammable liquids, such as petrol and paint.

How to Identify A Carbon Dioxide Fire Extinguisher?carbon dioxide extinguisher sign

Carbon Dioxide Fire Extinguishers are a red cylinder with a black band running all around the top. They also have a different hose to other extinguishers ending with a horn.

Where To Use A CO2 Fire Extinguisher

Due to the extinguishing agent not causing any damage to electrical equipment, it is the perfect extinguisher for areas such as

  • Electrical Switchrooms
  • Server rooms
  • Electrical appliance showrooms
  • Offices

Carbon Dioxide fire extinguishers shouldn’t be placed in locations exposed to direct sunlight or radiated heat. They contain a pressure relief disk which bursts at temperatures exceeding 50 Degrees Celsius.

How Does A Carbon Dioxide Fire Extinguisher Work?

The CO2 Extinguisher contains carbon dioxide in a liquid form, and when the extinguisher used the liquid is released into the air, turning into a gas and offsetting the oxygen that the fire is feeding on. It also has a cooling effect, removing some of the heat.

CO2 Extinguisher Sizes3.5 kg carbon dioxide fire extinguisher nz

The most common Carbon Dioxide Fire Extinguisher sizes found in New Zealand are

  • 2.0kg – Small size area to cover
  • 3.5kg – Medium size area to cover
  • 5.0kg – Large size area to cover

Advantages Of Carbon Dioxide Extinguishers

Being non-toxic and leaving no residue CO2 will not harm food, fabrics, machinery or electrical equipment.

Carbon Dioxide is a non-conducting agent, so can be used on live electrical equipment.

Holds its charge once used. However, you should have it recharged ASAP.

Fairly cheap to have recharged.

Disadvantages Of Carbon Dioxide Extinguishers

There is a risk of ice burn to your hands as the temperature of an extinguisher horn drops rapidly and freezes over.

As CO2 works by displacing the oxygen around the fire, it is not suitable for outdoor use, or in environments exposed to windy conditions.

CO2 is a high pressured extinguisher. Using it on class A fires or class F fires could cause the fire to spread.

Users should use caution with how much CO2 is being discharged in small, confined areas.

How To Use A Carbon Dioxide Fire Extinguisher

Like all other fire extinguishers, you need to remember the PASS-word.

Pull the Pin
Aim at the base of the fire.
Squeeze the handle.
Sweep from side to side.

Fire extinguisher PASS method

See our guide on How to Use a Fire Extinguisher.