When a small fire breaks out in your house or business, a portable fire extinguisher is a swift and effective response. Once the fire is completely extinguished, it is essential to know how to clean up fire extinguisher residue. This way, you can assess the real damage and minimize potential respiratory irritation. ABC multi-purpose fire extinguishers contain ammonium phosphate and ammonium sulfate powder that can be irritating to the skin, eyes, and lungs. These chemicals are not likely to cause any permanent respiratory damage to humans and pets, but should be cleaned up properly. Read on to learn about fire extinguisher residue.
Understand Your Fire Extinguisher
Before starting any cleanup, you must identify the chemicals used as an extinguishing agent. All fire extinguishers have a tag or label which identifies the type and class of extinguishing agent. Agents could include water, dry or wet chemicals, foam or Carbon Dioxide (CO2). Pressurized water fire extinguishers or CO2 fire extinguishers will not leave chemical residue. Drying the area to remove any lingering moisture is all that is necessary. If foam fire extinguishers are used, any residue should be diluted and dried thoroughly. You can sanitize those areas or spot clean any remaining residue,if needed. They might even need more intensive cleaning.
Fire Residue Cleanup
A dry chemical fire extinguisher with ammonium phosphate, ammonium sulfate, sodium bicarbonate or potassium bicarbonate leaves behind some powdery residue. This residue can be removed safely by using a vacuum. Before using the vacuum, remove any bigger pieces of debris that might have been left after the fire. To keep from inhaling this powdery residue while vacuuming, wear a mask. It’s also smart to wear protective gloves and goggles to protect against a possible allergic reaction. It may take a couple of passes with the vacuum to remove the fire extinguisher residue entirely. It is essential to clean and sanitize the space thoroughly after removing the fire extinguisher residue.
A Smart Safety Tip
Throw away all food and cooking grease that might have been contaminated with any fire extinguishinger agent. A portable fire extinguisher is an essential safety device for all businesses, homes, and public buildings. However, some fires are too big for a portable fire extinguisher. Always call 911 in case of an emergency.
Fire Protection Services from Fireline
Whether you need smoke detectors, fire extinguishers, or an automatic sprinkler system installed at your commercial property, Fireline has you covered. We have been protecting people and property from fire damage since 1947—and our experience shows in our excellent work! We are known for our superb customer service, our expertise, and our reliability. For more information on how we can help your residential or commercial property, visit us online or give us a call at (800) 553-3405. We are located in Baltimore, MD, with a second office in Leesburg, VA. For more fire safety tips, be sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.