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CO2 (Carbon dioxide)

Information

Carbon dioxide, also known as carbonic snow or carbonic anhydride, is the most commonly used gaseous fire extinguishing agent due to its excellent characteristics and properties.

General properties

  • A colourless, odourless gas.
  • Can liquefy by compression and cooling.
  • Non-corrosive and does not leave residues.
  • Moves through the pipes by its own vapour tension.
  • A poor conductor of electricity.
  • During discharge, it produces temperatures of up to –40º Celsius and can therefore cause burns from freezing.
  • An asphyxiating product, dangerous in concentrations of above 9%.
  • All things being equal, its density is 50% higher than air.

Fire extinguishing properties

Inertisation
CO2 (Carbon dioxide) discharges produce, along with the fuel, a significant reduction in oxygen, thus paralysing the combustion reaction. Depending on the type of fuel, the minimum necessary CO2 (Carbon dioxide) concentration ranges from 30% to 75%.
Cooling
Although a less effective fire fighting means, due to the low exit temperature of CO2 Carbon dioxide), it slightly reduces the temperature on the surface of the combustible material.

Applications of CO2 (Carbon dioxide)

Class A Fires
Application is limited to superficial fires, as it is not able to penetrate into fires with embers.
Class B and C Fires
Effective in some cases when total flooding or local application fire fighting systems are used.
Class D Fires
Not effective, as metal fires cause it to decompose.
Electrical fires
It’s the ideal fire extinguishing agent, as it does not conduct electricity and these fires do not produce embers. Care must be taken not to release this agent onto equipment that is not on fire as the temperatures on release can cause damage.

Precautions to consider

  • CO2 (Carbon dioxide) is not toxic, but it is asphyxiating. Because the maximum concentration of CO2 (Carbon dioxide) in the air breathed can be of up to 9%, which is well below the minimum design concentrations, it can be lethal.
  • Should not be used in premises usually occupied by people without the use of a discharge delay device in fixed installations, or in small premises with manual fire fighting media.
  • Can cause burns from freezing if applied to the skin.
CO2 gas cylinder (carbon dioxide) and CO2 (carbon dioxide) group extinguishers with a shower-type spray.
 
 

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