How to Extinguish a Class D Fire
While rare, a class D fire presents a significant danger to anyone in the vicinity – especially if there is confusion as to how the fire should be extinguished. In this article, we’re looking at class D fires, including what they are and how best to extinguish them.
What is a class D fire?
Class D fires are fires which involve combustible metals. Not every metal is combustible, and it takes an intense heat for one to ignite. The most common source of a class D fire is not solid blocks of metal – as they can quickly displace the heat to their surroundings – but finer deposits of metal such as powder or shavings.
Because of this, class D fires are more likely to be found in commercial or industrial environments – anywhere metal work, such as cutting or drilling, is carried out. Examples of combustible metals are: titanium, potassium, lithium and magnesium.
How to extinguish a class D fire
What you need to remember when it comes to a metal-based fire, is that you should never use water to fight the fire. Similar to class C fires, water will only cause the flames to grow and spread. To effectively fight a class D fire, you should use a dry powder fire extinguisher.
Dry powder extinguishers will smother the oxygen from the fire, meaning it cannot maintain itself or grow any further. These extinguishers also absorb the heat from the fire, so it’s important to have these extinguishers in place – and regularly maintained – if your premises deals in any kind of metal work.
Preventing class D fires
Combustible metal fires can spread rapidly, especially in areas with a high concentration of metal shavings or other metal ‘fines’. It’s essential to regularly clean workspaces so that metal shavings do not pile up. This includes cleaning machinery and equipment involved in metal cutting/drilling, and also ensuring the safe storage of metals in protective containers.
A fire risk assessment – combined with regular fire safety checks – will go a long way towards minimising the risk of a class D fire. When you enlist a professional fire risk assessor to inspect your workplace, every inch of the premises will be assessed to identify any fire risks, as well as to help you form an effective fire plan specific to your building.
Fire safety and training
At Target Fire Protection, we also provide in-depth fire safety and training sessions for up to 15 people. We offer three variations of our fire theory course:
- 1 hour basic fire extinguisher course
- 2 hour standard fire extinguisher course
- 3 hour fire marshall training
Each course involves live demonstrations, offering you the opportunity to tackle small, controlled fires using all the knowledge gained from the session.
If you’re interested in learning effective fire-fighting and fire safety techniques, or want to book a course for you and your employees, contact us to find out more.
Target Fire Protection supply a full range of fire extinguishers and fire safety equipment for all manner of commercial properties. Through our fire risk assessment and fire safety training services, we help you to build a robust and effective fire prevention plan, maximising the safety and preparedness of your commercial or industrial building. We cover Manchester, Rochdale, Bury, Oldham and the entire UK, so don’t hesitate to get in touch with us today.