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CO2 Carbon Dioxide Fire Extinguishers

A carbon dioxide (CO2) fire extinguisher, identifiable in the United Kingdom by a black colour code, is ideal for tackling fires involving live electrical equipment, unlike the more common water extinguishers which are likely to make an electrical fire worse or create new fires from the sparking caused by water coming into contact with live electrical wiring. It works by replacing the oxygen which surrounds the fire with carbon dioxide gas which deprives the fire of oxygen so that it cannot burn. It does not however remove the heat element of the fire triangle and so care must be taken to ensure that the fire does not reignite, as well as keeping in mind that surfaces will still be hot even when the fire has been put out so there is still a danger of burns to the skin.

Suitable fire safety training courses such as the NEBOSH Fire Certificate will teach delegates a wealth of information including the correct type of fire extinguisher to use depending upon the type of fire or the material that is burning. Many other health and safety courses which are not specifically devoted to fire will still cover fire risks and fire safety due to the commonality of the potential for fire in all places of work, such as the NEBOSH General Certificate, CITB SMSTS courses and IOSH Managing Safely courses. It is also important that people read and familiarise themselves with the instructions on fire extinguishers BEFORE a fire starts, as trying to figure them out whilst a fire continues to grow is not the ideal environment and may let it get out of control.

Paradoxically, in contrast to the burning there is also a danger to a person from cooling as the carbon dioxide gas coming out of the CO2 extinguisher can freeze the skin. Care must be taken not to direct the gas onto exposed skin or hold onto the nozzle as the fire extinguisher is being operated.

CO2 extinguishers are only capable of lasting for a relatively short period of time which can limit their effectiveness in tackling fires. The fact that it is gas coming out can also mean it may be difficult to operate outdoors in windy conditions as it will be hard to direct the gas properly onto the fire.

Also Consider... Online Fire Extinguisher Training Courses

Whilst online courses are a poor way to try and study and learn all of the information required of a large qualification like a NEBOSH Fire Certificate for example, they are perfect for short courses on specific topics.

Our online Fire Extinguisher course provides an introduction to the various types of fire extinguishers and the situations in which each should be used. For more information on this course, please click here.

Selected Courses

Please see below for a selection of health and safety courses and qualifications which you may be interested in:

NEBOSH National Diploma in Occupational Health and Safety

The NEBOSH National Diploma in Occupational Health and Safety is the flagship NEBOSH qualification, and is the first UK vocational qualification to be developed specifically for health and safety professionals.

The NEBOSH National Diploma provides the core health and safety knowledge (transferable across industry, commerce and the public sector) which, combined with understanding and appropriate application, underpins the competent performance of an occupational health and safety practitioner.

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NEBOSH National General Certificate in Occupational Health and Safety

The NEBOSH General Certificate is one of the most popular and widely-held health and safety qualifications in the UK. It is intended to be taken by managers, supervisors and any other employees who require an understanding of general health and safety issues.

The NEBOSH General Certificate covers the main legal requirements for health and safety in the UK, along with the identification and control of workplace hazards, and the practical application of this knowledge. The general content of the NEBOSH General Certificate syllabus means it is suitable and relevant for those working in virtually any industry, and is often used as a solid foundation for those going on to further study and specialising in a particular area such as construction site health and safety or fire safety.

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IOSH Managing Safely Course

The IOSH Managing Safely course is designed for managers and supervisors of organisations in virtually all industry sectors, in order to give them all they need to know to effectively manage health and safety in the workplace.

Recently updated, the new high impact programme covers key health and safety issues, and includes references to international case studies.

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CITB Site Management SMSTS Course

The Site Management Safety Training Scheme (SMSTS) is one of the most popular health and safety training courses, and is intended for construction site managers, project managers and senior supervisors, as well as proprietors of smaller companies.

Client-based personnel would also benefit from attending the SMSTS course.

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CITB Health and Safety Awareness Course

This course is for those who have entered, or are about to enter, the construction and civil engineering industry as a member of the workforce to help them understand the potential hazards that they face at work on site. It aims to provide a practical summary of health and safety, welfare and environmental health and safety issues.

The course also allows delegates to identify their individual responsibilities for looking after themselves and others, what the employer's duties are and what should be done if they think anyone's health and safety is being put at risk.

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