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A fire extinguisher, flame extinguisher,]citation needed[ or simply an extinguisher, is an active fire protection device used to extinguish or control small fires, often in emergency situations. It is not intended for use on an out-of-control fire, such as one which has reached the ceiling, endangers the user (i.e., no escape route, smoke, explosion hazard, etc.), or otherwise requires the expertise of a fire department. Typically, a fire extinguisher consists of a hand-held cylindrical pressure vessel containing an agent which can be discharged to extinguish a fire.
In the United States, fire extinguishers in all buildings other than houses are generally required to be serviced and inspected by a Fire Protection service company at least annually. Some jurisdictions require more frequent service for fire extinguishers. The servicer places a tag on the extinguisher to indicate the type of service performed (annual inspection, recharge, new fire extinguisher).
Personal protective equipment (PPE) refers to protective clothing, helmets, goggles, or other garments or equipment designed to protect the wearer's body from injury. The hazards addressed by protective equipment include physical, electrical, heat, chemicals, biohazards, and airborne particulate matter. Protective equipment may be worn for job-related occupational safety and health purposes, as well as for sports and other recreational activities. "Protective clothing" is applied to traditional categories of clothing, and "protective gear" applies to items such as pads, guards, shields, or masks, and others.
The purpose of personal protective equipment is to reduce employee exposure to hazards when engineering and administrative controls are not feasible or effective to reduce these risks to acceptable levels. PPE is needed when there are hazards present. PPE has the serious limitation that it does not eliminate the hazard at source and may result in employees being exposed to the hazard if the equipment fails.
Carbonic acid gas
Dry ice (solid phase)
In firefighting, fires are identified according to one or more fire classes. Each class designates the fuel involved in the fire, and thus the most appropriate extinguishing agent. The classifications allow selection of extinguishing agents along lines of effectiveness at putting the type of fire out, as well as avoiding unwanted side-effects. For example, non-conductive extinguishing agents are rated for electrical fires, so to avoid electrocuting the firefighter.
Multiple classification systems exist, with different designations for the various classes of fire. The United States uses the NFPA system. Europe use the European Standard "Classification of fires" (EN 2:1992, incorporating amendment A1:2004). Australasia uses yet another.
Active Fire Protection (AFP) is an integral part of fire protection. AFP is characterised by items and/or systems, which require a certain amount of motion and response in order to work, contrary to passive fire protection.