Your job as a fire warden is to aid in the management and oversight of fire safety regardless of your designation. You could be the tasked with responding to emergency calls on a resident warden in a densely populated commercial building. Certainly, part of your work also includes following up on the safety of the occupants after a fire emergency. That involves cleaning up the mess left by fire extinguisher chemicals to make the place habitable again. Failure to do this can have adverse effects on the building surfaces or trigger allergic reactions among building occupants. If you are new to this, here is some crucial information on cleaning the chemicals left behind by fire extinguishers:
The Source of the Chemicals
Fire extinguisher chemicals come from the dry type of fire extinguishers. Well, the reason for their popularity is the fact that they are versatile and efficient for combating various types of fires. You can use them to put out regular fires, electrical fires and fires caused by grease or fuel-based products. Sadly, the dry type extinguisher coats the affected area with a layer of fire retardant chemicals, leaving a mess that needs cleaning.
Audit the Chemicals
You need to know the type of chemicals that your fire extinguisher has. This makes it easy to identify the type of extinguisher to use when disaster strikes. You should do this regularly as part of your safety drills. However, you can always check the tag on the fire extinguisher when you are unsure.
Clean the Chemicals
The procedure you follow for cleaning will vary depending on the type of chemical left behind. The most common ones include:
- Halotron – fire extinguishers that contain Halotron are the least involving when it comes to cleaning. The chemical naturally disperses into the air and does not leave any residue on the surfaces of the building. However, you need to keep the doors and windows open after using this type of fire extinguisher. This will help in the dispersion of the Halotron molecules, leaving the rooms with fresh and ambient air.
- Foam – a foam fire extinguisher leaves a thick layer of foam on the affected area. Gladly, you can get rid of this foam easily by diluting it with lots of water and washing it away. You can finish off by soaking the excess water with thick towels and dry your surfaces.
- Bicarbonate – some dry-type fire extinguishers also contain potassium bicarbonate as an extinguishing agent. For such cases, you can vacuum the residue away or sweep it off hard surfaces. Follow this up with mopping the floor and wiping down other hard surfaces to remove any tiny bicarbonate particles left behind.
To learn more about being a fire warden, seek out fire warden training in your area.