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Why should you not use a water fire extinguisher on a petrol fire?

Whitney Matthews

in Online Courses

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Cynthia Baker on January 19, 2019

Do not use water in flaming liquids because they may float in the water and simply spread the fire, or the water pressure may cause the burning material to spread. In some cases, liquid fire covered with water can cause a massive explosion of steam and liquid in flames to spread the fire quickly. The use of water in the gasoline (liquid fuel) fires should be avoided for several reasons. Initially, the fuel is a liquid, and the application of a stream of water will splash and spread the fire. Another consideration is that the water does not cool the burning fuel enough to get it out. It's not going to cut off the supply of oxygen to the extent that the liquid is not going to be "covered" by the water. (Fuel floats on water because it is less dense.) Recall that the fire triangle includes fuel, air (oxygen) and heat. The water is not going to "break" any of the legs of the triangle if the fire is based on the burning of fuel. Water with a foaming agent or other extinguishing agent should be used to control the fire of the burning liquid fuel. Because if not, then the gas could spread and cause a major fire, which would be bad!!!


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