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CO2 is the cleanest method of portable fire fighting on the market. It is literally dried ice, and fights the fire in two main ways.
The CO2 used as the extinguishing medium is Carbon Dioxide, stored under extreme pressure in the canister as a liquid, which discharges as a gas. CO2 suffocates the fire by the displacement/dilution of oxygen in the air. In addition to this, the extinguishing medium comes out at a temperature of -60°C which removes another key player in the fire triangle – heat. This prevents the creation of free radicals and flammable vapours.
There is no residue left by this extinguisher, making it the ideal option for delicate electronic equipment such as servers and general office use. However, at very close ranges there is a risk of ‘thermal shock’ to delicate PCB’s due to its cold discharge temperature.
CO2 Extinguishers should be handled with respect. The canisters store pressure of around 51 bar (740psi), meaning it can be lethal if damaged. During discharge, keep your hands away from the discharge horn as this can become extremely cold and cause serious frost burns. After use, ensure the area is well ventilated to allow the gas to disperse.