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How to clean up after a fire extinguisher discharge?

So you have managed to put out the small fire in your office or living room and rescued the day. Well done, your fire extinguisher and your bravery protected you from some potentially very expensive fire damage or worse! However, your powder extinguisher has caused a wintery landscape in the room and your mouth tastes of some sort of unhealthy childhood lolly. How do you clean up the mess? Here are some helpful hints.

Protective EquipmentRequired

Powder extinguisherDust mask, gloves, goggles. The chemicals in a powder fire extinguisher can be an irritant to lungs, eyes and throat.
Foam, Wet ChemicalImpermeable Gloves, goggles. The chemicals in foam fire extinguishers can be carcinogenic.

Cleaning Measures

Foam, Water additive, wet Chemical fire extinguishers
  1. Wear the protective equipment as listed above
  2. Soak up the foam or liquid from the wet chemical or water extinguisher with either paper towels or old towels that can be thrown away
  3. Wash the area thoroughly with water and use paper towels or an old towel to soak up any excess
  4. Place all towels into a plastic bag and seal before throwing it away into the usual waste bin
Powder fire extinguisher
  1. Wear the protective equipment as listed above
  2. Use a vacuum cleaner to clean up the powder residue, or a brush to sweep it away if you do not have a vacuum cleaner
  3. Place all the powder from the vacuum cleaner or that has been swept up into a plastic bag and seal it. Dispose of this bag in the usual waste bin
  4. Use a damp cloth to clean any residue of powder off furnishings, do not use copious amounts of water. There is a risk that any residue left may start to eat away at soft furnishings. Curtains should be washed if possible