Fire Extinguisher Residue Cleanup
There are seven common types of fire extinguishers. Two of them do not have to be cleaned after use. Those two are:
- Water – Just dry the area and proceed with your restoration.
- Carbon Dioxide – Carbon Dioxide removes oxygen in the area to suffocate a fire. Carbon dioxide extinguishers leave no residue and are commonly used in computer rooms and food storage areas. Since they leave no residue, you can go straight to the restoration work.
The other five types of fire extinguishers require thorough cleaning to be performed after use. Those five and what they are made of are listed here. Out of these five, the Halotron extinguisher is the only one that requires very different cleaning procedures.
The other types can all be cleaned with the procedures under "Dry Chemical Fire Extinguisher Residue Clean Up."
- Halotron - Some older fire extinguishers use halon as the extinguishing media. Halon was common in older fire extinguishers because it leaves no VISIBLE residue. Halon extinguishers are no longer being produced
- Multi-Purpose Dry Chemical - Typically uses a chemical agent called mono ammonium phosphate
- Regular Dry Chemical – Uses a sodium-bicarbonate-based dry chemical agent
- Purple K Dry Chemical – Uses a potassium-bicarbonate-based dry chemical agent
Halotron Fire Extinguisher Residue Cleanup
- To remove Halotron residue, every surface needs to be cleaned -- even surfaces that have a miniscule chance of being contacted (contents in drawers, closets, etc.).
- Dilute Unsmoke Degrease-All at 14 oz per gallon of water. Apply it with a sponge, or use sprayer for larger areas.
- Neutralize all areas cleaned by using Unitex Daily Clean diluted at 2 oz per gallon of water. Allow surfaces to dry.
Dry Chemical Fire Extinguisher Residue Cleanup
1. Install a HEPA air scrubber to remove all airborne particles.
2. Use a HEPA vacuum to clean all surfaces and contents inside cabinets and drawers.
3. Because dry chemical fire extinguishers are very corrosive to metal surfaces, those surfaces should be cleaned first.
4. Clean all surfaces using Unsmoke Degrease-All diluted at 14 oz per gallon of water.
5. Neutralize all surfaces using Unitex Daily Clean. For carpets, use Matrix All Fiber Rinse diluted at 4-6 oz per gallon of water.
6. Kitchen plates and cookware can be washed in the dishwasher or by hand with a standard dishwashing soap.
7. Clothing can be washed as normal in the washing machine.
Always follow label directions, and never mix products unless specified in the label directions. Each situation reacts differently and results may vary.