The red canister of the fire extinguisher is a common sight in both homes and businesses throughout the world. These small, portable fire suppression devices have saved countless live and reduced property damage throughout their history. But where did fire extinguishers come from – who first invented them, and how have they changed throughout the years? This article dives into the history of the fire extinguisher!
The Beginning – The First Fire Extinguishers
In figuring out who first invented the fire extinguisher, it comes down to the definition of the term. If you consider a bucket filled with sand or water a ‘fire extinguisher’, then you probably can’t nail down who exactly was the first to use that particular method. If you consider a fire extinguisher to be a more technical device, the task becomes a bit easier. In what is estimated to be 200 B.C., Ctesibius of Alexandria invented a form of fire extinguisher. A barber’s son, his device was one of many inventions he created throughout his life. This was a water pump that was operated by hand – not the pressurized canisters we know today.
In England in 1723, one Ambrose Godfrey created a device that used a cask of fire-extinguishing liquid. This cask was connected to a chamber filled with explosive gunpowder. The gunpowder, when lit, spewed the liquid across the flames – hopefully stopping the blaze.
About a century later in 1818, British Militia Captain George William Manby created a device that is much more recognizable to us today. His fire extinguisher, built of gleaming copper used compressed air to spray a potassium carbonate solution to extinguish fires.
As time progressed, so did the agents used in fire extinguishers. From sodium bicarbonate (among the first used) to a wide variety of modern fire suppressant foams, there are specific fire extinguishing agent classes for each type of potential fire. Selecting the RIGHT extinguisher is something that M&M Fire Protection and Security of Goshen, Indiana can assist you with immediately.
The Fire Extinguisher Today
Today, fire extinguishers come filled with a wide variety of materials to fight a wide variety of fires. Businesses and public buildings are mandated to have up to date fire suppression equipment on scene. OSHA regulations strictly prescribe the type of fire extinguisher and how often they need to be replaced. Keeping your fire extinguishers up to date can save you from costly fines and keeps you, your employees, and patrons safe.
One of the primary services M&M Fire Protection and Security provides to our clients is the regular inspection and replacement of your commercial fire extinguishers. This is a service our professional technicians are trusted to complete throughout the greater Michiana Region. Are you interested in this service? Contact M&M Fire Protection and Security by giving us a call or emailing us through the website contact form. As a locally owned and operated business, we pride ourselves on prompt and professional customer service. Our service team looks forward to hearing from you!
M&M Fire Protection & Security | Serving the Greater Michiana Region