Today, we are looking at the history of fire extinguishers; from today’s ever-changing advances in fire detection and suppression systems back to a time where fires were nearly impossible to stop.
Beginnings of Fire Extinguishers
Remarkably, traces of fire extinguishers date back to a Greek barber, Ctesibius, who designed a hand-operated pump for squirting a stream of water through a nozzle— it is widely considered the birth of the fire extinguisher.
A renowned chemist Ambrose Godfrey made the earliest fire extinguisher on record in 1793. The device itself was extremely rudimentary; merely consisting of a casket, gunpowder, sodium bicarbonate, and water solution.
His breakthrough invention helped douse the fires that engulfed London in 1729.
19th Century inventors created a product closer to the modern fire extinguishers.
English inventor George William Manby created an extinguisher called the Extincteur in 1818. Made of copper, it contained three gallons of potassium carbonate and compressed air, which propelled the chemical onto a fire.
The next innovation came in the United States. It by Almon M. Granger, who registered a patent in 1881 for a fire extinguisher that utilised a soda-acid based solution.
The chemical reaction between the sodium bicarbonate and sulphuric acid made it effective, which would propel water inside the pressurised container onto the blaze.
Advancements in the 20th Century
Fire extinguishers were water-based in the 1900s.
This changed in the 20th century. Alexander Laurant designed a mixture of chemicals and CO2 gas to produce a thick foam. It was the first use of Carbon Dioxide in a fire extinguishing solution.
In the 1920s, many European counties used methyl bromide-based fire extinguishers. As a low-pressure gas, it stops fires by blocking the three parts for the fire triangle, oxygen, heat and fuel.
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The problem was the growing use of telephone switchboards, where water devices caused damage. CO2 extinguishers have stood the test of time.
The Halon extinguisher has been one of the most common types for over forty years.
Like methyl bromide-based devices, they block the reaction of the fire triangle, and cool fuels used in class A fires.
The Future of Fire Extinguishers
As you can see, we have come a long way from the Ambrose Godfrey’s gunpowder propelled canisters.
The inevitable innovation of such applications means we are constantly improving on these designs.
Great minds have modified fire extinguishers with improved effectiveness.
And this is where Firescape comes in.
For years now, we have developed innovative fire extinguishing solutions, with ease of access, dependability and use in a comprehensive set of situations in mind.
The result is a range of products that can help to safeguard you and your loved ones no matter where you are.
Firescape Fire Extinguishers
The first of these is Spray-Safe, which comes in the form of a 335ml aerosol extinguisher.
It has designed to be as lightweight as possible, which makes it highly portable too. You can fit it in most kitchen draws and cabinets; can even store in your car’s glove box!
It works on a variety of fires, including those caused by wood, paper and textiles.
Pan-Safe is an extinguishing solution containing just 120ml of liquid to tackle grease fires.
It’s the fast-acting, effective way to deal with a chip pan fire.
Both of our products use the patented Firescape formula, which is one of the eco-friendliest solutions on the market. It leaves no toxic residue behind, and there is less mess to tidy up.
You get a discount in the Home-Safe kit.
If you’re interested, head on over to our fire safety shop.