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Can a fire extinguisher be used to extinguish a fire when the gas is still burning?

  1. Nov 28, 2011 #1
    Something scary just happened. Ok not really but to me it was. The knob on our cooker hop somehow just malfunctioned. It was already kind of not working properly but when my grandma tried to use it to turn off the fire it suddenly couldn't work. I wanted to use the fire extinguisher we had at home to extinguish the fire but my dad said I can't cos even though the fire is extinguished the gas particles are still present and this makes it even more dangerous. I want to ask if he is right and if so , why?o
     
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  3. Nov 28, 2011 #2

    AlephZero

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    Re: Can a fire extinguisher be used to extinguish a fire when the gas is still burnin

    You dad is right. Go to Google Images and search for "house gas explosion".

    Burning the gas with a cooker is pretty safe, because that's what the cooker was designed to do. The main risk with gas cooking is accidentally setting fire to something else (for example a pan of cooking oil), not burning the gas itself.

    On the other hand a mixture of unburned gas and air willl spread through the whole room, or even the whole house, and it can be ignited by something like the small spark from switching an electrical appliance (even a light) on or off.

    The safe thing to do is turn off the gas supply to the cooker or the whole house (there should be a tap near the gas meter), then get a professional to fix the cooker or replace it. They will check there are no other gas leaks as part of the repair job.
     
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