What Happens If You Inhale Stuff From Fire Extinguisher?

April 14, 2022
What Happens If You Inhale Stuff From Fire Extinguisher?

Some of the chemicals found in fire extinguishers can cause serious harm to your body. When you breathe in toxic fumes from fire extinguishers, it can enter your lungs and go into your bloodstream. These fumes can irritate your respiratory system and in more serious cases, even damage your heart. The chemical components in fire extinguishers are designed to put out fires and never be inhaled due to the serious possibility of developing health problems.

Types of Fire Extinguishers

There are many different kinds of fire extinguishers available on the market. These include:

What Happens If You Inhale Stuff From Fire Extinguisher
  • Water-based extinguishers:Water-based extinguishers work by spraying out water onto the fire. This extinguisher is usually used when working with small fires such as candles or cigarettes.
  • Foam-based extinguishers:Foam-based extinguishers work by spreading a thick layer of foam over the flames. This type of extinguisher is often used to put out large fires like cooking stoves or grills.
  • Dry powder-based extinguishers:Dry powder-based extinguishers work much like a hybrid extinguisher. They spray out a mixture of water and dry powder. The powder absorbs moisture from the air around the fire. Once the powder has absorbed enough moisture, it creates steam which puts out the fire.
  • Halon-based extinguishers:Halon-based extinguishers work just like dry powder-based extinguishers except for one thing. Instead of absorbing moisture from the air, these extinguishers use a combination of the halogen gas and carbon dioxide used to put out fires.
  • Hybrid extinguishers:Hybrid extinguishers work by spraying water first. After this step is complete, the fire is extinguished with dry powder.

How Fire Extinguishers Are Dangerous

Have you ever wondered what happens if you inhale stuff from fire extinguishers? Health issues resulting from breathing in toxic chemicals can include headaches, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, shortness of breath, coughing, chest pain, seizures, and even unconsciousness. Since fire extinguishers contain hazardous chemicals, when you breathe in these chemicals, they can cause serious health problems. 

Some of the most common health issues associated with fire extinguishers include:

  • Lung Problems: When you breathe in toxic fumes, they enter your lungs. It can irritate your respiratory tract and possibly damage your heart.
  • Heart Problems: Inhalation of toxic gases can affect your heart. These chemicals may cause inflammation of your arteries and blood vessels. As a result, it can lead to clogged arteries and possibly even heart attacks.
  • Skin Problems: Your body's immune system reacts to the inhaled toxic gases by producing its own chemicals called histamines. Histamines are released in response to tissue damage caused by injury, infection, or allergens and can cause skin rashes and other allergic reactions.
  • Kidney Damage: Toxic chemicals found in fire extinguishers can cause kidney damage when the inhaled chemicals get into the bloodstream and travel through the kidneys.
  • Cancer: Breathing in toxic chemicals and prolonged exposure to these toxins can increase your risk of cancer. 

How to Safely Use a Fire Extinguisher

There are many ways to safely use a fire extinguisher and avoid injury. Here are some tips on how to do so:

Know What Type of Fire Extinguisher You Have

Before using a fire extinguisher, know exactly know what type you have. Some types of fire extinguishers only work on specific types of fires. For example, a wet chemical extinguisher will not work on grease or oil fires.

Read the Instructions Carefully

Make sure you read the instructions carefully before using a fire extinguisher. These instructions should tell you which type of fire it can extinguish and where to point the nozzle.

Wait Until It's Necessary

As soon as you see a fire starting, immediately pull the pin and spray towards the flames. Do not wait until the fire gets too big to control.

Make Sure Everyone Is Out

Before using fire extinguishers, make sure everyone has left the area to avoid someone being trapped inside with the fire.

Follow Fire Extinguisher Guidelines

Always make sure you follow the manufacturer's instructions and only use a fire extinguisher when absolutely necessary. Remember that misusing a fire extinguisher can cause serious injuries. 

File a Claim for Your Injuries

Have you been seriously injured or become ill after accidentally inhaling toxic fumes from a fire extinguisher? If so, do not hesitate to reach out to the Dolman Law Group to arrange a free no-obligation consultation.