Fire Extinguisher Residue Cleanup

Identification of Common Fire Extinguishers

  1. Water – Requires dry down and dehumidification. Water can be dirty and/or acid if it contains chlorine and will damage substrates if not properly cleaned.
  2. Carbon Dioxide – Carbon Dioxide depletes 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. Very little residue is left however the event causes a blown down or release that moves operational dust and covers all surfaces with dust.
  3. 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 but some are still in operation. They are being replaced with FM200 and other newer “clean” suppressants. Must be cleaned.
  4. Multi-Purpose Dry Chemical – Typically uses a chemical agent called mono ammonium phosphate. This material is slightly acidic and corrosive in nature. Additional moisture or water increases acid nature and Corrosivity. Must be cleaned.
  5. Regular Dry Chemical – Uses a sodium-bicarbonate-based dry chemical agent. Is a nuisance and acts as an insulator to electornic causing overheating issues? Must be cleaned.
  6. Foam- Can affects many substrates including mechanical and electrical equipment operation. Must be cleaned.
  7. Purple K Dry Chemical – Uses a potassium-bicarbonate-based dry chemical agent which is a nuisance and acts as a simulator to electronics causing over heating issues. Must be cleaned.

Dry Chemical Fire Extinguisher Residue Cleanup

Proper Cleaning Methodology

  1. Install a HEPA air scrubber to reduce, control and remove effects of airborne particulate circulating around the area of damage.
  2. Control humidity levels using AC or dehumidification. Remove standing water sources.
  3. Use a HEPA vacuum to clean all surfaces of technical contents. This is to remove any heavy and gross contamination of any dry soils present.
  4. Because dry chemical fire extinguishers are very corrosive especially to metal surfaces, those surfaces should be cleaned and treated first to naturalize and restore materials. Switches, contacts, circuited boards, power supplies and ports must be preserved until they can be treated.
  5. Clean all surfaces using approved degreaser for substitute.
  6. Neutralize all surfaces using basic pH cleaner and/or deionized water.
  7. Clean, rinse and dry as well as bake as needed all technical contents in batch processing method using correct chemistry for each substrate.
  8. Test all electronics and equipment. Power and functionality test, Insulation Resistance Test and Electrical Safety testing.
  9. Replace equipment, IT and electronics back into operating condition.
  10. Confirm proper operation after the commissioning of equipment and prior to handing over to the client.

Warning: We always test substrates for chemical reactivity, etching, softening of substrates and colorfastness. We follow all cleaning compound label directions, and we never mix products unless specified in the label directions and batch tested first. Each situation reacts differently and results may vary.