Extinguishing Measures for Fire Caused by Aluminum Powder


Aluminum powder is highly combustible. Even with a very small source of fire in the air, it can burst into flames, and the high flame temperature, fast burning speed, explosive power, strong radiant heat are destructive and harmful to the surrounding buildings and personal safety. Therefore, right extinguishing measures based on aluminum powder’s characteristics must be taken in the event of aluminum powder on fire.

First, the establishment of a formidable fire headquarters must be needed. Aluminum in the event of explosive combustion often results in casualties, and the fire situation is more complex with the possibility of a secondary explosion. Therefore, a strong headquarters should be set up to lead and control the entire fire fighting process. Its main task is to rapidly organize forces to explore the whole situation, formulate correct tactical measures, layout combat missions, assemble varieties of vehicles to rescue people, evacuate supplies, supply fire extinguishing agent (transport sand) and so on.


Second, we must use fire extinguishing agent correctly. Both fire extinguisher 7150 and dry chemical extinguishers are powered with compressed nitrogen gas, spraying the chemical on combustion. So the injection pressure should not be too high while using these two kinds of fire extinguishers or the generation of dust emissions might cause an explosion. When using dry sand and asbestos to put out fire, first surround the burning aluminum powder with dry sand, then cover the scene with asbestos when the fire range is confined to a certain extent, finally bury gently with the dry sand (generally 30-50 cm deep is enough). Further, the aforementioned extinguishing agent can be jointly used. If fire breaks out in the workshop, first use dry chemical extinguishers or fire extinguisher 7150 to put out the kerosene pool/tank and part of other devices that are on fire in the workshop, and then use fire extinguisher 7150, asbestos, and dry sand to surround and annihilate the burning aluminum when the workshop’s temperature is getting relatively lower.


Finally, block first, surround and annihilate later. If only a small amount of aluminum powder gets caught on fire, quick tactics can be taken before a wide range of combustion occurs. That is to use asbestos and dry sand to get rid of fire directly. But if an explosion has already caused the fire in large scale, then people should only fight the fire after checking and blocking. Block first means to use water or foam first to cool the on-fire workshops, warehouses and adjoining buildings to block the fire from spreading. Nevertheless, do make sure not to let water contact with aluminum powder while utilizing water. Also at the same time, timely organization of action in three aspects should be fixed. First is to organize capable rescue teams to rescue victims actively from the fire scene. Equip those rescue workers with insulated clothing, masks and gloves for the rescue convenience. No need to send too many personnel into the fire scene, rescue workers should be concise in quantity, but excellent in operation, light and fast in action as well. Second is to organize the firefighters, workers and masses to rescue actively supplies threatened by fire and transfer them to safer areas. Third is to quickly transport dry sand, asbestos and other fire extinguishing materials to somewhere near the fire scene in order to get fully prepared for annihilating the fire thoroughly. Surround and annihilate later refer to seize the advantageous time to concentrate superior forces to surround and annihilate the fire after preventing the fire from spreading and rescuing all the personnel and materials. First use dry chemical extinguishers or 7150 and then wait for the instantaneous moment the fire gets weakened to use dry sand. Spray dry powder to 1.5 to 2 meters outside the burning aluminum powder in order to have the dry powder rise with the burning waves and be drawn into the combustion zone with air movements so as to put out the fire. Never spray the dry powder directly to the burning aluminum powder in case the dry powder would be drawn away by the heat waves and then lose the fire-extinguisher function.