Portable fire extinguishers reduce the carbon footprint of building fires, new study finds

October 5, 2023
fire extinguisher

A new study commissioned by the Fire Equipment Manufacturers’ Association reveals that the use of portable fire extinguishers can significantly decrease carbon emissions from building fires.

How portable fire extinguishers impact carbon emissions

According to the research titled, “A Review of the Impact of Fire Extinguishers in Reducing the Carbon Footprint of Building Fires,” deploying portable fire extinguishers in the initial phases of a fire can lead to a substantial decrease in carbon emissions.

Morgan Hurley, Senior Director at Jensen Hughes, stated: “If we’re able to put that fire out, when it’s really small, perhaps by using a portable fire extinguisher, then that’s going to minimize the amount of carbon that’s released.”

The role of portable fire extinguishers in combating global carbon emissions

The study indicates that structure fires account for half a percent to one percent of the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

This is akin to the carbon output of five to ten million cars every year.

However, when portable fire extinguishers are employed in conjunction with automatic sprinkler systems in buildings, there is a 99 percent drop in fire-related carbon emissions.

Jim Tidwell, a code consultant for the Fire Equipment Manufacturers’ Association, shared: “The bottom line is that we should be encouraging people to install and use portable fire extinguishers in all their buildings.

“That is, without a doubt, the very best way to save on the carbon footprint when it comes to building fires.”

For those interested, “A Review of the Impact of Fire Extinguishers in Reducing the Carbon Footprint of Building Fires” can be accessed on the Fire Equipment Manufacturers’ Association’s website.

The association’s site also offers insights into their commitment to life and property protection through education, advancement of the fire equipment market, and refining regulatory standards.

FSJA Comment

The findings of this study underscore the role of simple tools, like portable fire extinguishers, in broader environmental protection efforts.

With structure fires contributing significantly to atmospheric carbon dioxide, the data speaks to the efficacy of early fire intervention methods.

Encouraging the widespread adoption of fire extinguishers can not only protect property and save lives but also meaningfully combat global carbon emissions.

Read Next

Subscribe Now