Fire Safety Sticks-more Information
How to activate the Fire Safety Stick
How does the Fire Safety Stick it work?
The Fire Safety Stick (FSS) is a manual, portable fire extinguishing device. It uses a Potassium powder jet (a unique method among conventional fire extinguishers) that employs the vaporisation of the powder in the environment followed by the condensation of its extinguishing substance. It works by interrupting a fire’s chain of reaction (the “auto-catalyst” of the fire).
Fire Safety Stick is composed of stable, solid minerals; it does not contain gas and is not pressurised. The aerosol-like jet is only produced when the charger is struck with its base. The produced aerosol jet is free of thrust and is essentially an inert salt that emits gas already present in the atmosphere.
Will it damage my car?
Here’s the chemistry behind it
This process allows the stick to extinguish all types of fires through saturation, while its slow bio-degradation in the environment, further prevents the likelihood of subsequent fires.
The extinguishing process involves two different reactions: one is physical and the other, chemical. The physical reaction relates to potassium’s tendency to oxidise rapidly in air. When in contact with air, alkaline salts consume great quantities of oxygen, thus depriving fires of oxygen. Then the chemical reaction is created through the stable link between potassium particles and the fire’s combustion particles.
Through the two reactions, a quick oxidation process takes place, immediately transforming the jet from a solid state into a gaseous state freeing the potassium particles. These atoms are able to intercept and interrupt any other free particles produced by the fire’s natural chain reaction combustion process.
Potassium has strong inhibitor qualities due to its weak ionization energies. The extinguishing agent being used is composed of Potassium Nitrate, organic oxidizer, and plasticizer resin.
When Potassium Nitrate (KNO3) discharges from the extinguisher it vaporizes in the environment followed by the condensation of its extinguishing substance. When it reacts (inside the body of the extinguisher) it breaks down and the aerosol that is formed is made up primarily of free radicals of Potassium K+, of Nitrogen N (an inert gas), and water vapour.
The aerosol that comes out of the unit reacts with the fire. Potassium radicals (K+) capture the Oxygen of the combustion thereby extinguishing it.
At the end of the extinguishing process the following is discharged to the atmosphere:
As a solid: particles of Potassium (that have reacted with the Oxygen of the fire) having a size between 3-4 microns. These particles are invisible at sight and heavier than air. They disperse in the atmosphere and tend to deposit on the ground in no appreciable amounts.
As a gas: As Nitrogen; an inert gas already present in the air we breathe at more or less 78%.
As water vapour (and lastly) extremely minimal toxic by-products that are a result of the combustion process.
Whats the best way to tackle a fire with it?
Unlike a dry chemical extinguisher that combats a blaze by depositing a large amount of solid powder on the fire, the Fire Safety Stick fights a fire by releasing a gas. This gas attaches itself to the oxygen surrounding the fire robbing its ability to stick to the chain of combustion (without affecting ones ability to breath that oxygen). The goal is therefore to use the gas coming out the FSS to create a ‘cloud of containment’ around a fire. Creating a cloud that prevents any outside and un-attached oxygen from getting to the fire is essential and is the same strategy that should also be used with a Halon/Halotron or CO2 extinguisher.
The two worst things you can do when fighting a fire with a gas extinguisher is to be too close or to rush the process. Being very close to a fire means that a cloud cannot be formed blocking any new oxygen that will continue to feed the flame. This is particularly problematic in an isolated pan situation where being too close will only chase the flames around. Rushing the process by moving the extinguisher around a lot also prevents a cloud from being formed and diminishes the performance of the extinguisher.
The best technique is to take advantage of the long discharge time offered by the Fire Safety Stick and to approach a fire from a moderate distance progressively getting closer to its source. During the approach, move the FSS slowly around the fire always directing towards the centre. This will contain the fire and allow the gas the ability to work.
Tight areas with lots of pockets (like the engine bay of a car for example) brings out the strengths of the FSS as the gas, which is heavier than air, will fill all the voids not directly accessible; both putting out a fire and preventing a re-flash.
Frequently Asked Questions about the Fire Safety Stick
What is the Fire Safety Stick?
Fire Safety Stick is an innovative portable extinguishing device with remarkable extinguishing capacity, designed to aid in the suppression of incipient fires and for use as a personal protection device. It is a simple and easy way to ensure that you are prepared in the event of a fire in your home, office or vehicle. Small and lightweight, the Fire Safety Stick is environmentally friendly and can be safely stored for easy access in an emergency, preventing the fire from getting out of hand.
What is the Discharge Time of the Fire Safety Stick?
There are currently three options available depending on their minimum discharge times – 25 seconds, 50 seconds and 100 seconds. During testing have found that on average the 25-second model lasts for approximately 30 seconds or more.
Just compare that to a traditional powder extinguisher weighing 1kg to 2kg – these would only have a discharge time of just 7 seconds – providing it has been correctly maintained, often they haven’t been!
Is the gas safe to breathe?
Yes, the Fire Safety Stick discharge is safe to breathe and is both non-corrosive and non-toxic. So it’s fine around children and pets too. General safe practices are always recommended. Although the FSS acts by removing the oxygen, it does this at the flame level, interrupting the chain of combustion (fire triangle – Heat/Fuel/Oxygen).
But, it does not remove the local oxygen levels that would prevent breathing as some traditional extinguishers did (eg the banned Halothane type). However, we would not recommend having the discharge aimed at a person’s face for period of time.
What about the environment?
Fire Safety Stick has no global warming potential and no ozone depletion potential.
Is it safe to use in a confined room
Yes absolutely! We have tested activating the Fire Safety Stick in a small room to ensure that it doesn’t impact breathing or visibility. We did this in a closed room 3m x 3m. It was very much like someone was “vaping” in the room, both visibility and breathing were not impeded too much at all. Of course in a real fire situation, the smoke inhalation from the fire would be a much greater danger.In fact, one of the great advantages of the Fire Safety Stick is that in confined areas, you can activate it, and leave to work in the room whilst you escape. No need to hold a trigger to keep it going!
Does it make a mess like traditional extinguishers?
NO! The discharge gas form the Fire Safety Stick is totally clean and will not leave any damaging residue. During discharge a chemical reaction does take place which occasionally expels a trace amount of soot from the casing. Even in the most extreme instance, the net total of discharge is so minuscule compared to a traditional extinguisher that it is effectively considered to be non-existent. Beyond the clean nature of the discharge, FSS is non-corrosive, non-toxic, and environmentally safe. Compare this to a typical powder or foam extinguisher which often create more damage and mess than the fire itself.
Does it need servicing & does it have a shelf life?
It’s solid construction, no moving parts, and lack of compressed gas (unlike a traditional fire extinguisher) means it will never need any service or upkeep. In addition the solid chemical that makes up the Fire Safety Stick has a theoretical non-expiry date. In current tests, the manufacturers have batch-tested FSS that were 10 years since manufacture and still completely operational.
What Approval Does it have?
The FSS has the European CE mark of approval, it also has numerous other certifications from around the world, including independent tests to confirm its ability to extinguish classes A, B, C, Electrical to 100,000 volts and class F Fires.
Existing BSi approvals for extinguishers (EN3) are based upon traditional pressurised extinguishers, with specific guidelines to pressure gauges, corrosion tests etc. However, because the Fire Safety Stick is a totally unique system and so current guidelines do not apply to it at all. It doesn’t even come under the BS6165:2019 for small disposable fire extinguishers, as it’s a non-pressurised, non-aerosol type. Therefore, they would need to create a whole new approvals process for this type of extinguisher which has only been introduced to the European market since 2018.
But I have had this extinguisher for nearly 10 years and it still has a green pressure gauge
Regular fire extinguishers MUST be serviced every year and professionally replaced after five, trust us, we know that’s our background! The pressure gauges are a well-known failure point, the rubber “o” rings inside easily perish and the gauge will stick. Plus the contents in powder extinguishers clump together.
Then in that emergency when you really need that extinguisher, it will fail or only give you a few seconds of fire fighting time. But with a Fire Safety Stick, you have no regrets, even without any maintenance, after 10 years it will still give that full fire fighting capacity as it would have done on the day you bought it.
"Proven shelf life of 10 years" but a "3-year warranty", is that right?
I know it seems confusing, but the 3-year warranty is provided for by the manufacturers. However, the chemistry of the “active ingredients” is such that it does not decompose, well certainly not for 20-30 years at least. It has no moving parts nor it is pressurised so there no other points of failure and therefore needs no maintenance (as long as it is stored correctly of course). The 10-year shelf life has been tested and verified. The manufacturers have taken a batch of FSS manufactured from 10 years ago and tested them. And of course, still worked perfectly.
It’s a little like buying something from the shops, it will come with a 1-year warranty, but you would certainly expect to last much much longer than just a year.
Can I refill it?
The Fire Safety Stick is a single-use fire extinguisher. Once activated, with it will continue to discharge until empty. Once finished its safe to domestically recycle the two remaining components (the aluminium tube and the black plastic handle).
Whereas traditional extinguishers, once activated must be commercially disposed of and /or re-charged if suitable. Also even if they are only used for a fraction of their capacity, they must also be professionally recharged.
Is it safe to transport?
The two components necessary for the ignition of the FSS are placed on opposite ends of the device, rendering accidental ignition during transport and storage impossible. Also, because the FSS is not pressurised at all unlike traditional extinguishers you do not need to worry about any associated risks with them. Of course we would always recommend sensible safe practices when storing them.
The activation is produced by a lighter made up of two elements, situated on opposite extremes of the product. The potassium based first element is located in the upper extreme of the article; the second element is located in the inner extreme of the article and is composed of a rubbing head situated on the phosphorous based extractable plug: (i.e. the first component, a dry round area, is protected by a protection cap, and is at the top of the product; the second component, inserted as a cap in the handle is a scratchable head piece –igniter- made out of phosphorous).
Will it explode?
No, the unit remains fully intact and is not pressurised at all. Only if exposed to extreme temperatures – 350 degrees Celsius (that of a fire!) would it then activate and sends out an aerosol* stream.
*This is the descriptive process that an aerosol spray is created with the particles and Nitrogen gas during the activation process. The FSS is not an aerosol in the conventional sense ie a pressurised can under constant pressure controlled by a nozzle.
The non-explosiveness of the Fire Safety Stick aerosol fire suppressant is officially recognised, value binding, and has a European validity by the Italian Ministerial Decree 04/04/1973 by Homeland Security 557/PAS.7317-XV.J.(3766) (Prevention and monitoring, possession of illegal fireworks and classified as non-exploding), in conformity with Ministerial Decree D.M. 4.4.1973 (G.U. n. 120 dated 10.5.1973) further to the advice by the Advisory Committee for Weapons Control as well as by the Prefecture in Turin, Italy.
What about storing it in extreme temperatures?
Storage has been verified as between from -10°C to +50°C – in a standard test. In fact, it’s usability has been confirmed separately -140°F to +320°F
But I could buy a normal extinguisher for a lot less
Yes, you could, but overall the Fire Safety Stick is much better value and will cost a lot less in the long run. Traditional extinguishers only have a shelf life of 5 years maximum and even then, only if they are serviced every year (which will cost you further). The FSS needs no servicing at all, and has a proven shelf life of over 10 years. Depending on the risk of different classes of fires, you may need to have two different ones. The Fire Safety Stick, however, is suitable for all major classifications so you only need one. Finally, if you did use a traditional extinguisher or accidentally set it off, the mess it creates will cost you an awful lot more. The FSS leaves no mess, no residue and no corrosive damage.
The FSS has already saved some users €,000’s instead them having a traditional extinguisher!
Do you do a "plumbed-in" self-activating system for cars?
Not yet no, but is something that our research and development department is working on. Ensuring the activation is totally reliable is crucial. It may take some time yet and there is not date for planned release yet. But we are working on it! As soon as we are ready, you will hear it here first!
Should I use a fire extinguisher or just get out?
Your and your families safety must always come first, don’t be a hero! Yes, the fire brigade often gives the advice of just get out, call them and stay out.
But if the fire has just started and is still manageable and only if it is safe for you to deal with it, then you can with a Fire Safety Stick. If you can extinguish that fire before it gets too large and destroys everything, then you should BUT only if you are completely confident to do so.
Often householders would panic and use the incorrect type of extinguisher for that type of fire. Using one on a cooking oil fire, for example, would make it much worse. It’s this reason why the fire brigade advises you against using extinguishers if not properly trained.
With the Fire Safety Stick its much safer, as it works on all major types of fire, so there is no dangerous gambling whether you have the right extinguisher. It lasts much longer and you can even leave it to continue suppressing that fire, whilst you escape (subject to the size of FSS used and enclosed room size)
Remember, all fire extinguishers are only suitable at the early stages of a fire and the danger of a fire can quickly escalate.