Our Fire Prevention/Fire Operations folks do not permit Class D fire extinguishers in labs. There are several “flavors,” if you will, of Class D fire extinguisher, depending on the potential fire. A lab could end up with two or three different Class D extinguishers, depending on the materials in use. Also, Class D extinguishers weigh a ton! And they are expensive to maintain.
My pyrophoric/water reactives users tend towards Met-L-X or dry sand for the small quantities they work with. Dry sand seems to be the agent of choice and most of these researchers keep a small bucket of dry sand nearby where they work. Working in a dry box or glove box is preferred.
Hope this helps,
Debbie M. Decker, CCHO
Department of Chemistry
University of California, Davis
1 Shields Ave.
Davis, CA 95616
Birkett's hypothesis: "Any chemical reaction
that proceeds smoothly under normal conditions,
can proceed violently in the presence of an idiot."
I am looking into the advantages and disadvantages of using Met-L-X or Lith-X scoopable dry powder extinguishing agent versus outfitting labs with the extremely large dry powder extinguishers that this material traditionally comes in. I am hoping for a solution for the usual pyrophoric and reactive metal suspects; alkyllithiums, trimethyl aluminum, diethyl zinc, potassium, sodium, magnesium, etc.
If anyone has an experience with using or training with this extinguishing, I would appreciate any insight that you might have. I have already contacted Ansul and am awaiting their response.
Brandon S. Chance, M.S., CCHO
Program Manager, Chemical Safety
Environmental Health and Safety
262 Alexander Street
Princeton, NJ 08540
"The second I feel like I made it, the second I feel like I've arrived, that's the second someone will take my spot. And I like my spot." J.J. Watt – Houston Texans
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