Section 5 of the SDS

In the SDS, SECTION 5: Firefighting measures comprises
5.1. Extinguishing media
5.2. Special hazards arising from the substance or mixture
5.3. Advice for firefighters

Like the section on first aid, this section can appear daunting to anyone who is new to thinking about fires and how they should be handled.  Knowledge of the physical and chemical properties of the product may be helpful in answering some of the points below (if you are not a trained chemist, you may want to discuss this with someone who is).  If you have a Health and Safety specialist in your company, they may also be able to help.  Fire extinguisher companies can also offer useful advice, particularly on the types of foam available, as different chemicals may need specific types of foam.  If may even be possible to obtain advice from your local Fire Brigade, e.g. during a site visit.

5.1. Extinguishing media

Suitable extinguishing media:  eg water, foam, sand (specify foam type)

Unsuitable extinguishing media:  any unsuitable extinguishing media.  Whether any extinguishing media are inappropriate for a particular situation involving the product.

Note that for some flammable aqueous materials, such as alcohols, water can be inappropriate as it can take many times the volume of water compared to a spill to extinguish a fire, and until that point is reached you are actually increasing the size of the burning pool.

5.2. Special hazards arising from the substance or mixture

Hazardous combustion products: e.g. carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, oxides of sulphur or nitrogen or not applicable (if not flammable). (This information should be obvious from the chemicals contained in the substance or mixture, and information on reactions and decomposition products found in textbooks such as Brethericks Handbook of Reactive Chemicals, or online, may also be helpful).

Other special hazards during fire: eg if substance is packed in aerosols, that they may create missiles during a fire. If no special hazards during fire, not applicable.

5.3. Advice for firefighters

Protective actions during firefighting: e.g. keep containers cool with water spray, or no special instructions.

Special protective equipment for firefighters: e.g. acid suits, specific face or eye protection, or “standard firefighting PPE to be worn”.

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